Backgammon – Three Basic Strategies

In very simple terms, there are 3 basic game plans employed. You need to be agile enough to switch techniques instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves creating a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you might manage, to barricade in the opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable procedure at the start of the game. You can create the wall anyplace inbetween your 11-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your challenger rolls an early 2 and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you can play 6/1 6/1 eight/three eight/three. Your opposer is then in big-time difficulty since they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or more checkers in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a point filled by at a minimum 2 of your checkers.) It must be used when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your circumstances. The better areas for anchor spots are towards your opponent’s lower points and also on adjoining points or with a single point in between. Timing is critical for a powerful backgame: after all, there’s no reason having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break down this straight away, while your opponent is moving their checkers home, because you do not have any other extra pieces to move! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you can maintain your position until your opposer provides you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a wonderful idea to attempt and get your competitor to hit them in this situation!

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