Many different approaches have been applied to constraint satisfaction. These range from complete backtracking algorithms to sophisticated distributed configurations. However, most research effort in the field of constraint satisfaction algorithms has concentrated on the use of a single algorithm for solving all problems. At the same time, a consensus appears to have developed to the effect that it is unlikely that any single algorithm is always the best choice for all classes of problem. In this paper we argue that an adaptive approach should play an important part in constraint satisfaction. This approach relaxes the commitment to using a single algorithm once search commences. As a result, we claim that it is possible to undertake a more focused approach to problem solving, allowing for the correction of bad algorithm choices and for capitalising on opportunities for gain by dynamically changing to more suitable candidates.