Backgammon Opening Moves for Sixes

The opening move in a backgammon game, as well as the opening player, is determined by having each player roll a die. Whoever rolls the higher number gets to make the starting move that's the combination of each of their die throws. Since doubles aren't allowed for the opening, there can only be 15 opening rolls in a game. Five of which is made with having one die produce a six with the other die showing either a five, four, three, two, or one on its face. Backgammon opening moves have been studied and recommended plays on each of them have been deduced. So what are the recommended backgammon opening moves for sixes?

Starting with a six-one opening roll, the best move that the first player can do is to make their seven-point (also called their bar-point). That means landing a piece on the bar-point and covering it with a checker each from the 13-point (or mid-point) and eight-point.

A six-two opening poses many possible moves for the starting player. But one of the most recommended plays is to place a piece on a free point on both sides of the board particularly on the 18-point and 11-point. This move has the potential of running and building at the same time.

This recommended play also holds true for a six-three opening. That is, run to the opponent's bar-point and bring a builder down to your ten-point. This way, you can advance your other runner and cover your builder if your next roll allows it. Landing on free points on both sides of the board offers many possibilities for improvement on your subsequent dice roll.

As for a six-four starting play, it's advisable to either run a back checker to the 14-point or make the two-point. Both backgammon opening moves have strengths and weakness that's why deciding which play to carry out depends on a player's position in the game. If a player's trying to gammon their opponent, it's best to make a home board point. Otherwise, running a back checker is a viable alternative.

The easiest of these backgammon opening moves for sixes is with a six-five start. The undisputed play is called the "lover's leap" where a back piece is advanced all the way to the mid-point.

Five out of the 15 possible backgammon opening moves involve combinations with a six. Each of the opening moves for sixes has recommended plays already studied for the backgammon game. These include making the seven-point with a six-one, slot on the 18- and 11-points with a six-two, slot on the 18- and 10-points with a six-three, advance a runner or make the two-point with a six-four, and lastly, make a lover's leap with a six-five.