Backgammon – Three General Strategies

Monday, 20. December 2021

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

The Blockade

This is comprised of assembling a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you can achieve, to barricade in your opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable tactic at the begining of the match. You can create the wall anywhere within your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This is comprised of locking your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your opponent on the bar. e.g., if your opposer rolls an early two and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you are able to play 6/1 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your opponent is then in big-time difficulty since they have two pieces on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have two or higher checkers in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor spot is a position filled by at least two of your checkers.) It should be played when you are significantly behind as it much improves your circumstances. The better areas for anchors are towards your competitor’s smaller points and either on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is crucial for a competent backgame: at the end of the day, there is no point having two nice anchors and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break down this right away, while your opponent is getting their checkers home, because you do not have any other additional checkers to move! In this case, it’s more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you can preserve your position until your competitor gives you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a good idea to attempt and get your competitor to get them in this situation!

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