Backgammon – Three Basic Techniques

Tuesday, 13. September 2022

In astonishingly simple terms, there are three basic tactics used. You want to be able to switch strategies instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of assembling a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you can achieve, to lock in your opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable course of action at the begining of the game. You can build the wall anywhere inbetween your 11-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This is composed of locking your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your opposer on the bar. e.g., if your challenger tosses an early two and shifts one checker from your 1-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you will be able to play 6/1 six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your challenger is then in big-time dire straits seeing that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or more checkers in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor is a point filled by at least 2 of your pieces.) It needs to be employed when you are decidedly behind as this action greatly improves your circumstances. The strongest areas for anchors are near your competitor’s smaller points and either on adjacent points or with one point in between. Timing is important for a powerful backgame: at the end of the day, there is no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to dismantle this right away, while your opposer is getting their pieces home, seeing that you don’t have any other additional checkers to shift! In this case, it is more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up until your opponent gives you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a good idea to attempt and get your challenger to get them in this situation!

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