Backgammon – Three Main Techniques
November 5th, 2021 by Claudia

In extraordinarily simple terms, there are three general tactics employed. You need to be agile enough to switch game plans instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves assembling a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at least as deep as you can manage, to barricade in your opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most suitable strategy at the begining of the match. You can assemble the wall anywhere inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as fast as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. i.e., if your opposer rolls an early 2 and shifts one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you will be able to play 6/1 six/one eight/three eight/three. Your competitor is then in big-time calamity seeing that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or more checkers in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at a minimum two of your pieces.) It should be employed when you are extremely behind as it much improves your circumstances. The better places for anchor spots are towards your competitor’s smaller points and also on adjacent points or with a single point in between. Timing is integral for a competent backgame: after all, there’s no reason having two nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then required to break down this straight away, while your competitor is getting their checkers home, seeing that you do not have any other spare checkers to move! In this case, it is more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you can maintain your position until your opponent provides you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a great idea to try and get your competitor to get them in this situation!

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