Backgammon Odds

Backgammon odds can only be applied for a moving runner to safety,hitting blots,covering gaps etc.These are just some of the situations where calculating...

Similar to Chess it can be said that it is impossible to come out with a winning formula for backgammon odds. There are just too many variables involved and the human element does not easily fit into any equation. However since this is a board game that you have to play with dice, there are a finite number of playing pieces with 24 points to land on. There are also certain calculations that can be used for the development of winning strategies.

The good news is the probabilities that are associated with the rolling of the dice at Backgammon are easy to comprehend. They are like shooting at Craps Table. To sum up there are only 36 combinations of dots on the dice and this is less than the number of possible results you get on a Roulette Wheel.

Now, the probability of a certain combination that is rolled out is exactly 1-in-36 or 2.78%. The probability of any total appearing is the sum of all the methods in which that total is formed by dividing the number by 36. If a player wishes to move a blot that is seven points to safety or to fill a blank in the wall there are 6 possible combinations in the form of (1-6, 2-5, 3-4, 4-3, 5-2, 6-1) so this means the chances of seven being rolled in are 6-in-36 that is equivalent to 1-in-6 or 16.67 percent.

Likewise with a piece on the bar and just one point out of the six available to re-enter on, the probability of rolling the number does not result in 1-in-6 or even 1-in-3. It is the total of the ways in which the number one can be rolled for e.g. (1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, 1-6, 6-1, 5-1, 4-1, 3-1, 2-1) and later divided by 36. So this results in 11-in-36 or 30.6%. The above is true for any other needed point.

It should also be kept in mind that the number of points that are moved can also be a direct number or even an indirect number. Like for example in order to bump off a blot by three points ahead a piece can arrive at the point directly by having three appear on one of the dice in 11 ways or indirectly by rolling a sum of three ( 1-2, 2-1) or double one 1-1. This results in 14 combinations out of 36 or 38.9 percent.

Backgammon odds can only be applied for moving a runner to safety, hitting blots, re-entering from the Bar, covering gaps etc. These are just sum of the situations where these calculating Backgammon odds can be applied. These probabilities can be used for bearing off and determining how safe a roll is and although it is complex the optimum place of runners in both offense and defense. There are experienced players that memorize their chances of moving “n” points on the single roll. The simple ways to remember is the first six as they involve direct moves only.