Backgammon – Three Main Schemes

by Erin on November 26th, 2020

In astonishingly simple terms, there are 3 chief strategies employed. You must be able to hop between strategies instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of creating a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at a minimum as deep as you are able to manage, to barricade in your competitor’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most acceptable procedure at the begining of the game. You can assemble the wall anywhere inbetween your eleven-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your opposer on the bar. e.g., if your competitor tosses an early 2 and moves one piece 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 opponent is then in big-time dire straits considering that they have two pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have 2 or more checkers in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at a minimum two of your pieces.) It would be used when you are decidedly behind as it greatly improves your opportunities. The best places for anchors are close to your competitor’s lower points and also on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is integral for an effective 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 forced to break apart this straight away, while your opponent is moving their checkers home, seeing that you do not have any other spare pieces to move! In this situation, it is more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you can maintain your position up till your opposer provides you a chance to hit, so it may be a good idea to attempt and get your challenger to get them in this situation!

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