Backgammon – Three General Strategies

In astonishingly simple terms, there are 3 basic strategies employed. You want to be agile enough to switch strategies almost instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you might achieve, to block in your competitor’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most acceptable strategy at the begining of the game. You can assemble the wall anywhere within your 11-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. For example, if your competitor rolls an early 2 and shifts one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you can play six/one 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your competitor is then in serious trouble due to the fact that they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or higher checkers in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a point filled by at least two of your pieces.) It must be employed when you are decidedly behind as it much improves your chances. The best locations for anchors are near your opponent’s smaller points and either on abutting points or with a single point separating them. Timing is essential for a powerful backgame: at the end of the day, there is no point having two nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break apart this right away, while your challenger is getting their pieces home, owing to the fact that you do not have any other additional pieces to shift! In this situation, it is better to have pieces on the bar so that you can maintain your position up until your challenger provides you a chance to hit, so it will be an excellent idea to try and get your opponent to get them in this case!

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