Backgammon – Three Basic Schemes

In exceptionally general terms, there are 3 chief techniques used. You must be able to hop between techniques quickly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of creating a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you might achieve, to lock in your competitor’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most suitable strategy at the start of the match. You can create the wall anywhere inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your challenger on the bar. e.g., if your opposer tosses an early 2 and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you can play 6/1 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your opponent is then in big-time dire straits since they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have locked half your inner board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or higher anchors in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a position occupied by at least 2 of your checkers.) It would be used when you are decidedly behind as this action greatly improves your chances. The strongest locations for anchors are near your opponent’s lower points and either on adjacent points or with a single point in between. Timing is important for an effective backgame: besides, there’s no point having two nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break up this straight away, while your opposer is moving their pieces home, seeing that you don’t have any other additional checkers to move! In this situation, it is more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you might maintain your position up till your competitor provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be an excellent idea to try and get your opposer to get them in this case!

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