Backgammon – 3 Basic Schemes

by Erin on January 9th, 2021

[ English ]

In astonishingly general terms, there are three main techniques used. You need to be agile enough to switch game plans instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of creating a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at a minimum as deep as you might manage, to block in your competitor’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable strategy at the start of the match. You can create the wall anywhere between your 11-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as fast as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. For example, if your opposer rolls an early 2 and shifts one piece from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a five-five, you will be able to play 6/1 six/one 8/3 8/3. Your opponent is now in big-time trouble taking into account that they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or more pieces in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor is a position filled by at least two of your checkers.) It should be played when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your chances. The better locations for anchor spots are near your opponent’s smaller points and also on abutting points or with one point in between. Timing is crucial for a powerful backgame: after all, there’s no point having 2 nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break up this right away, while your challenger is getting their pieces home, seeing that you don’t have any other spare pieces to shift! In this situation, it’s better to have checkers on the bar so that you can maintain your position up until your challenger gives you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a great idea to try and get your competitor to hit them in this case!

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