The Back Game and Board Coverage
One of the toughest strategies a backgammon player can employ is the back game. The back game has been defined over and over as a strategy that players should only employ when they are significantly behind in the backgammon race. This may be true since there are players who would only switch to a back game when they no longer have any other choice.
This paints a grim picture about the general regard backgammon players have for the back game. But there are backgammon players who even deliberately use a back game against an opponent. These players have grasped the significant strategic potential a back game can offer.
For a back game to be a real success, you need to establish at least two anchors within your opponent's inner table. The idea behind the back game is to hit late in the game when you have made a lot of points on your home board thereby trapping the opposing checker you were able to hit.
This is not simple with a back game. To execute the perfect back game, you need to commit (at the very least) ten of your backgammon checkers to making points on your home board. That leaves you with very little to do anything else since you also have a couple of anchors on your opponent's home board.
Another piece of the back game dragnet is that you have to be at least 20 pips behind in the race. The last piece of the ominous puzzle is that you need to hit late in the game, meaning you'll be in waiting mode. You'll wait for your opponent to make a bad roll or a bad move and leave a blot or two exposed.
Here's where the gamble comes in, when is the right time to hit? The picture we just painted above shows the "perfect" back game. Well, this is not a perfect world, so we can't expect to get that every time.
One rule we can apply is to hit whenever the opportunity comes. The next thing we need to do is to supplement our back game with good coverage. Position the rest of your checkers all over the board for good coverage insomuch that they can hit the escaping checker again and again.
This bit of backgammon strategy works if you've already broken your prime at the home board. You can hit and build home board points along the way only if you have good coverage of the board. Position your checkers on key points like the bar-point, mid-point, and the 11-point to get that coverage.
A back game is a really powerful strategy when you add good coverage. Using the back game and coverage is really a huge gamble and works pretty well for those who love to challenge fate.