Backgammon – Three Main Schemes

In extraordinarily simple terms, there are three basic techniques used. You need to be able to switch techniques instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of assembling a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you might achieve, to barricade in your opponent’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most adequate strategy at the begining of the game. You can assemble the wall anyplace inbetween your eleven-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This is composed of locking your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. For example, if your opposer rolls an early 2 and moves one piece from your one-point to your 3-point and you then roll a five-five, you will be able to play 6/1 six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your competitor is then in serious dire straits seeing that they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or more anchors in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at least two of your checkers.) It must be used when you are extremely behind as it much improves your circumstances. The better places for anchor spots are near your competitor’s smaller points and either on adjacent points or with a single point in between. Timing is crucial for a competent backgame: after all, there is no point having two nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then required to dismantle this right away, while your opponent is shifting their checkers home, seeing that you don’t have any other spare checkers to shift! In this situation, it is more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up till your challenger provides you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a great idea to attempt and get your opponent to get them in this case!

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