Backgammon – Three General Techniques

[ English ]

In very simple terms, there are 3 fundamental plans employed. You need to be agile enough to switch strategies instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of building a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at least as deep as you might achieve, to lock in the opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most adequate tactic at the start of the match. You can assemble the wall anyplace between your 11-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This is comprised of closing your home board as fast as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. i.e., if your opponent rolls an early 2 and shifts one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you will be able to play six/one six/one eight/three eight/three. Your opponent is now in serious trouble since they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have 2 or more anchors in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a point occupied by at least two of your checkers.) It would be used when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your chances. The best areas for anchor spots are close to your competitor’s smaller points and also on abutting points or with a single point separating them. Timing is critical for a competent backgame: after all, there is no point having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to dismantle this straight away, while your opposer is moving their pieces home, taking into account that you do not have any other additional pieces to move! In this case, it is more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position until your opposer provides you a chance to hit, so it will be an excellent idea to attempt and get your opposer to hit them in this case!

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