Backgammon – 3 General Techniques

In exceptionally general terms, there are 3 fundamental techniques used. You want to be able to hop between tactics quickly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of creating a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you are able to achieve, to barricade in your opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most adequate strategy at the begining of the game. You can create the wall anywhere inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as fast as possible while keeping your challenger on the bar. i.e., if your opponent tosses an early 2 and shifts one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you are able to play six/one six/one 8/3 8/3. Your competitor is then in big-time difficulty because they have two pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or more pieces in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a point filled by at least 2 of your checkers.) It needs to be employed when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your opportunities. The strongest locations for anchor spots are close to your opponent’s smaller points and also on adjacent points or with one point in between. Timing is essential for an effectual backgame: besides, there’s no reason having two nice anchors and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break apart this straight away, while your challenger is shifting their checkers home, because you do not have any other spare pieces to shift! In this situation, it’s more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you can preserve your position up till your opposer gives you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a great idea to attempt and get your competitor to get them in this case!

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