Backgammon – Three Basic Strategies

[ English ]

In exceptionally general terms, there are three chief tactics employed. You need to be able to switch strategies almost instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of creating a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as deep as you can manage, to barricade in the opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most adequate strategy at the begining of the match. You can assemble the wall anywhere within your eleven-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This involves locking your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your opposer on the bar. For example, if your challenger rolls an early two and shifts one piece from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you are able to play six/one six/one eight/three 8/3. Your challenger is now in serious calamity considering that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or more anchors in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor is a position filled by at a minimum 2 of your checkers.) It needs to be played when you are significantly behind as it much improves your chances. The better areas for anchor spots are near your competitor’s lower points and either on adjacent points or with one point separating them. Timing is important for an effective 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 dismantle this straight away, while your challenger is shifting their pieces home, considering that you do not have any other spare checkers to shift! In this situation, it is more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up until your opposer provides you a chance to hit, so it can be a good idea to try and get your opposer to hit them in this situation!