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11 Opening rolls. (Backgammon)

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This article is from the Backgammon FAQ, by Mark Damish damish@ll.mit.edu with numerous contributions by others.

11 Opening rolls. (Backgammon)

From: kwoolsey@netcom.com (Kit Woolsey)
Subject: Re: What are the best ways to play the opening rolls?
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 1995 05:19:43 GMT


Now, on the what I believe is an accurate synopsis of the 15 possible
opening rolls:

2-1: The slotting play 13/11, 6/5 and the splitting play 24/23, 13/11,
the two most common plays, seem to be about equal. Nothing else is a
serious contender.

3-1: 8/5, 6/5 is obviously the only play.

4-1: The splitting play 24/23, 13/9 has come out clearly superior to
the slotting play 13/9, 6/5. Probably the reason is that with the
builder on the 9 point there are so many good pointing numbers next
turn anyway that you don't need the 5 point slotted.

5-1: The splitting play 24/23, 13/8 has come out a bit better than the
slotting play 13/8, 6/5. A third less common alternative, 24/18, came
out clearly worse.

6-1: The obvious 13/7, 8/7 is correct. Magriel's experiment of 13/7,
6/5 is awful.

3-2: The splitting play 24/21, 13/11 came out a bit better than
building with 13/10, 13/11.

4-2: 8/4, 6/4 of course.

5-2: The normal play for years has been 13/11, 13/8. However the newer
splitting play, 24/22, 13/8, (shunned because of the crushing 5-5
threat) has come out a bit better. The slotting play of 13/8, 6/4
(which used to be my choice) did not survive the rollouts -- it was
clearly inferior.

6-2: The splitting play of 24/18, 13/11 comes out fairly clearly
superior. Running with 24/16 is 2nd, but the run isn't far enough.
Slotting with 13/5 (a common choice several years ago) was definitely
in third place.

4-3: The building play of 13/10, 13/9 and the common splitting play of
24/20, 13/10 were just about tied. The alternative split of 24/21,
13/9 was only a little behind.

5-3: The simple 8/3, 6/3 is clearly best. The once common 13/10, 13/8
has been found vastly inferior.

6-3: The splitting 24/18, 13/10 comes out best, but the running play
of 24/15 is not too far behind.

5-4: Splitting with 24/20, 13/8 and building with 13/9, 13/8 come out
quite close (that builder on the 9 point is powerful), with the split
generally a tiny bit better. 24/15 is weaker still.

6-4: Both running with 24/14 and splitting with 24/18, 13/9 are about
equal. However the once laughed at 8/2, 6/2 has reared its head as a
serious contender and comes out about equal with the other choices --
nice play to try if you get familiar with it, since your opponent
probably won't be.

6-5: The simple 24/13 is clearly better than any other possibilities.


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