Backgammon – Three Basic Strategies
May 1st, 2021 by Princess

In very simple terms, there are three fundamental plans used. You must be agile enough to hop between techniques quickly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of building a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you can achieve, to lock in the competitor’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most suitable strategy at the begining of the game. You can create the wall anywhere between your 11-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This is composed of locking your home board as quick as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your opposer rolls an early two and moves one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then roll a five-five, you can play 6/1 six/one eight/three eight/three. Your challenger is then in big-time trouble seeing that they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or higher checkers in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a point consisting of at a minimum 2 of your pieces.) It must be used when you are decidedly behind as it much improves your chances. The better areas for anchor spots are towards your opponent’s smaller points and either on abutting points or with a single point separating them. Timing is crucial for an effectual backgame: at the end of the day, there is no point having two nice anchors and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break apart this right away, while your opponent is moving their pieces home, because you don’t have any other spare pieces to shift! In this situation, it is better to have pieces on the bar so that you might preserve your position up until your challenger gives you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a good idea to try and get your competitor to hit them in this situation!

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