Knowing some strategies and tips will help you decide how to position your chips on the board so that you can make the best use of the dice rolls -- make your own luck!
- Hit or make a point (make a point : placing two or more chips on a point), but hitting is generally preferred.
- The most important point to make is your opponent's 5-point as well as your own 5-point. Then make your 4-point and 7-point.
- Split your runners (runners : the 2 chips that start in opponent's home board on their 1-point) early in the game, before your opponent has a chance to make points in their home board.
- Try to make points, especially in your home board so that you opponent has less options to re-enter the board once on the bar.
- If you must leave a blot (blot : a single chip on a point), try to make it at least 7 points away from getting hit by your opponent's chip.
(Probability shows that rolling a sum of more than 6 is less likely than a sum of less than 6, and that a sum of 6 or having 6 on either die is greater than both.)
- Leave blots early in the game as builders/slots (slot : a blot you plan to cover on your next turn), but avoid leaving blots if you are ahead in the game.
- Leave no more than 4 blots.
- Have no more than 6 chips on one point.
- Keep your chips within 6 points of each other so you can cover a chip or safely land a chip.
- If your opponent makes an advanced anchor (advanced anchor : an anchor on opponent's 5-point, 4-point, or 3-point), try to make one yourself.
- If you have a closed board (closed board : a prime in a home board) and the pip advantage, bear off from your higher chips first.
- If your opponent has an anchor (anchor : a point made in opponent's home board), try to maintain an even number of chips on your highest points so that when bearing off, you will lessen the chance of a blot should you roll high doubles.
- If you have to break up a prime, start with the point farthest from home.