Backgammon – 3 General Strategies

In astonishingly simple terms, there are three main plans used. You want to be able to switch game plans almost instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves creating a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you can manage, to barricade in the opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most adequate course of action at the start of the match. You can assemble the wall anyplace inbetween your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quick as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. For example, if your opposer tosses an early two and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you can play six/one six/one eight/three 8/3. Your opponent is now in serious difficulty since they have two pieces on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or higher checkers in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor is a point occupied by at a minimum two of your pieces.) It would be played when you are significantly behind as this plan greatly improves your chances. The best places for anchor spots are towards your opponent’s lower points and either on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is integral for an effectual backgame: after all, there’s no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to dismantle this right away, while your opposer is getting their checkers home, seeing that you do not have any other extra pieces to shift! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you might preserve your position up until your opponent provides you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a good idea to try and get your competitor to hit them in this case!

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