Last updated on April 14, 2021
Beginner’s guide. How to play backgammon.
In this Deluxe Backgammon post, we take a closer look at the most exciting strategy in backgammon, the blitz. We will look to add additional guides to other backgammon strategies in the future. In this article, as per normal, when we are talking about securing a position, it means making a point.
The backgammon blitz is a thrilling and spectacular strategy. There is no faster way to win a game than a successfully executed blitz. It also can result in a win by a large margin, often by a gammon and sometimes even backgammons. Keep this in mind when doubling, it can often pay off to defer on a double if a gammon is likely. The world blitz comes from the German word blitzkrieg, which means ‘lightning war’. The definition of a blitzkrieg is an overwhelming all-out attack, especially a swift ground attack using armoured units and air support. Although in backgammon, we lack the armoured units and the air support, we certainly have the checkers to launch the ground attack.
A blitz instantly becomes a battle of nerves. After your initial hit, your opponent is desperately trying to get a foothold in your home board, but you hit them again and again regardless of the risk to your own checkers. As you bring more builders down from your mid-point you leave a series of blots ready to launch the next attack on your inner board. As spectacular and thrilling a blitz is, it can also backfire. If your opponent secures an anchor in your home board, they can launch a counter-offensive at the lone checkers in your outer board.
When to attack
So, when do you launch a blitz? There are several things to consider. Firstly, there needs to be the opportunity to hit one or more of your opponent’s pieces in your home board. Ideally, one or more of these checkers will fail to re-enter giving you time to reinforce your home board by securing points or to hit another loose checker. When your opponent’s checkers are trapped on the bar, it buys you time to secure your position or to hit another piece.
Is your home board equal to or more established than your opponent? In a blitz you must be prepared for a counter-attack, if your opponent’s home board is more secure than yours then they have a better chance of re-entering than you. Ideally, you will have your 5 and 6-points secure, blocking two points of re-entry. As you move forward you will hit and secure more points. Ultimately, you will close the board leaving your opponent with checkers stuck on the bar. Once this happens the chances of a gammon or better increase.
You will also have builders waiting in your outer board. These will be waiting to hit your opponent’s pieces as they re-enter or be ready to secure points to help close out the board. Doing this will mean leaving a number of blots in your outer board exposed, but well worth the risk in this aggressive strategy. Without the builders, you will lack the ammunition to maintain a sustained attack and with a blitz strategy, you need to be relentless until you have closed the board.
A blitz is an exciting strategy, which won’t always go your way. It requires an aggressive persistence to work in your favour and of course a decent slice of luck with the dice rolls. If the circumstances prevail, go ahead and try a blitz in your next game with your premium backgammon set.
Backgammon rules are available on this link.