Backgammon – Three Main Plans

In extraordinarily general terms, there are 3 general game plans employed. You must be able to switch game plans quickly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of creating a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at a minimum as thick as you might achieve, to block in the opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most suitable strategy at the begining of the game. You can build the wall anywhere inbetween your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quick as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. i.e., if your opponent rolls an early 2 and moves one piece from your 1-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you can play 6/1 six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your competitor is then in serious calamity taking into account that they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have 2 or higher pieces in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at a minimum 2 of your checkers.) It would be used when you are significantly behind as this action much improves your chances. The better areas for anchors are towards your opponent’s lower points and also on adjacent points or with one point separating them. Timing is essential for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there is no reason having two nice anchors and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then required to dismantle this straight away, while your competitor is moving their checkers home, owing to the fact that you do not have any other extra pieces to shift! In this case, it is more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up till your opponent provides you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a good idea to try and get your competitor to get them in this situation!

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