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Backgammon – Three Main Strategies

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In astonishingly general terms, there are three general plans used. You want to be able to switch game plans almost instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of creating a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you might manage, to barricade in the opponent's checkers that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable procedure at the start of the match. You can assemble the wall anywhere inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This is comprised of locking your home board as fast as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. e.g., if your opponent rolls an early two and shifts one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you will be able to play six/one six/one eight/three eight/three. Your opposer is then in big-time difficulty taking into account that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have 2 or higher pieces in your opponent's home board. (An anchor spot is a point occupied by at least 2 of your pieces.) It needs to be played when you are extremely behind as it much improves your circumstances. The best locations for anchor spots are close to your competitor's lower points and also on adjacent points or with a single point in between. Timing is important for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there is no point having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then required to break down this right away, while your opposer is moving their checkers home, considering that you don't have any other extra checkers to shift! In this situation, it's better to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up until your challenger provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be an excellent idea to try and get your competitor to hit them in this situation!

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