Backgammon – 3 Basic Schemes

Sunday, 3. November 2019

In very general terms, there are 3 fundamental strategies employed. You want to be able to switch techniques quickly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of building a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you can achieve, to block in your opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most acceptable strategy at the begining of the game. You can assemble the wall anyplace between your 11-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your opponent on the bar. e.g., if your challenger tosses an early two and moves one checker from your 1-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you can play six/one 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your opposer is now in serious difficulty taking into account that they have two pieces on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or higher anchors in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at a minimum two of your pieces.) It should be employed when you are extremely behind as this plan much improves your opportunities. The strongest places for anchor spots are towards your competitor’s smaller points and also on abutting points or with one point separating them. Timing is integral for an effectual backgame: after all, there is no reason having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to dismantle this right away, while your opponent is shifting their checkers home, considering that you don’t have any other additional pieces to shift! In this case, it is better to have checkers on the bar so that you can preserve your position until your opposer gives you a chance to hit, so it can be a good idea to try and get your opponent to get them in this situation!

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