Backgammon – Three General Plans

In astonishingly general terms, there are 3 basic strategies used. You must be able to hop between tactics instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of creating a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you are able to manage, to block in your opponent’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable strategy at the start of the game. You can create the wall anywhere between your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This is comprised of locking your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your opponent on the bar. For example, if your opponent tosses an early two and shifts one checker from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then roll a five-five, you will be able to play 6/1 six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your opponent is now in big-time calamity since they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or more anchors in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at a minimum 2 of your pieces.) It needs to be played when you are extremely behind as it much improves your chances. The strongest places for anchors are towards your opponent’s smaller points and also on adjoining points or with a single point separating them. Timing is essential for an effectual backgame: after all, there is no reason having 2 nice anchors and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then required to dismantle this right away, while your competitor is shifting their checkers home, considering that you don’t have any other extra checkers to move! In this situation, it is better to have pieces on the bar so that you can preserve your position until your opponent gives you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a good idea to try and get your challenger to get them in this situation!