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Backgammon – 3 Basic Strategies

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In extraordinarily general terms, there are 3 chief plans used. You must be able to switch strategies quickly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of creating a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you are able to manage, to block in the opponent's pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most adequate course of action at the begining of the match. You can build the wall anywhere within your eleven-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as quick as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. e.g., if your challenger rolls an early two and moves one checker from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you can play six/one six/one eight/three 8/3. Your opposer is now in serious dire straits taking into account that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or more checkers in your competitor's home board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at least 2 of your checkers.) It needs to be played when you are decidedly behind as it greatly improves your opportunities. The strongest areas for anchors are close to your opponent's lower points and also on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is critical for an effective backgame: besides, there is no reason having two nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to dismantle this right away, while your opposer is moving their checkers home, seeing that you do not have any other extra checkers to move! In this case, it's better to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up until your opposer provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be an excellent idea to try and get your challenger to hit them in this case!

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