Backgammon – 3 General Schemes
April 28th, 2024 by Princess

In astonishingly general terms, there are three fundamental strategies used. You must be able to hop between strategies instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of building a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you are able to manage, to barricade in your competitor’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable tactic at the start of the game. You can create the wall anywhere inbetween your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. For example, if your competitor rolls an early 2 and moves one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you can play six/one 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your competitor is then in big-time calamity considering that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inner board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have 2 or more checkers in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a position filled by at a minimum two of your checkers.) It should be employed when you are significantly behind as this strategy much improves your opportunities. The strongest areas for anchors are towards your competitor’s smaller points and also on adjacent points or with a single point separating them. Timing is critical for an effective backgame: after all, there’s no reason having two nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break down this straight away, while your challenger is getting their pieces home, taking into account that you do not have other spare pieces to shift! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up till your opposer gives you a chance to hit, so it will be a good idea to try and get your challenger to get them in this situation!

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