Racing to Win: the Backgammon Straight Race
The backgammon straight race is also known as the "pure race." This is by far one of
the easiest ways to play since the backgammon race depends entirely on the role of the
dice. Whoever rolls highest, wins the fastest. In this approach to the game, the
starting point is the same as the standard set-up used in a standard game except that the
two back-pieces, placed furthest from each player's home territory, are played first.
These two are positioned along the mid-point of the board before any other pieces.
After this, all contact between the players is essentially avoided, creating a faster
play. Players try to move their pieces home as quickly as possible, avoiding blockages
and capturing their opponent's pieces as much as they can. The backgammon straight race
is helpful for beginning players, to learn the basic concept of the game of backgammon
before having to worry about strategy.
Essentially, once contact is broken, a backgammon race is played in every game. Once
both players have successfully maneuvered past each other during the course of a standard
game, their only objective is then to finish the race home and to bear off all their
pieces. A backgammon straight race may be started at any time during a standard game,
when one player feels he or she is ahead and places greater emphasis on moving towards
home than in protecting pieces from hits or from blocking the progress of their
The backgammon straight race is an inescapable element of any backgammon game. How one
chooses to emphasize its role in the course of the game, is up to the skill of the