Backgammon – Three General Strategies

[ English ]

In astonishingly general terms, there are 3 basic tactics employed. You want to be able to hop between game plans almost instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of creating a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you might manage, to block in the opponent’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most acceptable strategy at the begining of the game. You can assemble the wall anywhere inbetween your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This is composed of locking your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your opposer on the bar. e.g., if your competitor tosses an early 2 and shifts one checker from your 1-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you will be able to play 6/1 six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your opposer is now in serious calamity because they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or more pieces in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at a minimum 2 of your checkers.) It needs to be played when you are decidedly behind as this plan much improves your opportunities. The best locations for anchor spots are close to your opponent’s smaller points and also on adjacent points or with a single point separating them. Timing is integral for a powerful backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no point having two nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break up this straight away, while your opposer is moving their pieces home, because you don’t have other spare checkers to move! In this situation, it’s better to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up till your opposer provides you a chance to hit, so it will be a great idea to attempt and get your opposer to get them in this case!

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