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Backgammon – Three Basic Strategies

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In exceptionally general terms, there are three general strategies used. You need to be agile enough to switch techniques almost instantly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves assembling a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you are able to manage, to lock in your opponent's checkers that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most adequate strategy at the start of the game. You can assemble the wall anywhere inbetween your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This involves locking your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your competitor on the bar. i.e., if your opponent rolls an early two and moves one checker from your 1-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you can play six/one 6/1 eight/three eight/three. Your opposer is now in big-time dire straits because they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have 2 or more checkers in your opponent's inner board. (An anchor spot is a point occupied by at a minimum two of your checkers.) It should be used when you are extremely behind as this plan much improves your circumstances. The best locations for anchors are near your competitor's smaller points and also on adjoining points or with one point separating them. Timing is critical for a powerful backgame: besides, there's no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break down this right away, while your opponent is shifting their pieces home, taking into account that you don't have any other extra checkers to move! In this case, it is more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you might maintain your position up till your competitor gives you a chance to hit, so it can be an excellent idea to try and get your challenger to get them in this situation!

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