Golden Point in Backgammon

The golden point in backgammon is the 5-point The golden point is the most strategic point on the backgammon board. By building on your own 5 and 6 point, you can form the start of an effective “prime” (blockade) to block your opponents back checkers in your home board.

golden point in backgammon
Golden Point: The location of the golden point for each player.

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Golden Point in Backgammon: What is it?

Are you wondering what the golden point in backgammon is? We’ll walk you through it:

  • The term “golden point” refers to the 5-point.
  • In modern backgammon lingo, the term “golden point” is used to refer to the 5-point of both players.
  • Thus, your 5-point and your opponent’s 5-point are both “golden points”.
  • Your golden point is your 5-point, and your opponent’s golden point is their own 5-point (which is your 20 point).

Golden Anchor in Backgammon: What is it?

The golden point is your 5-point. The “golden anchor” refers to your opponent’s golden point (their 5-point), which is your 20-point. These points are the most strategic on the backgammon board. When you own the golden anchor, it makes it difficult for your opponent to build an effective prime (blockade) in their home board.

The Battle for the Golden Point in the Early Game

As we can see, your 5-point and your 20-point are the two most strategic points on the board. Holding one or both of these points will give you a considerable advantage.

Therefore, at the beginning of a game, there is usually a battle over both of the 5-points on the board.

It is usually worth it to take some risks to try and secure these points early in the game, even if you do get hit several times.

Golden Point in Backgammon: Why is it so Important?

Why does securing your Golden Point give you such a huge advantage? We’ll explain:

  • An important strategy in backgammon is building a prime (a series of “connected”, secure points that block your opponent). The way to secure a point is to build at least 2 checkers on it.
  • The best place to build a prime is in your home board, because it will prevent your opponent from coming in from the bar when you hit them.
  • Filling the golden point should be your top priority, because it is an important part of this prime.
  • Specifically when you own the 5 and 6 point, your opponent cannot use 5 or 6 rolls to re-enter from the bar. This means they will waste more pips on average, than if you had only blocked the lower points in your home board.
  • Remember that at the start of the game, you already own the 6-point. Thus the focus is on building the 5-point.

Golden Point in Backgammon: Building it From Your Opening Roll

The best opening roll you can get is 3-1. Why?

  • A 3-1 roll means you can fill your golden point (by making the move 8/5 6/5). To make this move you move one checker from your 8-point to your 5-point, and move one checker from your 6-point to your 5-point.
  • A 3-1 roll enables you to displace a checker from your heavily stacked 6-point. Unstacking heavy points is a high priority in your early game.

The Golden Point in Backgammon According to Backgammon Authors

Many backgammon authors have something to say about the golden point in backgammon:

  • “The one basic early tactic which should supersede all others is to do everything in your power to make both 5-points, especially your opponent's as soon as possible — as long as you hold this point you can afford daring manoeuvres.” from Paradoxes and Probabilities by Barclay Cooke.
  • “The most important points on the board on the two 5-points, your own and your opponents.” from On Backgammon by Phillip Martyn.
  • “The choice of making the bar-point or the five-point is a common one in backgammon, particularly during the opening stages of the game” according to Jeff Ward in Winning Is More Fun. “In almost all cases the correct play is to make the five-point.”
  • “You can gain a large measure of security throughout the game, however, by making a single point. This is your opponent's 5-point, called the Golden Point”, says Backgammon master Paul Magriel in Backgammon. “It is the most important point for you to establish in the game.” (Here Magriel is referring to your 20 point, known in modern terminology as the golden anchor).

Golden Point in Backgammon: Frequently Asked Questions

If you have arrived at this page to learn more about the golden point in backgammon, you may have the following questions.

What is the Golden Point in Backgammon?

We use the term “golden point” in backgammon to refer to your own 5-point. It is the most strategic point on the backgammon board. As early as possible, you will want to build on your 5-point and start creating a prime (blockade) in your home board to prevent your opponent from re-entering after being hit.

Where is the Golden Point in Backgammon?

Usually the 5-point for each player is referred to as the “golden point”. It is the 5th point of your backgammon board, and is located within your “home board”. The golden point in backgammon is the most strategic point on the backgammon board. Owning it will give you a considerable advantage.

5 Point Backgammon: What is It?

The 5 point backgammon is the the 5th point of your backgammon board and is located within your home board. It is also known as the “golden point, ” and securing it will give you a considerable advantage. It is the most strategic point on the board.

What is the Golden Anchor in Backgammon?

The term “golden anchor” refers to your 20-point (your opponent’s 5-point). When you fill the golden anchor, it makes it much harder for your opponent to build an effective prime in their home board.

Who Invented the Golden Point in Backgammon?

Backgammon master Paul Magriel coined the term “golden point” in his book “Backgammon” (1976). Magriel used the term golden point to refer to your 20-point, which is your opponent’s 5-point. However in modern terminology, “golden point” has come to mean “the 5-point” of both you and your opponent.

Why is the 5-Point Referred to as the Golden Point in Backgammon?

The 5-point is referred to as the Golden Point in backgammon because it is the most strategic point on the entire backgammon board. The term was invented by backgammon master Paul Magriel. If you can secure your 5-point and the 5-point of your opponent early in the game, it will give you a considerable advantage.

Bar Point in Backgammon: What is it?

The bar-point is the 7-point on your outer board. It is called the bar point because it is right next to the centre bar of the backgammon board. Together with the existing 6 and 8 points, if you fill the 7-point you can immediately make a three-point prime (blockade).

Backgammon More than 5 on a Point: Can you Do it?

There is no limit to the number of checkers you can place on one point. In fact the official tournament rules allow to put all 15 checkers on a point. However just because you can, doesn’t mean that you should. Wherever possible you should avoid “stacking” (piling too many pieces on one point.

How do Points Work in Backgammon?

When playing a match of backgammon, points are awarded in the following way: 1 for a single game, 2 for a gammon, and 3 for a backgammon. The winner of each game will receive the value of the game, multiplied by the value of the doubling cube. In match play, automatic doubles, beavers and the Jacoby Rule are not used.

What is the Best Roll in Backgammon?

The best opening roll to get in backgammon is 3 and 1. It means that in your very first move, you can claim your golden point (your 5-point). It is the most strategic point on the board and owning it so early in the game will give you a huge advantage.

What is Jacoby Rule in Backgammon?

The “Jacoby Rule,” which is named after Oswald Jacoby “allows gammons and backgammons to count for their respective double and triple values only if the cube has already been offered and accepted”. Used only in money play, the winner receives no extra credit for gammons or backgammons unless the doubling cube was used.

Is Backgammon a Game of Skill or Luck?

Backgammon is a game of skill because in the long run of match play and tournaments, the better player will usually win. However in a single game, random luck can make it possible for a beginner to beat an advanced player. Basically when you have dice, the element of luck plays a role.

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