Backgammon – 3 Main Techniques

Saturday, 27. February 2016

In astonishingly general terms, there are three chief strategies used. You need to be able to switch game plans quickly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of building a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at least as deep as you are able to achieve, to block in the competitor’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable procedure at the begining of the match. You can create the wall anywhere within your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This is comprised of closing your home board as fast as possible while keeping your challenger on the bar. For example, if your opponent rolls an early 2 and moves one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you will be able to play 6/1 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your competitor is then in serious dire straits taking into account that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or higher pieces in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a position occupied by at a minimum two of your pieces.) It should be played when you are decidedly behind as it greatly improves your opportunities. The strongest places for anchor spots are near your competitor’s smaller points and either on adjacent points or with a single point in between. Timing is integral for an effective backgame: after all, there is no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break down this right away, while your competitor is getting their pieces home, taking into account that you don’t have any other additional checkers to shift! In this case, it is better to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position until your challenger provides you a chance to hit, so it can be a good idea to try and get your opposer to hit them in this case!

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