Backgammon – 3 Basic Plans

Thursday, 14. November 2019

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

The Blockade

This is comprised of building a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at a minimum as thick as you can manage, to barricade in your competitor’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable course of action at the start of the match. You can build the wall anywhere within your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as quick as possible while keeping your challenger on the bar. For example, if your competitor tosses an early two and shifts one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a five-five, you will be able to play six/one 6/1 eight/three eight/three. Your opposer is then in serious calamity considering that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or more pieces in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor spot is a point consisting of at least 2 of your checkers.) It must be used when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your chances. The better areas for anchor spots are close to your opponent’s smaller points and either on abutting points or with a single point in between. Timing is important for a competent backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no point having two nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break up this straight away, while your opponent is getting their pieces home, seeing that you don’t have any other additional pieces to shift! In this situation, it is better to have pieces on the bar so that you can maintain your position until your challenger gives you an opportunity to hit, so it can be an excellent idea to attempt and get your challenger to get them in this case!

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