Backgammon – Three Main Strategies

by Erin on June 22nd, 2021

In very general terms, there are 3 basic plans employed. You need to be agile enough to hop between game plans quickly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves assembling a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you can manage, to block in the opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable procedure at the start of the game. You can assemble the wall anywhere within your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your opposer on the bar. For example, if your opposer tosses an early two and moves one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you are able to play six/one six/one 8/3 8/3. Your challenger is now in serious trouble because they have two pieces on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or higher pieces in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor spot is a point filled by at least 2 of your pieces.) It needs to be employed when you are extremely behind as this action much improves your circumstances. The better places for anchor spots are near your competitor’s smaller points and either on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is essential for a competent backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no point having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break up this right away, while your opposer is moving their checkers home, seeing that you don’t have any other additional checkers to move! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you might preserve your position up until your opposer provides you a chance to hit, so it will be a great idea to try and get your opponent to hit them in this situation!

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