Backgammon – Three Main Schemes

[ English ]

In very general terms, there are 3 main game plans used. You want to be agile enough to hop between tactics instantly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at a minimum as deep as you can manage, to barricade in your opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable course of action at the start of the game. You can create the wall anywhere within your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as fast as possible while keeping your challenger on the bar. For example, if your challenger rolls an early two and shifts one checker 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 serious calamity taking into account that they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or higher anchors in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at least 2 of your checkers.) It needs to be employed when you are extremely behind as it greatly improves your circumstances. The strongest places for anchors are close to your competitor’s smaller points and either on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is crucial for an effective 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 dismantle this straight away, while your competitor is moving their checkers home, considering that you don’t have any other additional checkers 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 until your opponent provides you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a good idea to attempt and get your opponent to hit them in this case!

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