Backgammon – Three Main Strategies

In very general terms, there are three chief plans used. You must be able to hop between tactics quickly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of creating a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you are able to manage, to lock in the opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable procedure at the start of the match. You can create the wall anyplace between your 11-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quick as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. i.e., if your challenger tosses an early 2 and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then roll a five-five, you will be able to play 6/1 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your challenger is then in big-time difficulty considering that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or higher pieces in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at a minimum two of your pieces.) It must be employed when you are decidedly behind as it greatly improves your circumstances. The strongest areas for anchor spots are towards your competitor’s smaller points and also on abutting points or with one point separating them. Timing is integral for a powerful backgame: after all, there’s no point having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break down this straight away, while your competitor is shifting their pieces home, taking into account that you do not have any other extra checkers to shift! In this case, it’s better to have pieces on the bar so that you can preserve your position up till your opposer gives you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a good idea to try and get your opposer to get them in this case!

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