Backgammon – Three Main Schemes
November 5th, 2015 by Claudia

In very general terms, there are 3 main techniques used. You must be able to hop between techniques almost instantly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of creating a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at a minimum as deep as you might manage, to block in the competitor’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most suitable tactic at the begining of the match. You can assemble 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 closing your home board as fast as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. i.e., if your opposer rolls an early two and moves one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then roll a 5-5, you can play 6/1 six/one eight/three eight/three. Your challenger is now in big-time dire straits considering that they have two pieces on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or more pieces in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at a minimum 2 of your pieces.) It should be employed when you are decidedly behind as this strategy greatly improves your chances. The strongest locations for anchor spots are close to your competitor’s lower points and also on adjacent points or with one point separating them. Timing is essential for a powerful backgame: at the end of the day, there is no reason having two nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break up this straight away, while your opposer is moving their pieces home, seeing that you do not have any other additional pieces to shift! In this case, it is better to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up until your opponent provides you a chance to hit, so it can be a good idea to attempt and get your opposer to hit them in this situation!

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