Backgammon – Three Basic Plans

[ English ]

In very simple terms, there are three chief plans used. You want to be agile enough to switch techniques quickly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of assembling a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you can manage, to block in your competitor’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable course of action at the start of the match. 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 progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quick as possible while keeping your challenger on the bar. e.g., if your competitor tosses an early two and moves one piece from your 1-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you will be able to play six/one six/one eight/three eight/three. Your opponent is now in serious dire straits taking into account that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or more checkers in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at a minimum two of your pieces.) It needs to be used when you are extremely behind as it much improves your chances. The better places for anchors are close to your competitor’s smaller points and also on abutting points or with a single point in between. Timing is important for an effectual backgame: besides, there is no point having two nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to dismantle this right away, while your competitor is getting their pieces home, owing to the fact that you do not have other additional checkers to shift! In this situation, it is more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position up until your challenger gives you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a good idea to try and get your opponent to hit them in this situation!