Backgammon – 3 General Techniques

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

The Blockade

This consists of creating a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you might achieve, to lock in your competitor’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most adequate course of action at the start of the game. You can assemble the wall anywhere within your 11-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as quick as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. For example, if your challenger tosses an early two and moves one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you are able to play six/one 6/1 eight/three eight/three. Your challenger is then in big-time trouble taking into account that they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or more anchors in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It needs to be played when you are extremely behind as it much improves your circumstances. The strongest places for anchors are close to your competitor’s lower points and either on abutting points or with a single point separating them. Timing is important for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there is no point having two nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break down this straight away, while your challenger is moving their checkers home, considering that you don’t have any other spare pieces to shift! In this case, it is better to have checkers on the bar so that you can maintain your position up till your opposer gives you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a good idea to attempt and get your opposer to get them in this case!

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