Backgammon – 3 Main Schemes

by Erin on May 23rd, 2021

In very general terms, there are 3 general plans used. You need to be able to switch tactics almost instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at a minimum as thick as you can achieve, to barricade in your opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable tactic at the start of the match. You can create the wall anywhere within your 11-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your opponent on the bar. For example, if your opposer rolls an early 2 and moves one checker from your 1-point to your three-point and you then roll a five-five, you are able to play 6/1 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your challenger is now in big-time difficulty considering that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have 2 or more pieces in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It would be played when you are significantly behind as it much improves your circumstances. The strongest locations for anchor spots are near your opponent’s smaller points and either on adjoining points or with one point separating them. Timing is integral for a powerful backgame: after all, there is no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break apart this straight away, while your opponent is shifting their checkers home, because you do not have other spare checkers to shift! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position until your challenger gives you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a good idea to try and get your opponent to hit them in this situation!

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