Backgammon – 3 Basic Strategies

Thursday, 8. January 2009

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In extraordinarily general terms, there are 3 basic game plans employed. You must be agile enough to switch strategies almost instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of assembling a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you are able to manage, to block in your opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most adequate course of action at the begining of the game. You can build the wall anyplace within your 11-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This is composed of locking your home board as fast as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. i.e., if your competitor tosses 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 6/1 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your competitor is now in serious trouble because they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inner board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or higher checkers in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at least two of your checkers.) It must be used when you are decidedly behind as this strategy greatly improves your circumstances. The best 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 an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break apart this right away, while your challenger is shifting their pieces home, taking into account that you don’t have any other additional pieces to shift! In this situation, it’s better to have checkers on the bar so that you might maintain your position until your opponent gives you a chance to hit, so it can be a great idea to attempt and get your opponent to get them in this case!

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