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Backgammon – 3 Main Strategies

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In very simple terms, there are three general game plans used. You must be able to hop between game plans instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of building a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you are able to achieve, to block in your opponent's pieces that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most acceptable strategy at the begining of the match. You can assemble the wall anywhere within your 11-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your opposer tosses an early 2 and moves one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you will be able to play 6/1 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your competitor is now in serious calamity 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 competitor's inner board. (An anchor is a position occupied by at a minimum two of your checkers.) It must be employed when you are decidedly behind as this action much improves your chances. The better places for anchors are towards your competitor's smaller points and also on abutting points or with one point separating them. Timing is integral for an effective backgame: after all, there's no point having two nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break down this right away, while your opposer is shifting their pieces home, owing to the fact that you do not have any other extra checkers to move! In this situation, it is better to have pieces on the bar so that you might maintain your position up till your challenger gives you a chance to hit, so it can be a great idea to try and get your challenger to hit them in this situation!

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