Tactics - Building Blocks of Backgammon Strategy
When we deal with backgammon tactics, we refer to a specific plan of action that is limited in scope and achieves only a part of the overall strategy. The tactics in backgammon would be moves made in the game that achieve specific but smaller goals in the game.
Such backgammon tactics will include controlling (or owning) points on the board. You can make points either by using double rolls or slotting points. Other backgammon tactics are hitting blots and escaping any cornered checkers. These will basically constitute an overall backgammon strategy.
One of the fundamental backgammon tactics is to hit blots on the backgammon board. Blots are checkers standing alone on a point. It is perfectly fine to hit blots when your opponent has no opportunity to hit back. Hitting blots in the opening is perfectly safe even if the opponent has an opportunity to hit back. During the opening, your opponent doesn't have enough home board points to hinder any of your checkers sent to the bar. The Blitz is a strategy that is based on aggressive hitting of your opponent's blots.
Making points is another backgammon tactic that is part of any strategy. All it takes to make or own points on the board is to place at least two of your checkers on a point. Each point you make becomes a roadblock to your opponent's checkers. There are opening rolls in backgammon that allow you to own points from the very beginning (e.g. a 3-1 opening roll).
Obviously, the most convenient way to own points is when you make double rolls. You can move checkers on the points that are stacked two checkers at a time and own points. Other than using double rolls, another way of making points on the backgammon board is to slot points. Slotting is done by placing one checker on a point, thus making a blot of your own, and covering that blot with another checker on your next turn. The idea is that you can't always make double rolls thus slotting becomes a valuable alternative backgammon tactic.
Another fundamental tactic in backgammon is to escape cornered checkers. If there are checkers that will be at the receiving end of all the attacks it will be your back checkers or any other checker cornered by your opponent. Any development you make will be seriously impaired if your trailing checkers are cornered and are unable to move forward. One good tip will be not to leave your trailing checkers more than six points behind your leading backgammon checkers.
These backgammon tactics are the building blocks for all strategies used in the game. If you are able to achieve short-term objectives through such tactics you are progressing forward to achieve the ultimate goal, which is to win the game and consequently the whole match.