Backgammon – Three Basic Schemes

by Erin on August 6th, 2018

In very general terms, there are 3 basic strategies employed. You need to be able to hop between game plans quickly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of creating a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at a minimum as deep as you can achieve, to lock in your opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most adequate course of action at the start of the game. You can create the wall anyplace within your 11-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This is comprised of locking your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. i.e., if your competitor rolls an early two and shifts one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then roll a five-five, you can play 6/1 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your opposer is then in big-time difficulty seeing that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or more pieces in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor spot is a point consisting of at least 2 of your pieces.) It must be employed when you are extremely behind as this plan much improves your circumstances. The strongest areas for anchors are near your competitor’s smaller points and either on abutting points or with one point in between. Timing is integral for a powerful backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no reason having 2 nice anchors and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break up this right away, while your challenger is moving their checkers home, taking into account that you don’t have any other spare pieces to move! In this case, it is more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you might preserve your position up until your competitor provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a great idea to attempt and get your opposer to hit them in this case!

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