Backgammon – Three Basic Plans

by Erin on November 1st, 2023

In exceptionally simple terms, there are three general plans used. You want to be agile enough to switch techniques instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of assembling a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at a minimum as thick as you are able to achieve, to barricade in the opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable course of action at the start of the game. You can create the wall anywhere between your eleven-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as fast as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. i.e., if your competitor tosses an early two and shifts one piece from your one-point to your 3-point and you then roll a 5-5, you are able to play 6/1 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your challenger is then in serious difficulty taking into account that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have 2 or more pieces in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a point consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It needs to be employed when you are decidedly behind as it much improves your opportunities. The better places for anchor spots are towards your competitor’s smaller points and either on adjacent points or with one point in between. Timing is critical for a powerful backgame: after all, there is no point having 2 nice anchors and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break apart this straight away, while your competitor is moving their pieces home, taking into account that you do not have other additional checkers to shift! In this situation, it’s more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position up till your competitor provides you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a great idea to attempt and get your opponent to hit them in this situation!

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