Backgammon – Three Main Plans

In exceptionally general terms, there are 3 chief tactics used. You want to be agile enough to hop between game plans quickly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of creating a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you might manage, to barricade in your opponent’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most adequate strategy at the start of the match. You can assemble the wall anywhere inbetween your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as fast as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. i.e., if your competitor rolls an early two and moves one piece from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you can play 6/1 6/1 eight/three eight/three. Your opposer is now in big-time trouble since 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 higher checkers in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a point filled by at least 2 of your pieces.) It must be played when you are extremely behind as this strategy much improves your opportunities. The strongest locations for anchor spots are near your opponent’s lower points and also on adjacent points or with a single point in between. Timing is integral for an effective backgame: besides, there’s no point having two nice anchors and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to dismantle this straight away, while your opposer is shifting their checkers home, seeing that you don’t have any other extra pieces to shift! In this situation, it’s more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you might 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 challenger to get them in this situation!

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