Backgammon – 3 General Strategies

In exceptionally general terms, there are 3 chief plans used. You need to be able to switch techniques instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of assembling a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you are able to achieve, to barricade in your competitor’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable strategy at the start of the match. You can build the wall anywhere between your eleven-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your opposer on the bar. For example, if your opposer rolls an early 2 and moves one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you are able to play six/one 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your competitor is now in big-time dire straits taking into account that they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have 2 or more anchors in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at a minimum two of your pieces.) It needs to be played when you are extremely behind as it greatly improves your opportunities. The best areas for anchor spots are towards your opponent’s lower points and either on abutting points or with a single point in between. Timing is critical for an effective backgame: after all, there’s no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break down this straight away, while your opposer is moving their pieces home, considering that you don’t have any other additional checkers to move! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you can preserve your position up till your opposer provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be an excellent idea to attempt and get your opposer to get them in this case!

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