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Backgammon – Three Main Schemes

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In very general terms, there are three main plans employed. You must be able to switch techniques quickly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of building a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you are able to manage, to barricade in your opponent's checkers that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most acceptable course of action at the begining of the game. You can create the wall anyplace within your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This is comprised of closing your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. i.e., if your opposer rolls an early two and moves one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you will be able to play six/one 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your opponent is now in big-time trouble taking into account that they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or more pieces in your competitor's inner board. (An anchor is a position filled by at a minimum two of your pieces.) It should be played when you are decidedly behind as this plan greatly improves your opportunities. The better places for anchors are towards your opponent's smaller points and also on abutting points or with a single point in between. Timing is important for an effectual backgame: at the end of the day, there is no reason having 2 nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to dismantle this right away, while your opposer is getting their checkers home, owing to the fact that you do not have any other spare pieces to move! In this case, it's better to have pieces on the bar so that you might maintain your position until your opponent provides you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a great idea to try and get your opponent to hit them in this case!

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