A Change of Heart for the Five-Three Opening Roll

The fist roll in a backgammon game is called the opening roll. To begin a backgammon game, players will initially roll the dice to determine who moves first. The player who gets the higher roll goes first using both results on the dice. In case players get a tie in the roll, they roll again.

One interesting opening roll is the five-three opening roll. The opinion of many players has changed over time as to how this opening roll should be played. We'll discuss the two favorite plays of today for the five-three opening roll.

The first favorite play for the five-three opening roll is to do a 13/8, 13/10 that will bring two builders from the 13-point/mid-point. The next favorite move for this opening roll is to do a 8/3, 6/3 which builds the three-point. We'll now go into the details behind these two plays for a five-three opening roll.

The 8/3, 6/3 play is today's favorite for the five-three opening roll. This play wasn't popular before the 80's since backgammon players back then thought that the three-point is too advanced in the home board to be of any good use.

Players nowadays have had a change of heart and found that there is great potential into playing a 8/3, 6/3 for this opening roll.

Two obvious advantages of this play for the five-three opening roll is that it makes a home board point (strategically correct to build one even on the opening roll), and that the play is completely safe (since you made a point, you'll never have to worry about getting hit).

One strategic advantage the three-point offers is that this point is a building block for an incoming six-point prime starting from the eight-point. Though there is a gap between your three-point and your six-point in the backgammon board, that three-point still is one less point your opponent can enter from the bar.

The popular play for the five-three opening roll back in the day was 13/10, 13/8. One thing that made it popular was the fact that it unstacks the 13-point and it brings down a builder to the ten-point. Experts back then felt that making really deep points on your home board during the opening roll aren't effective at all as blocking points.

Nowadays, the consensus has changed regarding this opening roll. Experts now see the value of the three point (or any point on the backgammon board for that matter). Given these two favorite plays, you have a chance to try them out and see which one you'll be comfortable with.