Understanding Backgammon odds

Understanding Backgammon odds

When you play backgammon, you should know the odds that a number will be rolled in a move by either you or an opponent. With this information you will be able to decide which actions will be in your best interest. The odds to keep track of in the game are those of hitting a blot. This is contingent on the number of ways a point can be hit in the game.


Odds and probabilities of rolling each point

You can get one point eleven ways, giving you about 31% chances of hitting it. Two points can be hit twelve ways, so the chances of getting it are 33%. A three can be rolled fourteen ways, at 39% probability. You can get four and five fifteen ways, bringing the probability to 42% each. Seven and eight have 17% probability of being hit six ways, while ten and twelve come with an 8% probability and three ways of getting rolled.


Nine can be hit five ways, at 14% probability while an eleven can come two ways at 6% probability. Thirteen, fourteen, seventeen, nineteen, and blots from twenty one to twenty three can be hit zero ways. However, you can get twenty four, twenty, eighteen, sixteen and fifteen one way, at 13%.


Odds of moving checker from bar

The chances of getting the combinations you require to move a checker from the bar into the game are contingent on the number of points blocked on the home board where your opponent plays. If one point is blocked, the probability that you can land the right combination is 31:1 for. The odds move to 8:1 for if two spots are blocked, and to 3:1 if three are. You will get odds of 5:4 for if four points have been covered. The probability of getting the combination you want if five spots are covered on your opponent’s board is 1.5:1.


Probability of moving one checker vs. two

If you have two checkers on the bar, the probability of being able to return both to one of five open points are lower than that of being able to get back one. For instance, while the probability of moving one checker to five open spots is 97%, that of two checkers is 69%. While the chances of entering reduce with the number of checkers for five open spaces, it remains the same at 100% for six open points.


Knowing the true odds of dice rolls will help you improve your game-play. Based on the odds, assess the likelihood of hitting and covering points, and understand the risks of blots. Use the details to know how the pieces can be placed at different spots on the board to increase your chances of getting the potential roll of dice to work in your favor. With odds you can find out the probability of being able to get a roll that will help you remove a checker off the bar by moving a certain number of points.


Fixed odds

In backgammon there are a few fixed odds in terms of being able to roll a specific:

-        Any Double - 5.54%

-        Non-Double - 5.54%

-        Double - 2.77%

-        Number - 30.55%


The probability that you will be able to get back from the bar is good. An exception is when your opponent’s home table is covered completely or is empty. The odds that you will get hit if there are two pieces in direct range of the target are strong, as are the chances it will happen when three or more pieces are in direct range.