Backgammon – Three General Schemes

by Erin on April 10th, 2024

In very general terms, there are three main techniques used. You must be agile enough to hop between techniques instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves creating a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you can achieve, to barricade in the competitor’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable course of action at the begining of the game. You can assemble the wall anyplace between your 11-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This is comprised of locking your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your opposer tosses an early two and moves one piece from your one-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you are able to play six/one six/one eight/three eight/three. Your opposer is then in serious trouble due to the fact that they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have two or more checkers in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at a minimum 2 of your pieces.) It needs to be employed when you are significantly behind as it much improves your opportunities. The better places for anchors are close to your opponent’s smaller points and also on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is important for an effective backgame: besides, there’s no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break down this straight away, while your challenger is shifting their pieces home, seeing that you don’t have any other extra pieces to shift! In this case, it is more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you can preserve your position up till your opponent gives you a chance to hit, so it can be a great idea to try and get your opponent to hit them in this case!

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