Backgammon – Three Basic Plans

by Erin on May 7th, 2022

In very general terms, there are 3 main game plans employed. You need to be agile enough to switch game plans almost instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of assembling a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you are able to manage, to barricade in the competitor’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most suitable procedure at the begining of the match. You can assemble the wall anyplace within your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This is comprised of locking your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your competitor on the bar. For example, if your challenger rolls an early two and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you will be able to play six/one six/one eight/three 8/3. Your challenger is then in big-time difficulty considering that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have two or higher anchors in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a point filled by at a minimum two of your checkers.) It needs to be played when you are significantly behind as this plan greatly improves your circumstances. The better locations for anchor spots are near your opponent’s lower points and either on adjacent points or with one point in between. Timing is integral for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no point having two nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then required to dismantle this right away, while your challenger is moving their checkers home, taking into account that you don’t have any other extra checkers to shift! In this situation, it’s better to have checkers on the bar so that you might preserve your position until your challenger provides you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a great idea to attempt and get your opponent to get them in this case!

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