Backgammon – 3 General Plans
August 27th, 2022 by Princess

In exceptionally general terms, there are three main strategies employed. You want to be agile enough to switch game plans quickly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves assembling a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you might achieve, to barricade in the opponent’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable procedure at the begining of the match. You can build the wall anyplace within your 11-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as fast as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. e.g., if your opponent rolls an early 2 and shifts one piece from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you will be able to play 6/1 six/one 8/3 8/3. Your opponent is now in big-time trouble since they have two pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or more checkers in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor spot is a point filled by at least two of your checkers.) It should be played when you are decidedly behind as this action greatly improves your chances. The better places for anchor spots are near your competitor’s lower points and also on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is important for a competent backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no reason having two nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then required to dismantle this straight away, while your competitor is moving their checkers home, because you do not have other additional checkers to shift! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position up till your challenger gives you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a good idea to attempt and get your challenger to hit them in this case!

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