Backgammon – 3 General Schemes

In exceptionally general terms, there are three basic game plans employed. You must be agile enough to switch techniques quickly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of creating a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at least as deep as you are able to manage, to lock in your opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable course of action at the start of the game. You can assemble the wall anyplace within your 11-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This involves locking your home board as quick as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. i.e., if your opposer rolls an early two and moves one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then roll a 5-5, you will be able to play six/one 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your challenger is now in serious calamity considering that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have 2 or higher checkers in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at a minimum two of your pieces.) It needs to be used when you are decidedly behind as this action greatly improves your opportunities. The best areas for anchors are towards your opponent’s smaller points and either on abutting points or with one point in between. Timing is critical for an effectual backgame: besides, there is no reason having two nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break apart this straight away, while your opposer is moving their checkers home, considering that you don’t have other spare pieces to move! In this case, it is better to have checkers on the bar so that you might maintain your position up until your opponent gives you a chance to hit, so it can be a good idea to try and get your opponent to get them in this situation!

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