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Early Game Strategy - The Blitz

If there were one fundamental backgammon strategy that really comes in handy in the early stages of a game then the blitz would be it. The blitz may occur right after the opening roll or during the very first few moves in a game's onset. You know that you can execute the blitz when you hit a blot or two, make home board points, and your opponent can't enter checkers. The blitz is a rather interesting and aggressive method of play.

There are notions that blitzes should start with one player rolling doubles and then hitting. The fact of the matter at hand is that you don't always need to roll a double to start a blitz as long as you are able to achieve the initial premise of this strategy.

It is quite obvious that the basis of the blitz is hitting and containing opposing checkers. One primary strength that a player should achieve in the early part of the game for a blitz to become completely effective is to make more home board points, at least three, in the very beginning. This will leave your opponent with only a 50% chance of entering any checker sent to the bar. In effect your opponent will have to play safe and conservatively. On the other hand, you will be given more freedom to make daring and bold moves.

Your objectives when gunning for a blitz will therefore have to be first to make home board points, second send more opposing checkers to the bar, and third is to bring up the rear (i.e. your back men) while your opponent is busy entering checkers. The player defending against a blitz will only want to make an anchor.

This is an interesting strategy in backgammon since it will constantly push your opponent and keep him busy. The only draw back is that this strategy commits you to the objectives that sometimes you take certain risks by leaving blots on the home board.

The next question is when do you offer the cube to your opponent. You'll know when you have an advantage in a blitz if you have made three home board points or your opponent is failing miserably when entering backgammon checkers from the bar. Your position on the board is further reinforced when you bring down builders from the mid-point.

Having made home board points, sending several checkers to the bar, and bringing down builders as threats constitute a powerful and nasty well-executed backgammon strategy. When perfectly executed, the blitz is a masterpiece of aggressive plays in backgammon.