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Backgammon – Three General Strategies

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In very general terms, there are 3 chief techniques used. You need to be agile enough to switch game plans almost instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of assembling a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep 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 adequate procedure at the begining of the game. You can build the wall anywhere between your 11-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This is composed of locking your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. e.g., if your competitor tosses an early two and moves one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you are able to play 6/1 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your challenger is then in big-time dire straits because they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or more checkers in your opponent's home board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It needs to be used when you are significantly behind as this strategy greatly improves your chances. The better places for anchor spots are near your competitor's smaller points and also on adjacent points or with one point separating them. Timing is essential for an effectual backgame: after all, there's no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to dismantle this right away, while your challenger is moving their pieces home, seeing that you do not have any other extra checkers to move! In this case, it is more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you can preserve your position up till your opposer provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a good idea to try and get your opponent to get them in this case!

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