Backgammon – Three Main Strategies

In extraordinarily simple terms, there are three basic tactics employed. You need to be able to switch techniques almost instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of creating a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you might achieve, to barricade in your competitor’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable course of action at the start of the game. You can assemble the wall anywhere within your 11-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your opponent on the bar. e.g., if your opponent tosses an early 2 and moves one piece from your one-point to your 3-point and you then roll a 5-5, you will be able to play six/one six/one 8/3 8/3. Your challenger is now in big-time trouble because they have two pieces on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have two or higher checkers in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a point filled by at a minimum 2 of your pieces.) It must be played when you are decidedly behind as it much improves your chances. The strongest places for anchor spots are near your competitor’s smaller points and either on adjacent points or with one point separating them. Timing is essential for a competent backgame: after all, there’s no point having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break up this right away, while your opponent is shifting their checkers home, seeing that you do not have other extra pieces to move! In this case, it is more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position up till your opponent gives you a chance to hit, so it will be an excellent idea to attempt and get your opposer to get them in this case!