White - Pips 159

Black to Play - 5-2

Black - Pips 158

 

CHECKER PLAY

RULE OF THUMB

Black to Play - 5-2

 

Don't stack your checkers. Especially in the early game, when you pile checkers up on one or two points that leaves you fewer options later to make points or hit your opponent and it also increases the odds that you will roll numbers that will force you to leave shots or force you to move your checkers to places that are not optimal in order for you to avoid leaving shots. The time to take chances is in the early game, before your opponent's inner board is so strong that getting hit becomes fatal.If you play safely (18/13 8/6) you are stacking up your checkers in a manner that will give you far fewer options to make points or hit on future rolls. Playing 18/13 6/4 is far too risky, as "direct shots" which can be hit with a number on a single die (6 or less) are much more likely to get hit. The best play, 18/11 is not likely to get hit, and if not hit you are very likely to make an excellent blocking point on your next roll.Remember that blocking points serve two purposes: they make it more difficult for your opponent to escape his back checkers, and they offer you a safe place to bring your checkers home after you have escaped your back checkers.