Backgammon – 3 Basic Plans

by Erin on November 19th, 2017

In very general terms, there are three basic strategies used. You want to be agile enough to switch tactics almost instantly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you are able to manage, to barricade in your opponent’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most adequate course of action at the start of the match. You can assemble the wall anyplace between your 11-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as fast as possible while keeping your challenger on the bar. For example, if your challenger rolls an early 2 and moves one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then roll a five-five, you will be able to play 6/1 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your opposer is now in big-time trouble because they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have two or higher pieces in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a point filled by at least two of your checkers.) It would be used when you are significantly behind as this strategy greatly improves your opportunities. The better locations for anchor spots are towards your competitor’s lower points and either on abutting points or with a single point in between. Timing is crucial for an effectual backgame: at the end of the day, there is no point having 2 nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then required to break down this right away, while your competitor is moving their pieces home, seeing that you don’t have any other additional checkers to move! In this situation, it’s more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you can maintain your position up till your challenger provides you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a good idea to attempt and get your opponent to get them in this situation!

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