The Correct Plays for the Six-Four Opening Roll

There are three different ways to play the six-four backgammon opening roll. For most players, the six-four opening roll is the most interesting opening roll among all fifteen combinations. We'll look into these three unique plays for this opening roll.

The three different ways to play the six-four opening roll are first 24/14, second 24/18, 13/9, last is 8/2, 6/2. We'll cover each of these plays in detail and see what each play can offer us strategically for the six-four opening roll.

We'll start with the 24/14 play for this backgammon opening roll. In this play we are running one of our back men and place it close to the bar point. This is much like a running game where if your checker on the 14-point doesn't get hit, your next move on the next turn will to move the same checker to your outer board.

You expect to get either a three-two, a four-three, or a five-four on your next roll. These numbers are quite probable and will likely help you position this checker.

The downside to this backgammon play is that the checker on the 14-point is open. If your checker gets hit after this opening roll play you're down five pips and your opponent will have a builder nicely positioned.

The good come back to this opening roll play is that your opponent can only hit you 11 out of 36 times. That's just about a third of all the probable rolls. One comment from backgammon experts is that running a six-four is a whole lot better than running a six-three or a six-two.

The next backgammon play is to do a 24/18, 13/9 for this opening roll. This play develops both sides of the board by bringing down a builder from the mid-point and splitting your back checkers for better coverage of your opponent's side of the board.

In this play, your checker on your opponent's bar point on this opening roll serves as a builder or a runner on the next turn. On the other hand, the checker on your nine-point has many opportunities to make a new point on the next turn.

The bad side to this play for the six-four opening roll is that you make two blots, and the probability that your opponent can hit you is really high (about more than 27 ways out of 36).

The 8/2, 6/2 backgammon play makes your two-point. Among the three this is the safest play there is. Other than that, another benefit we get from this play for this opening roll is that we make a home board point. The only draw back is that if you plan to build a prime, this position is pretty weak for that strategy.

These are the different plays for the backgammon six-four opening roll. Each play for this opening roll has it's own strengths and weaknesses. Experiment on each one and see what strategic avenues they open up for you.