Backgammon – Three General Strategies

by Erin on December 16th, 2016

In very simple terms, there are three general game plans employed. You must be agile enough to switch game plans instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of building a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at a minimum as thick as you are able to achieve, to block in your competitor’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable procedure at the start of the game. You can assemble the wall anywhere inbetween your eleven-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This involves locking your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. i.e., if your competitor tosses an early two and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then roll a 5-5, you are able to play six/one six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your challenger is now in big-time dire straits taking into account that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or higher checkers in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It needs to be employed when you are extremely behind as it much improves your opportunities. The best places for anchors are towards your competitor’s lower points and also on adjacent points or with one point in between. Timing is critical for an effective backgame: after all, there is no point having two nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break up this right away, while your competitor is getting their checkers home, because you do not have other spare checkers to move! In this case, it is better to have pieces on the bar so that you might maintain your position until your challenger provides you a chance to hit, so it may be a great idea to attempt and get your challenger to get them in this case!

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