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Backgammon – 3 General Strategies

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In very simple terms, there are three main plans used. You need to be able to hop between tactics quickly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of building a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at a minimum as deep as you can achieve, to barricade in the opponent's checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most acceptable procedure at the begining of the match. You can create the wall anyplace within your 11-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. For example, if your opponent tosses an early 2 and moves one checker from your 1-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you can play six/one six/one 8/3 8/3. Your opposer is now in serious calamity since they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have 2 or higher anchors in your competitor's inner board. (An anchor spot is a position occupied by at least 2 of your pieces.) It should be played when you are extremely behind as it greatly improves your opportunities. The strongest areas for anchors are towards your opponent's smaller points and also on adjoining points or with one point separating them. Timing is critical for a competent backgame: besides, there's no point having two nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break down this straight away, while your opposer is moving their pieces home, because you don't have any other extra pieces to shift! In this situation, it's better to have pieces on the bar so that you might preserve your position up until your opponent provides you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a wonderful idea to try and get your opposer to hit them in this case!

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