Backgammon – 3 General Schemes

In extraordinarily simple terms, there are 3 fundamental tactics used. You must be able to switch techniques instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you can manage, to lock in the opponent’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most adequate course of action at the begining of the game. You can assemble the wall anywhere within your 11-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This is comprised of locking your home board as fast as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. i.e., if your challenger rolls an early two and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your three-point and you then roll a five-five, you are able to play 6/1 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your challenger is now in serious calamity because they have two pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or higher anchors in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a point consisting of at least 2 of your pieces.) It needs to be played when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your circumstances. The strongest areas for anchors are towards your opponent’s smaller points and also on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is critical for a powerful backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no reason having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then required to break up this straight away, while your opposer is getting their pieces home, owing to the fact that you don’t have other additional pieces to shift! In this situation, it is more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you might maintain your position up until your opponent gives you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a good idea to attempt and get your challenger to hit them in this case!

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