Backgammon – Three Main Techniques
December 13th, 2018 by Claudia
[ English ]

In very general terms, there are three fundamental game plans used. You need to be able to hop between strategies instantly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of assembling a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at a minimum as deep as you can achieve, to lock in the competitor’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most suitable strategy at the start of the match. You can assemble the wall anyplace inbetween your eleven-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This is comprised of closing your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. e.g., if your opponent rolls an early two and moves one checker from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you are able to play six/one six/one eight/three 8/3. Your competitor is now in big-time difficulty taking into account that they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or more pieces in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a point occupied by at least two of your checkers.) It should be played when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your circumstances. The strongest places for anchor spots are towards your competitor’s smaller points and either on abutting points or with a single point separating them. Timing is integral for an effective backgame: after all, there’s no point having two nice anchors and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to dismantle this right away, while your opposer is getting their pieces home, seeing that you don’t have any other spare pieces to shift! In this situation, it’s more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position until your challenger provides you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a good idea to attempt and get your challenger to hit them in this situation!

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