Two Considerations Before Doubling on the Blitz

The blitz is one of the most exciting strategies ever employed at a game of backgammon. We shall discuss a different aspect of the blitz - doubling. When we have a good blitz going on, when is the good time to offer a double? And when would it be a total disaster if we do double? We'll look at two basic items we need to consider before we offer a double when running a blitz.

Let's start with a little overview of the blitz. Just like what the name implies, the blitz is an aggressive strategy, wherein a player will hit enemy pieces as much as possible. The objectives of this strategy is pretty simple:

a) Hit the opponent as much as you can b) Keep those enemy checkers at the home board or at the bar if possible c) Make as many points on your own home board and move the rest of the checkers while leaving the enemy trapped, and then bear off leaving the enemy far behind.

Let's say we're running a blitz, and everything seems to go smoothly, the next question is - when do we offer to double? Do we declare a double when we have achieved one or two objectives? Let's consider a few things before we offer a double when running a blitz in a game of backgammon.

One of the very first things we ought to be considering is the number of points we already have on our home board. Moving our men to the home board and trapping the enemy is very critical to our blitz strategy. Let's say we only have one or two points at our home board that's covered (i.e. occupied by 2 or more checkers). This may not be an ideal time to declare a double.

Offering a double when we only have one or two points covered at the home board would be too premature. The opponent's checkers can easily escape the little barricade we've set up. The ideal would be to have at least 3 points covered (covering more points would be a whole lot better). With this we can be a lot more sure of a good block and a tougher barricade for your opponent to crack.

Let's move on to the next point we need to cover. Another item we need to check are the enemy checkers stuck at the bar. An ideal blitz would have at least one enemy checker stuck at the bar (though that is not always possible it is a good idea to have a try at it).

Because the chances for escape of one checker may be quite likely, most experts would recommend (as much as possible) to have one or more enemy checkers stuck at the bar. When an enemy checker/checkers fail to enter from the bar, this is a good indication to double.

Remember, check your home board points, and see if our opponent's checkers are pretty stuck at the bar or the home board. These are 2 basic things we need to consider when we plan to offer a double when running the blitz.

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