Five Basic Strategies in Backgammon

Five Basic Strategies in Backgammon

Below are the five basic strategies that are commonly used. There is a need to change strategies as the game progresses.

The Running Game

The most straightforward and commonly the most advisable strategy is the prevention of a hit, trap or falling into jointly unproductive stand-offs. This is advantageous when the player is leading in the race.

The Holding Game

While on the process of building his board, a point should be kept by a player, high in the board of his opponent or their bar point. Winning can be done when a player is able to hit an opponent's blot from the held point, or by spinning large doubles that permits players to break the point and get ahead of the race.

The Priming Game

A wall of checkers is built, or at the most you can manage in order to block the checkers of the opponent opposite the blockade. The wall can be built in any location between your 11-point and 2-point and then mix it up into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

The object of this strategy is to conclude your home board in the quickest possible way while holding your opponent on the bar.

The Backgame

This is a strategy of using more than two anchors in the home board of your opponent. (An anchor refers to a location inhabited by at least two of your checkers.) It is recommended when you are losing as it boosts your chances. The best position for anchors is towards the lower point of your opponent and either on parallel locations or with one location in between. An effective backgame requires critical timing: consequently, it's pointless to maintain a couple of anchors and a firm wall in your home board but you are forced to destroy it right away, while your opponent is bringing their checkers home, because you do not have enough checkers to manipulate. Having checkers on the bar is a better option in order to maintain your position until you are given a chance to hit by your opponent. It is a good idea to allow your checkers to be hit by your opponent.

Most people try the backgame at the start of the game, but this is a mistake. The probability of losing is greater with the strategy so it increases the likelihood of a loss if you are already losing.


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