Backgammon – 3 Main Strategies

Tuesday, 30. May 2023

In extraordinarily general terms, there are 3 general techniques employed. You want to be agile enough to switch game plans quickly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of creating a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you can manage, to barricade in the competitor’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most acceptable strategy at the begining of the match. You can create the wall anyplace between your 11-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your opponent on the bar. e.g., if your challenger tosses an early two and moves one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you can play 6/1 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your competitor is now in big-time dire straits because they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or more anchors in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at a minimum two of your checkers.) It needs to be used when you are extremely behind as it greatly improves your opportunities. The better locations for anchor spots are near your opponent’s lower points and either on adjacent points or with one point in between. Timing is important for an effective backgame: after all, there’s no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break up this straight away, while your opponent is moving their checkers home, considering that you do not have other additional checkers to shift! In this situation, it is more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you can preserve your position up until your challenger provides you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a good idea to attempt and get your competitor to get them in this case!

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