Backgammon – 3 General Techniques

Sunday, 10. January 2016

[ English ]

In exceptionally general terms, there are three general tactics used. You must be agile enough to hop between game plans instantly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of assembling a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you might manage, to barricade in the opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most suitable strategy at the begining of the game. You can build the wall anywhere inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your challenger on the bar. For example, if your challenger rolls an early two and shifts one checker from your 1-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you are able to play 6/1 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your challenger is then in serious trouble taking into account that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have two or higher checkers in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It must be used when you are significantly behind as this action much improves your opportunities. The best locations for anchor spots are near your competitor’s smaller points and also on adjoining points or with a single point in between. Timing is integral for a competent backgame: after all, there’s no point having two nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then required to break down this right away, while your competitor is getting their pieces home, owing to the fact that you do not have other additional checkers to move! In this case, it is more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you can maintain your position until your challenger provides you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a good idea to try and get your opposer to hit them in this situation!

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