Backgammon – Three Basic Plans

In very general terms, there are three general techniques used. You want to be able to switch game plans instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves assembling a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you can manage, to lock in the opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most adequate strategy at the begining of the match. You can build the wall anyplace between your 11-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

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

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or more checkers in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at least 2 of your checkers.) It should be played when you are significantly behind as it much improves your circumstances. The best locations for anchors are towards your competitor’s smaller points and either on adjacent points or with one point separating them. Timing is important for a powerful backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no point having two nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break apart this right away, while your competitor is shifting their pieces home, considering that you don’t have any other additional checkers to move! In this situation, it’s better to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position until your challenger provides you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a wonderful idea to attempt and get your opposer to hit them in this case!

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