Backgammon – Three General Schemes

In astonishingly general terms, there are 3 chief strategies used. You need to be agile enough to switch game plans almost instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves creating a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as deep as you might achieve, to lock in the competitor’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most adequate strategy at the begining of the game. You can build the wall anyplace between your 11-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as fast as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. e.g., if your opposer tosses an early two and shifts one checker from your 1-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you will be able to play six/one six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your challenger is then in serious difficulty seeing that they have two pieces on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or higher pieces in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at least 2 of your pieces.) It must be employed when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your circumstances. The strongest areas for anchor spots are near your opponent’s lower points and also on adjoining points or with a single point separating them. Timing is crucial for a competent backgame: besides, there is no point having 2 nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then required to break apart this right away, while your challenger is shifting their pieces home, seeing that you do not have any other extra checkers to move! In this case, it is more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up till your competitor provides you a chance to hit, so it can be a great idea to attempt and get your opponent to get them in this situation!

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