Backgammon – Three General Strategies

Saturday, 18. June 2022

In extraordinarily simple terms, there are three main tactics employed. You need to be able to hop between techniques quickly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you can manage, to block in your competitor’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable course of action at the start of the game. You can build the wall anyplace inbetween your 11-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This is comprised of closing your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. e.g., if your opponent rolls an early 2 and moves one piece from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you can play 6/1 six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your opposer is then in big-time trouble considering that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have 2 or more anchors in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a position occupied by at least 2 of your pieces.) It must be played when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your opportunities. The strongest areas for anchors are near your opponent’s lower points and either on adjoining points or with a single point separating them. Timing is critical for an effectual backgame: after all, there’s no point having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then required to break up this straight away, while your opposer is getting their checkers home, owing to the fact that you do not have any other spare checkers to move! In this case, it is more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you might maintain your position up until your competitor provides you an opportunity to hit, so it may be an excellent idea to attempt and get your competitor to hit them in this case!

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