Backgammon – 3 General Techniques
October 29th, 2015 by Princess

In exceptionally general terms, there are 3 chief techniques employed. You want to be agile enough to switch techniques almost instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of creating a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you might manage, to block in your opponent’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most suitable strategy at the start of the game. You can assemble the wall anyplace between your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as fast as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. i.e., if your challenger rolls an early 2 and moves one checker from your 1-point to your three-point and you then roll a five-five, you will be able to play 6/1 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your opponent is now in serious difficulty considering that they have two pieces on the bar and you have locked half your inner board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have two or more checkers in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a point filled by at least 2 of your checkers.) It would be employed when you are extremely behind as it much improves your chances. The best locations for anchors are close to your opponent’s smaller points and either on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is crucial for an effective backgame: after all, 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 opponent is shifting their checkers home, because you do not have any other spare pieces to shift! In this case, it’s more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you might preserve your position until your opponent provides you a chance to hit, so it may be a good idea to attempt and get your opposer to get them in this situation!

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