Backgammon – Three Main Plans

[ English ]

In astonishingly general terms, there are three fundamental plans used. You want to be agile enough to hop between tactics almost instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of creating a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you might achieve, to barricade in the opponent’s checkers that are located 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 move it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your opponent rolls an early two and shifts one piece from your one-point to your 3-point and you then roll a 5-5, you are able to play six/one six/one eight/three eight/three. Your competitor is now in big-time calamity since they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have two or higher pieces in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a position occupied by at a minimum two of your pieces.) It needs to be used when you are significantly behind as this action greatly improves your chances. The better places for anchor spots are near your competitor’s smaller points and also on abutting points or with a single point in between. Timing is important for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there is no point having 2 nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then required to break up this right away, while your opponent is getting their pieces home, seeing that you do not have other spare pieces to shift! In this case, it’s more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up till your challenger gives you an opportunity to hit, so it can be an excellent idea to try and get your challenger to hit them in this case!