Backgammon – 3 General Strategies

by Erin on September 5th, 2023

In exceptionally general terms, there are 3 basic tactics employed. You need to be agile enough to switch game plans quickly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of creating a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you are able to achieve, to block in your opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most acceptable procedure at the start of the game. You can create the wall anywhere within your eleven-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your opponent on the bar. e.g., if your competitor rolls an early two and shifts one piece from your one-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you will be able to play 6/1 six/one eight/three 8/3. Your competitor is now in serious trouble considering that they have two pieces on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have two or higher anchors in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a point filled by at least two of your pieces.) It should be used when you are decidedly behind as this action greatly improves your opportunities. The better areas for anchors are close to your competitor’s lower points and also on abutting points or with one point in between. Timing is crucial for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no point having two nice anchors and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then required to dismantle this straight away, while your opposer is getting their pieces home, owing to the fact that you don’t have other spare checkers to shift! In this situation, it’s better to have pieces on the bar so that you can maintain your position until your challenger gives you a chance to hit, so it will be an excellent idea to try and get your competitor to hit them in this situation!

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