Backgammon – Three Basic Techniques

In exceptionally general terms, there are 3 general tactics employed. You want to be able to switch strategies almost instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of assembling a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you might achieve, to barricade in the competitor’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 inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your opposer on the bar. i.e., if your challenger tosses an early 2 and moves one piece from your one-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you can play 6/1 six/one 8/3 8/3. Your opponent is then in big-time difficulty because they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inner board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have two or higher pieces in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor is a position filled by at a minimum 2 of your checkers.) It needs to be employed when you are extremely behind as it much improves your circumstances. The better locations for anchor spots are close to your opponent’s smaller points and also on abutting points or with one point in between. Timing is essential for a powerful backgame: after all, there is no reason having two nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break apart this straight away, while your competitor is moving their pieces home, seeing that you don’t have any other extra pieces to shift! In this situation, it’s more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you can maintain your position up till your competitor provides you a chance to hit, so it may be an excellent idea to attempt and get your challenger to get them in this case!

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