Backgammon – 3 General Plans

Thursday, 6. October 2016

In extraordinarily simple terms, there are 3 main game plans used. You must be agile enough to hop between tactics almost instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves creating a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you can manage, to barricade in the competitor’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable tactic at the start of the match. You can build the wall anywhere between your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as quick as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your challenger tosses an early two and moves one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you are able to play 6/1 6/1 eight/three eight/three. Your challenger is then in big-time dire straits because they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have two or higher anchors in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at least two of your checkers.) It needs to be played when you are extremely behind as it much improves your opportunities. The best areas for anchor spots are towards your opponent’s smaller points and also on abutting points or with one point in between. Timing is important for a powerful backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no reason having two nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break apart this straight away, while your opponent is shifting their checkers home, owing to the fact that you do not have other spare pieces to shift! In this case, it is more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you might preserve your position until your competitor gives you a chance to hit, so it may be a good idea to attempt and get your opponent to get them in this case!

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