Backgammon – 3 General Techniques

by Erin on August 2nd, 2021

In exceptionally simple terms, there are 3 chief game plans employed. You want to be agile enough to hop between strategies quickly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of building a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at a minimum as thick as you might manage, to barricade in your competitor’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable tactic at the start of the match. You can build the wall anyplace within your 11-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as fast as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your challenger tosses an early two and shifts one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a five-five, you can play 6/1 six/one eight/three 8/3. Your competitor is then in serious difficulty considering that they have two pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or higher anchors in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a point occupied by at a minimum 2 of your checkers.) It should be played when you are significantly behind as this strategy much improves your opportunities. The best locations for anchors are close to your opponent’s smaller points and also on abutting points or with one point in between. Timing is crucial for a competent backgame: at the end of the day, there is no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to dismantle this straight away, while your challenger is shifting their pieces home, owing to the fact that you do not have any other extra checkers to move! In this case, it is more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you might preserve your position up until your competitor gives you an opportunity to hit, so it can be an excellent idea to try and get your opposer to hit them in this case!

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