Backgammon – Three Basic Strategies

In astonishingly general terms, there are three fundamental strategies used. You want to be able to switch tactics instantly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you might manage, to barricade in the opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable tactic at the begining of the game. You can create the wall anywhere inbetween your eleven-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This is composed of locking your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your opponent on the bar. i.e., if your opposer rolls an early 2 and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then roll a five-five, you are able to play six/one 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your competitor is then in big-time dire straits taking into account that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have two or higher pieces in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at a minimum 2 of your checkers.) It would be employed when you are decidedly behind as it greatly improves your opportunities. The strongest places for anchors are near your opponent’s smaller points and either on adjoining points or with a single point in between. Timing is important for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no reason having two nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break apart this straight away, while your opposer is getting their pieces home, because you don’t have any other extra checkers to move! In this case, it’s more favorable 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 a wonderful idea to try and get your competitor to hit them in this case!

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