On his first move, Blue puts two red dots at risk of being taken. In the next turn Blue executes his threat and captures one of them.
Thanks to the dot located in the upper-right corner (the anchor), Blue is able to capture a red dot (or dots, if Red does not anticipate the danger) by means of the procedure known as ''building a ladder'' (see the animation below). Note that this attempt would be futile without the support point provided by the anchor.
In the initial position below Blue will not suceed in building a ladder, however, another procedure, called ''casting a net'', gives him an upper hand.
A pool is an empty space encircled by dots of the same color. As
the end of the game draws near, the available space for placing
dots on the board shrinks. Consequently, both players may find
themselves forced to place their dots in the pools (if there are
any). See variants
for applicability of this strategy under various rule sets.
The animation below illustrates several stages of a game in which Blue applies the strategy of playing for pools. In the first stages, Red tries to encircle blue dots, while Blue is busy building pools. Eventually, Red wins the battle and captures one blue dot. Nevertheless, near the end of the game Red is forced to place his dots in the blue pools thereby losing the war and the game.