Backgammon – Three Main Strategies

Wednesday, 15. September 2021

In extraordinarily general terms, there are three fundamental strategies employed. You must be able to hop between strategies instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves assembling a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at least as deep as you are able to manage, to block in your competitor’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable procedure at the begining of the game. You can create the wall anywhere between your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your opponent on the bar. i.e., if your opponent rolls an early two and shifts one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you can play 6/1 six/one eight/three eight/three. Your opponent is now in big-time dire straits due to the fact that they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or higher anchors in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a position filled by at a minimum 2 of your pieces.) It would be played when you are extremely behind as it greatly improves your opportunities. The better locations for anchor spots are towards your opponent’s lower points and also on adjoining points or with a single point in between. Timing is critical for a powerful backgame: after all, there is no reason having two nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break apart this straight away, while your opposer is getting their pieces home, seeing that you don’t have any other spare checkers to move! In this situation, it’s more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you can maintain your position up until your opposer provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a wonderful idea to attempt and get your opposer to hit them in this situation!

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