Backgammon – 3 General Schemes

by Erin on October 26th, 2015

In astonishingly general terms, there are three basic strategies used. You must be able to switch game plans quickly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of creating a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you can achieve, to block in the competitor’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable procedure at the begining of the game. You can build the wall anywhere within your 11-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This is composed of locking your home board as fast as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. i.e., if your competitor tosses an early two and moves one piece from your 1-point to your three-point and you then roll a five-five, you can play six/one 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your opposer is now in big-time calamity since they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or more pieces in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at a minimum two of your checkers.) It must be played when you are extremely behind as it greatly improves your opportunities. The strongest areas for anchors are close to your competitor’s lower points and either on adjoining points or with a single point separating them. Timing is essential for a powerful backgame: besides, there’s no point having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break up this right away, while your opponent is shifting their checkers home, owing to the fact that you don’t have any other extra checkers to move! In this situation, it is more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you can maintain your position up till your opponent gives you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a good idea to try and get your challenger to get them in this situation!

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