Backgammon – 3 Basic Strategies

Sunday, 17. May 2020

In exceptionally simple terms, there are three main tactics employed. You want to be able to switch strategies almost instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of assembling a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at a minimum as thick as you are able to manage, to barricade in your competitor’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most acceptable strategy at the start of the game. You can assemble the wall anyplace inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as fast as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. i.e., if your opponent rolls an early 2 and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you will be able to play 6/1 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your opponent is then in serious dire straits seeing that they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have two or higher anchors in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at a minimum 2 of your checkers.) It needs to be played when you are decidedly behind as it greatly improves your chances. The strongest areas for anchor spots are near your opponent’s lower points and either on adjacent points or with one point in between. Timing is integral for an effective backgame: besides, there’s no point having two nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to dismantle this right away, while your challenger is shifting their checkers home, owing to the fact that you do not have other extra pieces to move! In this case, it’s more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you can preserve your position up until your competitor provides you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a great idea to try and get your opponent to hit them in this case!

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