Backgammon – 3 Main Strategies
June 1st, 2020 by Claudia

In exceptionally general terms, there are 3 main strategies used. You must be able to switch game plans instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you can manage, to block in the competitor’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable course of action at the start of the game. You can build the wall anywhere inbetween your 11-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your opponent on the bar. i.e., if your opponent tosses an early two and shifts one piece from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a five-five, you can play six/one 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your opponent is then in serious dire straits since they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have locked half your inner board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have 2 or higher anchors in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor is a position occupied by at a minimum 2 of your checkers.) It needs to be played when you are extremely behind as this action greatly improves your opportunities. The best locations for anchors are close to your opponent’s smaller points and either on abutting points or with one point in between. Timing is essential for a competent backgame: at the end of the day, there is no point having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break down this right away, while your competitor is getting their pieces home, seeing that you don’t have any other additional checkers to move! In this situation, it is more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you can preserve your position up until your competitor provides you a chance to hit, so it may be a great idea to attempt and get your competitor to get them in this case!

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