Backgammon – 3 Main Schemes

by Erin on July 1st, 2023

In extraordinarily simple terms, there are 3 main plans used. You want to be able to hop between techniques almost instantly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of building a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you might achieve, to lock in the opponent’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most acceptable strategy at the start of the game. You can build the wall anyplace inbetween your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your competitor on the bar. i.e., if your opponent tosses an early two and moves one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you can play 6/1 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your opposer is now in serious dire straits seeing that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or higher anchors in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a position filled by at a minimum 2 of your checkers.) It should be employed when you are significantly behind as this strategy much improves your chances. The strongest locations for anchors are close to your competitor’s lower points and either on adjoining points or with one point separating them. Timing is integral for a competent backgame: at the end of the day, there is no reason having two nice anchors and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break up this right away, while your competitor is shifting their pieces home, because you do not have any other extra pieces to shift! In this situation, it’s more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up until your opposer provides you a chance to hit, so it will be a great idea to attempt and get your challenger to get them in this situation!

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