Backgammon – 3 General Techniques

In exceptionally general terms, there are three chief game plans employed. You must be able to switch game plans almost instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of assembling a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you might manage, to block in the opponent’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most adequate strategy at the begining of the match. You can assemble the wall anywhere between your eleven-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your competitor on the bar. i.e., if your competitor tosses an early two and moves one piece from your one-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you will be able to play 6/1 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your opponent is now in big-time calamity taking into account that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have 2 or more checkers in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at least 2 of your pieces.) It would be played when you are extremely behind as this strategy greatly improves your opportunities. The best places for anchors are towards your competitor’s smaller points and either on adjoining points or with a single point separating them. Timing is crucial for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there is no reason having two nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break down this right away, while your challenger is moving their pieces home, considering that you don’t have any other additional pieces to shift! In this case, it’s more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position until your competitor gives you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a wonderful idea to attempt and get your opposer to get them in this situation!

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