Backgammon – Three Basic Techniques
January 2nd, 2024 by Princess

In exceptionally general terms, there are three general tactics used. You need to be able to switch strategies quickly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you might manage, to lock in the competitor’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable course of action at the begining of the match. You can assemble the wall anywhere within your eleven-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This is comprised of locking your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. e.g., if your opponent tosses an early 2 and shifts one piece from your one-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you are able to play six/one 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your challenger is now in big-time trouble due to the fact that they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have 2 or higher anchors in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor is a point filled by at least two of your checkers.) It should be used when you are extremely behind as this action greatly improves your circumstances. The strongest places for anchors are close to your competitor’s smaller points and also on adjoining points or with a single point in between. Timing is important for a competent backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no point having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break up this straight away, while your challenger is shifting their pieces home, because you do not have any other extra checkers to shift! In this case, it is more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you might maintain your position up till your opposer provides you a chance to hit, so it will be a good idea to attempt and get your challenger to hit them in this case!

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