Backgammon – Three General Schemes

Tuesday, 8. February 2022

In extraordinarily general terms, there are 3 general strategies employed. You want to be agile enough to switch game plans quickly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of creating a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you are able to achieve, to lock in the opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most suitable strategy at the start of the match. You can assemble the wall anyplace within your 11-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This is comprised of closing your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. For example, if your competitor tosses an early 2 and moves one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you can play six/one 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your competitor is then in serious dire straits because they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or more pieces in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor spot is a position occupied by at least 2 of your pieces.) It needs to be played when you are extremely behind as this strategy much improves your circumstances. The better locations for anchors are near your competitor’s lower points and also on abutting points or with one point separating them. Timing is important for a powerful backgame: besides, there’s no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break down this right away, while your competitor is moving their checkers home, taking into account that you don’t have other spare pieces to move! In this situation, it’s more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you might preserve your position up until your opponent gives you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a great idea to try and get your opposer to hit them in this situation!

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