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Backgammon – 3 Basic Techniques

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In very general terms, there are 3 chief tactics used. You must be agile enough to hop between tactics quickly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of building a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you are able to achieve, to block in your competitor's pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable tactic at the begining of the game. You can assemble the wall anyplace between your 11-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your opposer on the bar. i.e., if your opposer tosses an early two and moves one checker from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you will be able to play six/one 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your competitor is now in big-time dire straits seeing that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or more anchors in your competitor's home board. (An anchor spot is a position filled by at a minimum 2 of your checkers.) It must be played when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your circumstances. The better places for anchor spots are towards your opponent's lower points and also on adjoining points or with a single point separating them. Timing is crucial 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 required to dismantle this straight away, while your challenger is getting their pieces home, because you do not have other extra checkers to shift! In this case, it is more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up till your challenger gives you a chance to hit, so it may be a great idea to try and get your opposer to hit them in this case!

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