Backgammon – Three Main Strategies
November 1st, 2015 by Claudia

In astonishingly simple terms, there are 3 fundamental game plans employed. You need to be able to switch tactics quickly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of assembling a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you are able to achieve, to block in your opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most adequate tactic at the begining of the match. You can build the wall anywhere within your 11-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This is composed of locking your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. i.e., 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 will be able to play six/one six/one eight/three 8/3. Your opponent is now in big-time dire straits considering that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or higher pieces in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a position filled by at least two of your pieces.) It must be played when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your circumstances. The strongest locations for anchors are near your competitor’s lower points and either on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is integral for an effective backgame: besides, 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 down this right away, while your challenger is shifting their pieces home, seeing that you don’t have any other extra checkers to move! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you might preserve your position until your opponent gives you a chance to hit, so it may be a wonderful idea to attempt and get your challenger to hit them in this situation!

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