Backgammon – Three Main Plans
September 19th, 2015 by Princess

In extraordinarily general terms, there are 3 general plans used. You need to be able to hop between tactics almost instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of creating a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you can achieve, to barricade in the opponent’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most suitable strategy at the start of the match. You can assemble the wall anyplace between your eleven-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 fast as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. e.g., if your competitor rolls an early two and shifts one checker from your 1-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you will be able to play 6/1 six/one 8/3 8/3. Your challenger is now in serious trouble since they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have two or higher pieces in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It needs to be used when you are extremely behind as it greatly improves your opportunities. The strongest areas for anchor spots are towards your opponent’s lower points and either on adjoining points or with a single point separating them. Timing is crucial for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there is no point having 2 nice anchors and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break up this straight away, while your competitor is moving their pieces home, considering that you do not have any other spare pieces to shift! In this situation, it is better to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position until your opponent provides you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a wonderful idea to try and get your opponent to hit them in this case!

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