Backgammon – 3 General Techniques

Sunday, 3. September 2023

In astonishingly general terms, there are 3 chief techniques used. You want to be able to hop between strategies instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of creating a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you can achieve, to lock in the competitor’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable procedure at the start of the game. You can create the wall anywhere between your 11-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your opponent on the bar. For example, if your competitor rolls an early two and moves one piece from your one-point to your 3-point and you then roll a five-five, you can play 6/1 6/1 eight/three eight/three. Your challenger is now in serious difficulty taking into account that they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or more pieces in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor is a position filled by at least 2 of your checkers.) It needs to be played when you are decidedly behind as this plan much improves your opportunities. The best areas for anchor spots are close to your opponent’s lower points and either on adjacent points or with a single point separating them. Timing is crucial for a powerful backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no reason having 2 nice anchors and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then required to dismantle this straight away, while your challenger is moving their checkers home, seeing that you don’t have other extra checkers to shift! In this situation, it is better to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up till your opposer provides you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a wonderful idea to attempt and get your opposer to hit them in this situation!

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