Backgammon – 3 Basic Plans

In very general terms, there are three main game plans used. You need to be agile enough to hop between strategies almost instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of building a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as thick as you are able to achieve, to block in the competitor’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable tactic at the begining of the game. You can build the wall anywhere between your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This involves locking your home board as quick as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. For example, if your opponent tosses an early 2 and shifts one checker from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you can play six/one 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your challenger is then in serious dire straits seeing that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inner board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or more checkers in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a position filled by at least two of your pieces.) It needs to be played when you are decidedly behind as it greatly improves your chances. The better places for anchor spots are towards your competitor’s lower points and either on adjoining points or with a single point in between. Timing is critical for an effectual backgame: at the end of the day, 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 right away, while your competitor is moving their checkers home, because you don’t have any other spare pieces to move! In this case, it is more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you might preserve your position until your opposer provides you a chance to hit, so it will be an excellent idea to attempt and get your opposer to get them in this case!

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