Backgammon – Three General Schemes

In very general terms, there are 3 main strategies employed. You want to be agile enough to hop between techniques almost instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of building a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at least as deep as you might manage, to barricade in the competitor’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most adequate tactic at the begining of the game. You can create the wall anywhere between your 11-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quick as possible while keeping your challenger on the bar. For example, if your opposer tosses an early two and moves one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you are able to play 6/1 6/1 eight/three eight/three. Your competitor is now in serious dire straits since they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or more checkers in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at least 2 of your checkers.) It needs to be used when you are extremely behind as this action much improves your circumstances. The better areas for anchors are close to your opponent’s smaller points and also on adjacent points or with a single point in between. Timing is important for a competent backgame: after all, there’s no reason having two nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break down this straight away, while your opposer is getting their checkers home, owing to the fact that you do not have other spare pieces to move! In this situation, it is better to have checkers on the bar so that you can maintain your position up till your challenger provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a wonderful idea to attempt and get your challenger to get them in this situation!

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