Backgammon – Three General Plans

In extraordinarily general terms, there are 3 fundamental strategies employed. You want to be agile enough to hop between strategies almost instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves building a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you are able to achieve, to block in the opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable procedure at the begining of the game. You can assemble the wall anywhere between your eleven-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as quick as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. i.e., if your opponent rolls 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 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your opposer is then in serious difficulty seeing that they have two pieces on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have two or more checkers in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at a minimum 2 of your pieces.) It needs to be played when you are extremely behind as this strategy much improves your opportunities. The best areas for anchor spots are near your opponent’s lower points and also on adjacent points or with one point in between. Timing is essential for a competent backgame: at the end of the day, there is no point having two nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then required to break up this straight away, while your challenger is getting their pieces home, because you do not have any other additional checkers to shift! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you can maintain your position up until your challenger provides you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a great idea to attempt and get your opposer to get them in this situation!

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