Backgammon – Three General Plans

Tuesday, 29. October 2019

In extraordinarily general terms, there are three general plans used. You want to be able to hop between tactics quickly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of assembling a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as deep as you can manage, to barricade in your competitor’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most acceptable course of action at the begining of the game. You can create the wall anywhere within your 11-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as fast as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your challenger rolls an early 2 and shifts one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you will be able to play six/one 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your challenger is now in big-time trouble taking into account that they have two pieces on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or higher pieces in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor is a position filled by at a minimum 2 of your checkers.) It needs to be played when you are decidedly behind as this action much improves your opportunities. The better locations for anchors are close to your opponent’s lower points and also on adjacent points or with one point separating them. Timing is important for a powerful backgame: at the end of the day, there is no reason having two nice anchors and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break up this straight away, while your opposer is getting their pieces home, considering that you do not have other additional pieces to move! In this case, it is more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you can maintain your position up till your challenger provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a wonderful idea to try and get your opponent to hit them in this situation!

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