Backgammon – Three General Strategies

Tuesday, 24. August 2021

In very general terms, there are 3 chief techniques employed. You want to be agile enough to switch techniques instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of creating a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you can achieve, to barricade in your competitor’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable strategy at the start of the match. You can assemble the wall anyplace inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This is composed of locking your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your opposer on the bar. For example, if your challenger rolls an early 2 and shifts one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you can play 6/1 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your opposer is now in serious calamity because they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or higher checkers in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at least 2 of your pieces.) It must be used when you are extremely behind as this action greatly improves your circumstances. The strongest areas for anchor spots are near your opponent’s lower points and either on abutting points or with one point in between. Timing is important for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there is no reason 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 moving their checkers home, considering that you do not have any other spare pieces to shift! In this case, it’s better to have pieces on the bar so that you might maintain your position up till your opposer gives you an opportunity to hit, so it will be an excellent idea to attempt and get your challenger to hit them in this situation!

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