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Arrow Games and strategy
 
There are three basic ways in which a game of backgammon can unfold, or three 'types' of game. The running game, the blocking game and the back game. The type of game you find yourself playing will be largely determined by your own and your opponent's strategy from the very first move. Basically the principle is when you are ahead, advance as fast a you can, when you are behind, trail as long as you can.

The running game

 

In the running game you try to out-race your opponent, getting your pieces home and off the board before he does. The running game, which relies heavily on the luck of the dice, is a good opening strategy if you get several high throws at the start of the game. Keep a low profile, protecting your pieces by moving them to points you hold, and when reduced to two on a point, move them together when you roll doubles.

The blocking game

In the block game, try to block your opponent at every turn, closing points whenever possible, spreading your pieces out in groups of two over the board, the ultimate goal being a prime, which is impossible to break through. This is a defensive game that gradually switches to a racing game to bring your pieces home.

The back game

The back game is a spoiler's game. Instead of racing ahead, you try to  keep your pieces on your opponent's home table, especially on the 1-point and the 2-point. You even try to get hit so that you can re-enter in your opponent's home area and close as many points as possible, thus making it impossible for your opponent to bear off.

The strategy

Having established the one and three points on your opponents board, you must maintain your timing. You must not be forced to relinquish either of those points until the opportunity is given to you of hitting a blot. Thus, for preference, you need more than four men back in order to be able to play men around the middle board while waiting for the blot to appear. Otherwise you will find that you are having to play men down in your home board (i.e. off your six and five points down to the one and two points), and so losing them.

 

 

 
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