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Backgammon – 3 Basic Schemes

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In astonishingly simple terms, there are 3 basic game plans used. You must be agile enough to switch strategies instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you are able to achieve, to barricade in your competitor's checkers that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable course of action at the start of the game. You can create the wall anywhere between your 11-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This is comprised of closing your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your opponent on the bar. e.g., if your opposer rolls an early 2 and moves one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you will be able to play six/one six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your opponent is now in big-time dire straits because they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have locked half your inner board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have 2 or higher anchors in your opponent's home board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at a minimum two of your pieces.) It would be employed when you are decidedly behind as this strategy much improves your circumstances. The best places for anchors are close to your competitor's lower points and also on abutting points or with one point in between. Timing is integral for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there is no point having two nice anchors and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then required to break up this right away, while your opposer is shifting their checkers home, considering that you don't have other extra pieces to move! 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 opponent provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be a great idea to try and get your challenger to hit them in this case!

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