Backgammon – Three General Schemes

[ English ]

In exceptionally general terms, there are three basic strategies used. You must be agile enough to hop between strategies almost instantly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of creating a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as thick as you are able to manage, to barricade in the opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most suitable tactic at the start of the game. You can build the wall anyplace inbetween your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your opponent tosses an early 2 and moves one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you can play 6/1 six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your opposer is now in serious calamity because they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have two or higher pieces in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at least two of your checkers.) It needs to be employed when you are decidedly behind as it much improves your opportunities. The strongest places for anchor spots are close to your opponent’s smaller points and also on adjacent points or with one point separating them. Timing is important for an effectual backgame: besides, there is no reason having two nice anchors and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break up this right away, while your competitor is getting their checkers home, because you do not have any other extra pieces to shift! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position up till your competitor provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a good idea to attempt and get your opponent to get them in this situation!

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