Backgammon – Three Main Strategies

[ English ]

In astonishingly simple terms, there are three chief tactics employed. You need to be able to hop between strategies quickly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at a minimum as deep as you are able to manage, to lock in your opponent’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most acceptable course of action at the begining of the match. You can create the wall anyplace between your eleven-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This is comprised of locking your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your opponent on the bar. For example, if your challenger rolls an early two and moves one piece from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you can play six/one 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your opposer is then in big-time dire straits seeing that they have two pieces on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have 2 or more anchors in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It needs to be played when you are extremely behind as this action greatly improves your opportunities. The strongest places for anchors are near your competitor’s smaller points and also on adjacent points or with a single point in between. Timing is integral for an effective backgame: after all, there is no reason having two nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then required to break down this straight away, while your challenger is shifting their checkers home, owing to the fact that you do not have any other spare pieces to shift! In this situation, it’s better to have checkers on the bar so that you might preserve your position up till your opponent provides you a chance to hit, so it can be an excellent idea to try and get your opponent to hit them in this case!

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