Backgammon – 3 Basic Techniques

by Erin on September 16th, 2015

In extraordinarily general terms, there are three main plans used. You must be agile enough to switch tactics almost instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you can achieve, to lock in the opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable tactic at the start of the game. You can build the wall anyplace between your 11-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. i.e., if your opponent tosses an early two and shifts one checker from your 1-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you can play 6/1 six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your opposer is now in serious difficulty because they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have two or more checkers in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a point consisting of at a minimum two of your pieces.) It should be employed when you are extremely behind as this strategy much improves your chances. The better places for anchor spots are towards your competitor’s smaller points and also on abutting points or with a single point in between. Timing is essential for a competent backgame: besides, there’s no point having 2 nice anchors and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break up this right away, while your opposer is shifting their pieces home, taking into account that you do not have other spare pieces to move! In this case, it’s more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you might maintain your position until your opposer gives you an opportunity to hit, so it may be an excellent idea to try and get your opponent to hit them in this case!

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