The strategy is super important in Blokus. Since it’s an abstract game, like Chess, a solid strategy can make a huge difference in playing the game.
However, there are a ton of different options for moves. This makes it a lot harder to figure out a strategy that can be repeated each time and give you good results. In that sense, Blokus is more comparable to Go than Chess.
This guide will demystify the strategies that work well in Blokus and will definitely improve your chances of winning games.
Understanding Piece Value
Before we jump straight into what blocks are worth, just figuring out what to call each piece can be difficult. Here is a good list of what each is usually called:
It’s pretty easy to figure out which piece most of these are referring to. However, there are a few that are not straightforward. Here is a great guide to the pieces and their names.
For a solid strategy, we have to determine what each block is worth. There are really two ways to look at this:
- Small pieces are more valuable since they can fit into the small spaces at the end of the game
- Large pieces are valuable because they take up more spaces and give you more corners to work with
Either way you look at it, the strategy is the same. Using your larger pieces with more corners first is paramount. For instance, using the “W” or “S” as a starting move is great.
This will also save the smaller pieces for the late game. Which is perfect since the smaller, normal shaped pieces are easier to fit into the spaces later in the game.
Early Game Strategy
Openings in this game are not very hotly debated. There are two things that make any opening a decent one:
- Start with a large piece with lots of corners
- Quickly move toward the center
With that said, there is one opening seems to be the most efficient opening to play: the Barasona opening.
Here’s how the Barasona opening works:
- Place the “F” piece in your corner
- Connect the “X” to the corner of the “F”
- Connect the “W” so that it connects to both open parts of the “X”
- Connect the “P” onto the “X”
This is pretty much the best know opening to play. There are probably better ones, especially based on the situation, but this one will consistently give good results.
There isn’t much difference between the mid and late game. The goals are to build spots for the pieces you have left and attack opponents at the same time.
Here are a few things to focus on in the mid/late game:
- Make sure you have many radiating corners to choose from in your lines
- Find spots where your currently unplaced pieces will fit, hold on to them, and put them down only when you have to
- Try to keep territory but allow others to break in if you have routes to other territories
Overall, this section is the hardest to nail down a solid strategy. These few ideas should allow you to place most, if not all of your pieces.
Sticking to these strategies should win a lot of games. Specifically, the Barasona opening is an extremely useful strategy in the game.
Here are a few great resources for diving deeper into Blokus strategy: