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Backgammon – Three Basic Strategies

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

The Blockade

This consists of assembling a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you might manage, to lock in the competitor's checkers that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable tactic at the begining of the match. You can build the wall anyplace between your eleven-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as fast as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your opposer rolls an early two and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you can play 6/1 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your competitor is now in big-time trouble due to the fact that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or more pieces in your opponent's home board. (An anchor spot is a point consisting of at least 2 of your pieces.) It needs to be employed when you are decidedly behind as it greatly improves your opportunities. The better locations for anchors are near your opponent's lower points and also on abutting points or with one point in between. Timing is integral for a powerful backgame: besides, there's no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then required to break up this right away, while your challenger is moving their pieces home, seeing that you do not have any other spare checkers to move! In this case, it's more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you can preserve your position until your competitor provides you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a good idea to attempt and get your opposer to get them in this case!

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