Backgammon – 3 Basic Strategies

Wednesday, 11. November 2020

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

The Blockade

This is composed of building a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you are able to manage, to block in your competitor’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most adequate tactic at the start of the match. You can create the wall anywhere inbetween your 11-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as quick as possible while keeping your challenger on the bar. i.e., if your competitor rolls an early two and shifts one checker from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then roll a 5-5, you are able to play six/one six/one 8/3 8/3. Your opponent is then in serious calamity seeing that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or higher anchors in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a position occupied by at least 2 of your checkers.) It would be played when you are decidedly behind as it greatly improves your chances. The better locations for anchor spots are towards your competitor’s smaller points and also on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is essential for a powerful backgame: after all, there is no reason having two nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then required to dismantle this right away, while your challenger is shifting their pieces home, because you do not have any other spare pieces to move! In this situation, it is more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you might preserve your position until your challenger gives you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a great idea to attempt and get your opposer to hit them in this situation!

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