Backgammon – 3 General Schemes

by Erin on July 15th, 2017

In astonishingly general terms, there are 3 chief strategies employed. You must be agile enough to switch techniques quickly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of assembling a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at a minimum as deep as you are able to manage, to lock in your opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable course of action at the start of the game. You can build the wall anyplace between your eleven-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your challenger on the bar. i.e., if your opponent tosses an early 2 and moves one piece from your 1-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you can play six/one six/one eight/three 8/3. Your competitor is then in big-time difficulty taking into account that they have two pieces on the bar and you have locked half your inner board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or higher pieces in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It needs to be played when you are extremely behind as it greatly improves your opportunities. The strongest places for anchors are towards your opponent’s smaller points and also on adjacent points or with one point in between. Timing is essential for an effectual backgame: after all, there is no reason having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break down this right away, while your competitor is getting their pieces home, because you don’t have any other spare pieces to shift! In this case, it is more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you might preserve your position up until your opposer gives you a chance to hit, so it can be a wonderful idea to attempt and get your competitor to hit them in this situation!

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