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Backgammon – 3 General Strategies

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In very general terms, there are 3 chief tactics employed. You want to be able to hop between strategies quickly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of creating a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you are able to achieve, to block in your competitor's pieces that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable course of action at the begining of the match. You can assemble the wall anyplace within your 11-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This involves locking your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your competitor on the bar. i.e., if your opposer tosses an early 2 and moves one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you can play six/one 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your challenger is now in serious difficulty considering that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or higher anchors in your opponent's inner board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at a minimum 2 of your pieces.) It should be used when you are significantly behind as this action much improves your opportunities. The better places for anchor spots are towards your competitor's smaller points and also on adjacent points or with one point separating them. Timing is important for a powerful backgame: after all, there's no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then required to break up this right away, while your opposer is getting their pieces home, taking into account that you do not have other additional checkers to shift! In this situation, it is more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position up until your challenger gives you an opportunity to hit, so it may be an excellent idea to attempt and get your opponent to hit them in this situation!

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