Backgammon – 3 General Schemes

by Erin on June 6th, 2022

In extraordinarily general terms, there are 3 general strategies employed. You want to be agile enough to switch strategies quickly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of assembling a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you are able to achieve, to lock in your competitor’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most adequate course of action at the start of the match. You can assemble the wall anyplace between your eleven-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as fast as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your challenger rolls an early two and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you will be able to play six/one six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your opponent is now in serious calamity due to the fact that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or higher checkers in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a position filled by at least 2 of your pieces.) It needs to be played when you are decidedly behind as this strategy greatly improves your chances. The better areas for anchors are towards your competitor’s lower points and either on adjoining points or with a single point in between. Timing is important for a powerful backgame: besides, there is no reason having two nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to dismantle this straight away, while your competitor is getting their checkers home, taking into account that you do not have other spare checkers to move! In this case, it’s better to have pieces on the bar so that you might maintain your position until your opponent provides you a chance to hit, so it may be a good idea to attempt and get your opposer to hit them in this case!

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