Backgammon – Three Basic Strategies

by Erin on July 21st, 2023

In extraordinarily general terms, there are three fundamental plans employed. You need to be agile enough to switch strategies instantly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of creating a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at a minimum as deep as you might achieve, to block in the opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most acceptable procedure at the begining of the game. You can build the wall anyplace inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as quick as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. i.e., if your opposer tosses an early 2 and shifts one piece from your one-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you can play 6/1 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your competitor is now in big-time difficulty because they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inner board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or more checkers in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a position filled by at a minimum two of your pieces.) It would be played when you are significantly behind as this action much improves your chances. The best places for anchors are towards your opponent’s lower points and either on adjoining points or with one point separating them. Timing is integral for a powerful backgame: after all, there is no point having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then required to break up this straight away, while your opposer is getting their checkers home, owing to the fact that you don’t have any other extra checkers to move! In this situation, it is more favorable to have pieces 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 great idea to try and get your challenger to get them in this situation!

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