Backgammon – 3 Basic Schemes

Wednesday, 13. April 2016

In exceptionally simple terms, there are three general strategies employed. You must be able to switch strategies instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of creating a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you are able to manage, to block in your opponent’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most acceptable course of action at the start of the match. You can create the wall anyplace between your 11-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your competitor on the bar. For example, if your opponent rolls an early two and shifts one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you are able to play six/one 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your challenger is then in serious trouble since they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inner board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have two or more checkers in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor is a position filled by at a minimum 2 of your pieces.) It should be employed when you are significantly behind as this strategy much improves your chances. The better locations for anchors are close to your competitor’s smaller points and also on adjacent points or with a single point separating them. Timing is important for a competent backgame: after all, there is no reason having 2 nice anchors and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to dismantle this straight away, while your competitor is shifting their checkers home, seeing that you don’t have any other extra pieces to shift! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up till your opponent gives you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a wonderful idea to try and get your challenger to get them in this case!

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