Backgammon – Three Main Strategies
September 7th, 2023 by Claudia

In exceptionally simple terms, there are 3 chief strategies employed. You need to be able to switch strategies quickly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

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

The Blitz

This is comprised of locking your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. e.g., if your challenger tosses an early 2 and moves one checker from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you are able to play 6/1 six/one eight/three 8/3. Your challenger is then in big-time trouble since they have two pieces on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or more pieces in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a point filled by at a minimum 2 of your pieces.) It should be played when you are significantly behind as it much improves your chances. The better locations for anchors are near your opponent’s lower points and also on abutting points or with a single point separating them. Timing is crucial for an effectual backgame: at the end of the day, there’s 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 straight away, while your competitor is moving their checkers home, seeing that you don’t have any other extra checkers to move! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you can maintain your position up till your challenger gives you a chance to hit, so it may be an excellent idea to attempt and get your opponent to get them in this case!

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