Backgammon – 3 Main Plans

by Erin on April 14th, 2020

In exceptionally simple terms, there are three general game plans used. You want to be able to hop between techniques instantly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you can achieve, to lock in the competitor’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most acceptable tactic at the begining of the match. You can create the wall anyplace inbetween your 11-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

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

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have 2 or more anchors in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at least 2 of your checkers.) It would be employed when you are significantly behind as this plan greatly improves your opportunities. The strongest areas for anchor spots are near your opponent’s lower points and also on adjacent points or with a single point separating them. Timing is critical for an effective backgame: after all, there’s no reason having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break apart this right away, while your challenger is shifting their pieces home, because you do not have any other spare pieces to shift! In this case, it’s better to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position up till your opposer provides you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a wonderful idea to try and get your competitor to hit them in this case!

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