Backgammon – 3 Basic Techniques

by Erin on November 11th, 2023

In astonishingly general terms, there are 3 basic techniques used. You need to be able to switch game plans instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of creating a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you might manage, to block in the opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most adequate course of action at the begining of the game. You can create the wall anyplace inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your opponent on the bar. For example, if your opposer rolls an early two and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you can play six/one 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your competitor is now in big-time trouble because they have two pieces on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or more anchors in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at least 2 of your checkers.) It would be played when you are significantly behind as it much improves your chances. The best places for anchors are near your opponent’s lower points and either on abutting points or with a single point separating them. Timing is essential for a competent 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 forced to break apart this straight away, while your opponent is shifting their checkers home, considering that you don’t have other additional checkers to shift! In this case, it’s more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you can maintain your position until your competitor provides you an opportunity to hit, so it may be an excellent idea to try and get your opponent to hit them in this situation!

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