Backgammon – 3 Basic Strategies

by Erin on February 9th, 2018

In extraordinarily simple terms, there are three main tactics used. You want to be able to switch game plans instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of building a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you might manage, to barricade in your opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most acceptable course of action at the start of the game. You can build the wall anyplace inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. e.g., if your challenger rolls an early 2 and moves one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you will be able to play six/one six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your challenger is now in serious trouble since they have two pieces on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or higher pieces in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It should be used when you are significantly behind as this plan greatly improves your circumstances. The best places for anchors are close to your competitor’s lower points and either on adjoining points or with one point separating them. Timing is essential for an effective backgame: after all, there’s no reason having two nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to dismantle this right away, while your opponent is getting their pieces home, seeing that you do not have other spare checkers to move! In this case, it is better to have checkers on the bar so that you can preserve your position up till your opponent gives you a chance to hit, so it may be a wonderful idea to try and get your opposer to get them in this case!

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