Backgammon – 3 General Schemes

In astonishingly simple terms, there are three fundamental techniques employed. You need to be able to hop between techniques quickly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves creating a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you can achieve, to barricade in your opponent’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most adequate strategy at the start of the match. You can assemble the wall anywhere inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. i.e., if your opponent tosses an early 2 and moves one checker from your 1-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you will be able to play 6/1 six/one eight/three 8/3. Your opponent is now in big-time difficulty because they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or higher checkers in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at a minimum two of your pieces.) It must be used when you are decidedly behind as this action much improves your opportunities. The best places for anchors are close to your opponent’s lower points and also on abutting points or with a single point in between. Timing is integral for an effectual backgame: besides, there is no point having two nice anchors and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to dismantle this straight away, while your competitor is shifting their checkers home, taking into account that you don’t have other extra pieces to move! In this situation, it’s better to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position until your opponent gives you an opportunity to hit, so it may be an excellent idea to attempt and get your opposer to hit them in this situation!

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