Backgammon End Game: The Bear Off

The original objective behind backgammon is to be the first player to bear off all checkers from the backgammon board. The bear off is the last stage of the backgammon race comparable to the end game in chess. Let's take a look at how we can secure a big win when a game of backgammon takes us to the final stage.

When certain backgammon games turn into a race to bear off checkers, you'll be surprised to find that these games double and redouble before the game actually ends.

This makes studying the bear off really interesting since we can make it a huge opportunity to gain more than one point in just one game. Every beginner should study the bear off and know what to do during the end game.

There is a vast host of specific possibilities for the bear off that we can't really mention every single one of them. Our best course would be to understand some basic guidelines or principles that can help us along the way in backgammon.

The first principle we need to implement during the bear off is to keep your checker distribution even during the end game in backgammon. This principle also applies to the rest of your backgammon game as well. When we say we need to keep an even distribution of backgammon checkers we are referring to keeping a flexible position throughout the game.

A flexible position will help you accommodate bad rolls. To keep a flexible position, remember to avoid stacking too many checkers on one point and to avoid gaps between checkers.

Another guiding principle for the bear off that you can apply is that if you can bear off a checker then do it. Avoid wasting moves by moving checkers from one point to the other. If you keep a flexible position complements this principle of the bear off.

In case you can't bear off, then fill in the gaps in between your checkers. Again, going back to our first bear off principle. The next question is what if you can't bear off or fill gaps?

The next bear off principle answers that dilemma. If you can't do any of those, then move checkers off the point that has a lot of checkers on it. Thus you can achieve a flexible position.

The bear off is an important part of backgammon. Players who spot the slightest advantage would double and redouble the game in this stage. Keep these principles in mind when you get to the bear off in backgammon.