Backgammon – Three General Plans

[ English ]

In very simple terms, there are 3 main game plans used. You need to be able to switch game plans almost instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of building a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as deep as you might manage, to block in the opponent’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most suitable procedure at the begining of the match. You can assemble the wall anyplace between your 11-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This is composed of locking your home board as quick as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. i.e., if your challenger rolls an early 2 and moves one checker from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you will be able to play six/one 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your opponent is now in serious difficulty because they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or more anchors in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a point consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It needs to be employed when you are extremely behind as this action greatly improves your opportunities. The strongest locations for anchors are close to your competitor’s smaller points and also on abutting points or with a single point in between. Timing is integral for a competent backgame: at the end of the day, there is no point having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then required to break down this straight away, while your challenger is shifting their checkers home, seeing that you do not have other additional pieces to shift! In this situation, it is better to have checkers on the bar so that you can maintain your position up until your challenger gives you a chance to hit, so it may be a great idea to attempt and get your opponent to get them in this case!

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