Backgammon – Three General Plans

In exceptionally simple terms, there are 3 basic tactics used. You need to be agile enough to switch techniques instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of building a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at a minimum as thick as you can achieve, to block in the competitor’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most adequate procedure at the begining of the game. You can create the wall anywhere inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. i.e., if your competitor tosses an early 2 and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you will be able to play six/one six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your challenger is now in big-time dire straits seeing that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have two or higher anchors in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at a minimum two of your pieces.) It must be played when you are significantly behind as it much improves your opportunities. The best locations for anchor spots are towards your competitor’s lower points and either on adjoining points or with a single point separating them. Timing is crucial for a powerful backgame: after all, there’s no reason having two nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break apart this straight away, while your challenger is moving their checkers home, owing to the fact that you do not have other extra pieces to shift! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you can preserve your position until your competitor gives you an opportunity to hit, so it can be an excellent idea to attempt and get your challenger to get them in this case!

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