Backgammon – Three General Schemes

Tuesday, 6. March 2018

In exceptionally general terms, there are three general strategies used. You need to be agile enough to switch game plans quickly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of assembling a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as deep as you are able to manage, to lock in your 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 inbetween your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This involves locking your home board as quick as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. For example, if your competitor rolls an early 2 and shifts one checker from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then roll a 5-5, you will be able to play six/one 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your opponent is then in big-time calamity due to the fact that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or more checkers in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It must be used when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your circumstances. The better places for anchor spots are close to your opponent’s smaller points and also on adjacent points or with one point in between. Timing is important for a competent backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no reason having two nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then required to dismantle this right away, while your opposer is shifting their pieces home, considering that you don’t have any other extra checkers to shift! In this situation, it’s more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position until your challenger provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a wonderful idea to attempt and get your challenger to hit them in this situation!

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