Backgammon – Three Basic Strategies

In exceptionally general terms, there are three general plans employed. You must be able to hop between techniques almost instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of building a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you are able to manage, to block in your opponent’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable strategy at the start of the match. You can assemble the wall anyplace between your eleven-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This involves locking your home board as fast as possible while keeping your challenger on the bar. e.g., if your competitor rolls an early two and moves one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you can play six/one 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your competitor is now in big-time trouble due to the fact that they have two pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have 2 or higher anchors in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a point filled by at least two of your checkers.) It would be used when you are decidedly behind as this plan greatly improves your chances. The strongest places for anchors are close to your competitor’s lower points and either on adjacent points or with one point separating them. Timing is crucial for an effectual backgame: after all, there is no point 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 competitor is moving their checkers home, owing to the fact that you do not have other spare checkers to move! In this case, it is more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you might preserve your position up till your opponent gives you a chance to hit, so it will be a great idea to attempt and get your opposer to get them in this situation!

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