Backgammon – Three Basic Plans

In very general terms, there are 3 basic strategies employed. You need to be able to switch tactics quickly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of creating a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you might achieve, to block in the competitor’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable procedure at the begining of the match. You can assemble the wall anywhere inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your competitor 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 toss a five-five, you will be able to play 6/1 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your opponent is then in serious dire straits considering that they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have 2 or more checkers in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at a minimum two of your pieces.) It needs to be played when you are decidedly behind as this strategy much improves your chances. The strongest places for anchor spots are near your competitor’s smaller points and also on adjoining points or with a single point in between. Timing is critical for a powerful backgame: besides, there is no point having 2 nice anchors and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break up this right away, while your opposer is moving their pieces home, because you do not have other extra checkers to shift! In this situation, it is more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you might preserve your position up till your competitor gives you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a great idea to try and get your opponent to hit them in this situation!

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