Backgammon – Three General Schemes

by Erin on September 24th, 2023

In extraordinarily simple terms, there are 3 basic tactics employed. You must be able to hop between game plans quickly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of creating a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you are able to manage, to lock in your competitor’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable tactic at the begining of the match. You can create the wall anyplace inbetween your eleven-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This involves locking your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your challenger tosses an early two and moves one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then roll a 5-5, you will be able to play 6/1 6/1 eight/three eight/three. Your opposer is then in big-time difficulty since they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or more checkers in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a point filled by at least 2 of your checkers.) It needs to be employed when you are significantly behind as this action greatly improves your circumstances. The best locations for anchors are close to your competitor’s smaller points and either on adjacent points or with a single point in between. Timing is crucial for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no point having two nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then required to break down this right away, while your opposer is shifting their checkers home, taking into account that you don’t have any other spare pieces to shift! In this situation, it is more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up until your challenger provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a good idea to attempt and get your challenger to hit them in this situation!

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