Backgammon – 3 Basic Strategies

by Erin on July 21st, 2017

In very simple terms, there are three main game plans employed. You need to be agile enough to switch tactics quickly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of assembling a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at a minimum as thick as you might manage, to block in your opponent’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most acceptable tactic at the start of the game. You can create the wall anyplace inbetween your eleven-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as fast as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your opposer tosses an early two and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you can play six/one six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your opponent is now in big-time difficulty since they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or more checkers in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at a minimum two of your pieces.) It must be employed when you are significantly behind as it much improves your circumstances. The strongest areas for anchors are towards your opponent’s smaller points and also on adjoining points or with a single point separating them. Timing is important for an effective backgame: besides, there’s no reason having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break down this straight away, while your challenger is moving their checkers home, taking into account that you don’t have any other spare checkers to shift! In this situation, it’s more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position until your opponent gives you a chance to hit, so it can be a good idea to attempt and get your competitor to get them in this situation!

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