Backgammon – Three Basic Techniques

In astonishingly general terms, there are three general techniques employed. You want to be agile enough to hop between game plans instantly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves creating a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you can manage, to block in the opponent’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable strategy at the begining of the match. You can create the wall anyplace between your 11-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as quick as possible while keeping your challenger on the bar. For example, if your opposer tosses an early 2 and moves one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you will be able to play six/one six/one eight/three eight/three. Your challenger is then in serious dire straits since they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have two or higher pieces in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at least two of your checkers.) It should be employed when you are significantly behind as this plan much improves your chances. The better places for anchor spots are close to your opponent’s lower points and also on adjacent points or with one point in between. Timing is crucial for a competent backgame: after all, there is no reason having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to dismantle this straight away, while your opposer is getting their checkers home, seeing that you do not have any other additional pieces to move! In this situation, it’s more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position up until your opponent provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a wonderful idea to try and get your competitor to get them in this situation!

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