Backgammon – Three Main Strategies

In extraordinarily simple terms, there are three general plans used. You need to be agile enough to switch game plans almost instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves creating a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at least as deep as you are able to manage, to lock in your competitor’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most adequate strategy at the start 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 advances.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as fast as possible while keeping your challenger on the bar. For example, if your opposer tosses an early two and shifts one piece from your one-point to your 3-point and you then roll a five-five, you can play six/one six/one eight/three eight/three. Your opposer is then in serious dire straits considering that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or more pieces in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at a minimum two of your checkers.) It needs to be employed when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your opportunities. The better locations for anchor spots are close to your opponent’s lower points and either on adjacent points or with a single point separating them. Timing is important for a powerful backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no reason having two nice anchors and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break up this straight away, while your competitor is moving their pieces home, owing to the fact that you don’t have any other extra checkers to move! In this situation, it is better to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up until your opponent provides you a chance to hit, so it will be an excellent idea to try and get your competitor to hit them in this case!

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