Backgammon – 3 Basic Techniques

In extraordinarily general terms, there are three basic techniques employed. You need to be able to switch tactics quickly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves assembling a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you might manage, to lock in your competitor’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable strategy at the begining of the game. You can create the wall anywhere between your eleven-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This involves locking your home board as fast as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. For example, if your opposer tosses an early two and shifts one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you can play 6/1 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your competitor is then in big-time calamity because 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 pieces in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a point consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It needs to be used when you are extremely behind as this action much improves your opportunities. The strongest places for anchors are close to your competitor’s smaller points and also on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is crucial for an effectual backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no reason having two nice anchors and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then required to break apart this straight away, while your opponent is getting their checkers home, because you don’t have other additional pieces to shift! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position until your competitor provides you a chance to hit, so it may be an excellent idea to try and get your competitor to hit them in this case!

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