Backgammon – Three General Plans

Saturday, 8. October 2022

In very simple terms, there are three basic tactics used. You want to be able to switch game plans quickly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves building a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at a minimum as thick as you can achieve, to block in the competitor’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable procedure at the begining of the game. You can create the wall anywhere between your eleven-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as quick as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your challenger tosses an early two and moves one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you will be able to play 6/1 six/one eight/three 8/3. Your competitor is now in serious dire straits since they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or more pieces in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a point consisting of at a minimum two of your checkers.) It must be used when you are significantly behind as this plan much improves your opportunities. The better locations for anchor spots are near your competitor’s lower points and either on adjoining points or with one point separating them. Timing is essential for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there is no point having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break up this straight away, while your competitor is shifting their checkers home, taking into account that you don’t have any other extra checkers to move! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you might preserve your position up until your competitor provides you a chance to hit, so it will be an excellent idea to attempt and get your opponent to hit them in this case!

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