Backgammon – Three Main Plans
September 12th, 2019 by Claudia

In very general terms, there are 3 general tactics used. You want to be able to switch techniques instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of creating a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at a minimum as deep as you might manage, to barricade in your opponent’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most acceptable course of action at the start of the game. You can create the wall anywhere inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. e.g., if your opponent tosses an early two and shifts one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you will be able to play six/one 6/1 eight/three eight/three. Your challenger is then in big-time difficulty seeing that they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or higher pieces in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor is a point filled by at a minimum 2 of your pieces.) It must be used when you are extremely behind as this plan greatly improves your circumstances. The strongest areas for anchor spots are towards your opponent’s smaller points and also on abutting points or with one point separating them. Timing is important for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there is no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break apart this straight away, while your challenger is moving their checkers home, because you don’t have other extra checkers to move! In this case, it’s more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up till your opponent provides you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a good idea to try and get your opponent to hit them in this situation!

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