Backgammon – Three General Schemes

by Erin on January 28th, 2023

[ English ]

In extraordinarily general terms, there are 3 main game plans employed. You must be agile enough to switch tactics almost instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of creating a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you are able to achieve, to lock in your opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most acceptable strategy at the start of the game. You can assemble the wall anywhere between your eleven-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This is comprised of closing your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your competitor on the bar. i.e., if your competitor rolls an early 2 and shifts one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you will be able to play six/one 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your competitor is then in big-time difficulty considering that they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or higher pieces in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a position filled by at a minimum two of your checkers.) It must be employed when you are decidedly behind as this strategy much improves your chances. The best places for anchor spots are near your opponent’s smaller points and either on adjacent points or with one point separating them. Timing is crucial for an effectual backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no point having 2 nice anchors and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then required to break down this right away, while your competitor is shifting their pieces home, considering that you don’t have other spare checkers to shift! In this case, it’s better to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up until your competitor provides you a chance to hit, so it can be a great idea to try and get your opposer to hit them in this case!

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