Backgammon – 3 General Techniques

Sunday, 22. October 2023

In astonishingly general terms, there are three fundamental plans employed. You want to be agile enough to switch strategies almost instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of building a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you can manage, to barricade in the competitor’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most acceptable tactic at the begining of the game. You can assemble the wall anyplace inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This is comprised of closing your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your opposer tosses an early 2 and moves one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then roll a five-five, you will be able to play six/one 6/1 eight/three eight/three. Your opponent is then in serious difficulty taking into account that they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or higher anchors in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at a minimum 2 of your pieces.) It must be played when you are significantly behind as it much improves your opportunities. The strongest places for anchors are near your competitor’s lower points and also on adjoining points or with a single point in between. Timing is integral for a competent backgame: besides, there is no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break down this right away, while your opponent is shifting their checkers home, seeing that you do not have any other additional pieces to move! In this situation, it’s better to have checkers on the bar so that you can preserve your position up until your opponent gives you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a great idea to attempt and get your opposer to get them in this case!

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