Backgammon – Three General Strategies

In exceptionally general terms, there are 3 basic strategies used. You must be agile enough to switch game plans instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of creating a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you are able to achieve, to block in the opponent’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most adequate tactic at the begining of the game. You can create the wall anyplace inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This is comprised of locking your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. For example, if your challenger rolls an early 2 and shifts one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then roll a five-five, you are able to play 6/1 six/one eight/three 8/3. Your opponent is then in big-time difficulty taking into account that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have 2 or higher pieces in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a point consisting of at least two of your checkers.) It should be used when you are decidedly behind as it much improves your chances. The better places for anchors are near your competitor’s lower points and also on adjacent points or with one point in between. Timing is essential for a competent backgame: after all, there is no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break apart this straight away, while your opposer is moving their pieces home, considering that you do not have any other additional pieces to shift! In this case, it’s better to have pieces on the bar so that you might maintain your position up till your opponent provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a great idea to try and get your challenger to hit them in this case!

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