Backgammon – Three Basic Strategies

In exceptionally simple terms, there are 3 general strategies employed. You want to be agile enough to hop between techniques instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at a minimum as thick as you are able to achieve, to barricade in the opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable course of action at the start of the match. You can create the wall anyplace within your 11-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as fast as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. For example, if your opponent rolls an early 2 and moves one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then roll a 5-5, you will be able to play six/one six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your opponent is then in serious calamity since they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have 2 or higher checkers in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It needs to be employed when you are decidedly behind as it much improves your opportunities. The better places for anchors are near your competitor’s smaller points and either on adjoining points or with a single point in between. Timing is integral for a powerful backgame: besides, there’s no reason having two nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break apart this straight away, while your competitor is moving their checkers home, because you do not have any other extra pieces to shift! In this situation, it is more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you might preserve your position up till your challenger provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a wonderful idea to attempt and get your opponent to get them in this case!

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