Backgammon – 3 Main Schemes

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

The Blockade

This is comprised of building a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you are able to achieve, to lock in the competitor’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable tactic at the start of the game. You can build the wall anywhere between your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This is comprised of closing your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. i.e., if your competitor rolls an early 2 and moves one checker from your 1-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you will be able to play six/one 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your competitor is now in serious dire straits taking into account that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or higher anchors in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at a minimum 2 of your checkers.) It must be played when you are decidedly behind as it greatly improves your circumstances. The better areas for anchor spots are close to your competitor’s lower points and either on adjoining points or with one point separating them. Timing is crucial for a competent backgame: after all, there’s no point having 2 nice anchors and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then required to break down this straight away, while your challenger is moving their pieces home, considering that you don’t have any other spare checkers to move! In this case, it is more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you might preserve your position until your opponent provides you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a good idea to attempt and get your competitor to get them in this situation!

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