Backgammon – Three Basic Plans

by Erin on October 12th, 2022

In very general terms, there are three fundamental tactics employed. You must be able to hop between techniques instantly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves creating a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you are able to manage, to barricade in your opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable course of action at the start of the game. You can create the wall anywhere between your eleven-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This is comprised of locking your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your opposer on the bar. e.g., if your challenger tosses an early two and shifts one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then roll a five-five, you will be able to play six/one six/one eight/three eight/three. Your opponent is now in serious difficulty considering that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have 2 or higher anchors in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a point occupied by at least two of your pieces.) It must be employed when you are extremely behind as this plan much improves your chances. The best places for anchors are near your competitor’s lower points and either on adjacent points or with one point separating them. Timing is important for an effectual backgame: after all, there is no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to dismantle this straight away, while your challenger is shifting their checkers home, considering that you do not have any other additional pieces to shift! In this case, it is better to have checkers on the bar so that you can preserve your position until your challenger provides you a chance to hit, so it may be an excellent idea to try and get your opposer to hit them in this situation!

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