Backgammon – Three Basic Schemes
May 17th, 2024 by Claudia

In exceptionally simple terms, there are 3 general strategies used. You need to be able to switch game plans instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of building a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you can achieve, to barricade in your competitor’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most adequate course of action at the begining of the match. You can assemble the wall anyplace 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 locking your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your opposer on the bar. i.e., if your opposer tosses an early 2 and moves one piece from your 1-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you can play 6/1 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your competitor is then in big-time trouble because they have two pieces on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or higher anchors in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at a minimum 2 of your pieces.) It would be played when you are extremely behind as it greatly improves your chances. The strongest areas for anchors are near your opponent’s lower points and either on adjacent points or with one point in between. Timing is critical for an effectual backgame: after all, there is no point having 2 nice anchors and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to dismantle this straight away, while your opponent is shifting their pieces home, considering that you don’t have other spare pieces to move! In this situation, it is more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position up until your challenger provides you a chance to hit, so it can be an excellent idea to try and get your opposer to hit them in this case!

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