Backgammon – 3 Basic Schemes

Tuesday, 1. March 2016

In exceptionally general terms, there are 3 main game plans used. You want to be able to hop between game plans instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of assembling a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you can achieve, to lock in the competitor’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable tactic at the begining of the game. You can create the wall anywhere within your 11-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This involves locking your home board as quick as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. i.e., if your opponent rolls an early two and shifts one checker from your 1-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you are able to play 6/1 6/1 eight/three eight/three. Your challenger is then in big-time calamity taking into account that they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or higher checkers in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a point consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It would be employed when you are decidedly behind as it greatly improves your circumstances. The best locations for anchor spots are close to your opponent’s lower points and also on adjacent points or with one point separating them. Timing is integral for a competent backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no reason having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then required to dismantle this straight away, while your challenger is moving their pieces home, taking into account that you don’t have any other additional checkers to move! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you can maintain your position until your opponent provides you a chance to hit, so it can be a wonderful idea to attempt and get your competitor to hit them in this situation!

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