Backgammon – Three General Schemes

In extraordinarily general terms, there are three basic tactics employed. You want to be agile enough to switch strategies instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of creating a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at a minimum as deep as you are able to achieve, to barricade in the opponent’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most suitable strategy at the begining of the game. You can create the wall anywhere within your eleven-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as fast as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. For example, if your competitor rolls an early two and shifts one piece from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you will be able to play 6/1 6/1 eight/three eight/three. Your opposer is then in big-time trouble taking into account that they have two pieces on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or more anchors in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It would be played when you are extremely behind as it greatly improves your chances. The strongest locations for anchors are near your competitor’s lower points and also on adjoining points or with a single point in between. Timing is integral for a powerful backgame: besides, there’s no point having two nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to dismantle this straight away, while your opponent is moving their checkers home, taking into account that you do not have other spare checkers to shift! In this situation, it is better to have checkers on the bar so that you might preserve your position up till your opposer gives you a chance to hit, so it will be an excellent idea to try and get your opposer to hit them in this case!

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