Backgammon – Three General Strategies
October 30th, 2016 by Claudia
[ English ]

In very general terms, there are 3 general tactics used. You need to be able to hop between tactics quickly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves assembling a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you can manage, to lock in the opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most adequate course of action at the start of the match. You can create the wall anywhere inbetween your eleven-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your opposer tosses an early 2 and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you will be able to play six/one 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your opposer is then in big-time calamity since they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have two or more anchors in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at least two of your checkers.) It needs to be employed when you are extremely behind as it much improves your chances. The strongest places for anchors are close to your competitor’s smaller points and also on adjoining points or with a single point in between. Timing is integral for a competent backgame: besides, there’s no point having two nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to dismantle this straight away, while your opponent is moving their pieces home, taking into account that you do not have any other extra checkers to shift! In this situation, it is better to have checkers on the bar so that you can preserve your position up until your competitor gives you a chance to hit, so it can be a great idea to attempt and get your opposer to get them in this situation!

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