Backgammon – 3 Basic Plans

by Erin on September 17th, 2023

In very general terms, there are 3 general game plans used. You want to be agile enough to switch tactics quickly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of assembling a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at a minimum as thick as you can achieve, to block in your opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable course of action at the begining of the game. You can build the wall anyplace between your 11-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your opposer on the bar. i.e., if your challenger rolls an early 2 and shifts one piece from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a five-five, you can play 6/1 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your competitor is now in serious trouble seeing that they have two pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have 2 or higher pieces in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a point consisting of at least 2 of your pieces.) It would be employed when you are decidedly behind as it much improves your circumstances. The strongest locations for anchor spots are towards your opponent’s lower points and also on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is critical for a competent backgame: besides, there is no point having 2 nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break apart this right away, while your opponent is shifting their checkers home, taking into account that you do not have any other spare checkers to shift! In this situation, it is more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you can preserve your position until your competitor provides you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a good idea to try and get your opposer to get them in this situation!

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