Backgammon – 3 Basic Strategies

[ English ]

In exceptionally general terms, there are three main plans used. You must be agile enough to hop between strategies quickly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of building a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you might achieve, to barricade in the opponent’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most acceptable tactic at the begining of the match. You can build the wall anyplace within your 11-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your opposer on the bar. For example, if your opponent rolls an early two and shifts one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you will be able to play 6/1 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your challenger is now in serious dire straits taking into account that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or higher checkers in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at a minimum 2 of your pieces.) It must be employed when you are decidedly behind as this action much improves your opportunities. The strongest areas for anchors are close to your competitor’s lower points and also on adjacent points or with one point in between. Timing is crucial for an effectual backgame: besides, there is no reason having 2 nice anchors and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break down this straight away, while your competitor is moving their checkers home, because you do not have any other spare checkers to shift! In this case, it’s better to have pieces on the bar so that you can maintain your position up until your challenger gives you a chance to hit, so it will be a great idea to try and get your opponent to get them in this case!

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