Mid-point vs. Anchor Holding Game Variation

One particular type of holding game is called the mid-point vs. anchor. Let's take a look at the elements at play in this particular variation of the holding game.

Like other variations of the holding game, the mid-point vs. anchor also plays on waiting for a good shot at an open checker or making a good run for it facilitated by a double role on the dice. But the particular things we'd like to see in the mid-point vs. anchor is what can the underdog can do in this variation of the holding game.

The mid-point vs. anchor variation is one of the most typical holding games players will see in backgammon. We can pretty much surmise that the situation faced by both players is much the same. The game is on an equal slate and that the condition of each player's game plan is pretty mutual.

Any player can say that a holding game has turned into the mid-point vs. anchor variation when one of the players' points is situated at the outfield or specifically at the mid-point. Another distinct characteristic (and one that is quite debated on) is that the other player would have a high anchor.

Of course, both players would have most of their checkers on or at the edge of their respective home boards. The high anchor would most likely be on the opponent's 5 point or anywhere close and the mid-point should be located somewhere in the other opponent's outer board.

As an example let's say one player has all of his checkers at the home board except for the back men. In this holding game this player has his back men past the opponent's prime and is sitting on the 13 point. His opponent would almost have the same situation except that he has a high anchor at the 5 point.

This is a good striking distance whatever the other player rolls, if he splits the back men (i.e. doesn't make a point) the high anchor checkers can make a successful hit any time (it may even send both checkers to the bar).

In this example the player with the high anchor becomes the underdog. In spite of this, he still has a good game going on. Any roll short of a double on the dice would send the back men back to the bar. Remember the key to any holding game is patience.

The player on the mid-point can take his chances about not getting hit and make a good run for it when he rolls high. Another option is to wait for a double roll on the dice and make a point. A third option is to play a waiting game and just continue to build the home board.

The player with the high anchor in this particular holding game only has two options. First is to build his prime at the home board and do a waiting game. And when the other player in the mid-point vs. anchor holding game leaves the back men open then he strikes.

In this holding game example, since the player with the mid-point anchor has a slight advantage he may opt to offer a double. Which is not a bad move. The player with the high anchor may accept since he still has a pretty good chance to turn things around.

The mid-point vs. anchor holding game is a game that would test a player's patience and luck. Understanding the elements at play and what the chances at winning are facilitates good strategy.