Backgammon – Three Main Techniques

Wednesday, 20. September 2023

In very general terms, there are 3 chief techniques employed. You need to be able to hop between tactics quickly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of creating a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you are able to manage, to barricade in the opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most adequate course of action at the begining of the match. You can create the wall anyplace between your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your competitor on the bar. i.e., if your competitor rolls an early 2 and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then roll a five-five, you can play 6/1 six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your opponent is then in big-time dire straits because they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inner board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or more anchors in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor is a position occupied by at least 2 of your checkers.) It needs to be used when you are extremely behind as this strategy much improves your circumstances. The best areas for anchor spots are towards your opponent’s lower points and either on adjoining points or with a single point separating them. Timing is critical for a competent backgame: after all, there is no point having two nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break apart this straight away, while your challenger is getting their pieces home, owing to the fact that you do not have any other additional pieces to move! In this situation, it is better to have checkers on the bar so that you can preserve your position up until your competitor gives you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a wonderful idea to try and get your opposer to hit them in this situation!

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