Backgammon – 3 Basic Schemes

by Erin on May 1st, 2016

In very general terms, there are three basic strategies used. You need to be able to switch tactics 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 located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable tactic at the begining of the game. You can build the wall anywhere inbetween your eleven-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. i.e., if your opposer rolls an early two and shifts one piece from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you are able to play six/one 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your competitor is now in big-time dire straits since they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have 2 or more pieces in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor is a point occupied by at least two of your checkers.) It needs to be played when you are significantly behind as this plan greatly improves your chances. The strongest locations for anchor spots are close to your opponent’s smaller points and either on adjacent points or with one point in between. Timing is critical for an effective backgame: besides, there’s no reason having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break up this straight away, while your opponent is moving their pieces home, taking into account that you do not have any other extra checkers to shift! In this case, it’s better to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up until your opponent gives you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a good idea to try and get your opposer to get them in this situation!

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