Backgammon – 3 Basic Schemes

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

The Blockade

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

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. i.e., if your challenger rolls an early two and moves one piece from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you are able to play six/one six/one eight/three 8/3. Your opponent is then in big-time dire straits seeing that they have two pieces on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have 2 or more anchors in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at least 2 of your pieces.) It would be employed when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your circumstances. The strongest locations for anchors are near your opponent’s smaller points and either on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is integral for a competent backgame: at the end of the day, there is no point having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then required to dismantle this right away, while your opposer is moving their checkers home, seeing that you don’t have other additional pieces to shift! In this case, it is better to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position up until your opponent gives you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a wonderful idea to attempt and get your challenger to get them in this situation!

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