Backgammon – Three Basic Plans

by Erin on January 10th, 2019

In exceptionally general terms, there are 3 basic strategies employed. You must be able to switch game plans instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of building a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you are able to achieve, to lock in the competitor’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable strategy at the start of the match. You can build the wall anyplace 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. For example, 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 will be able to play 6/1 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your opponent is then in big-time dire straits because they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inner board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have two or higher checkers in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at a minimum 2 of your checkers.) It needs to be played when you are decidedly behind as this action much improves your circumstances. The better places for anchor spots are close to your competitor’s smaller points and either on adjoining points or with one point separating them. Timing is integral for a competent backgame: besides, there’s 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 straight away, while your opposer is getting their checkers home, taking into account that you do not have other additional pieces to shift! In this case, it is more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up till your competitor gives you a chance to hit, so it will be an excellent idea to try and get your opponent to hit them in this situation!

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