Backgammon – Three Basic Schemes

In very general terms, there are 3 general strategies used. You must be agile enough to switch techniques quickly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of building a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at a minimum as deep as you can manage, to block in your competitor’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most suitable tactic at the begining of the game. You can build the wall anyplace between 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 as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. For example, if your opponent tosses an early 2 and moves one piece from your one-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you can play 6/1 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your competitor is then in big-time difficulty taking into account that they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or more anchors in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at a minimum 2 of your checkers.) It needs to be employed when you are extremely behind as it greatly improves your opportunities. The best places for anchors are near your competitor’s smaller points and also on abutting points or with one point separating them. Timing is essential for a powerful backgame: after all, there is no reason having two nice anchors and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break apart this straight away, while your opposer is moving their pieces home, taking into account that you don’t have any other additional pieces to shift! In this case, it is more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you can preserve your position up till your competitor gives you a chance to hit, so it will be a good idea to try and get your competitor to hit them in this case!

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