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Backgammon – Three Main Schemes

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In very general terms, there are 3 fundamental strategies employed. You need to be able to hop between techniques instantly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of assembling a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at a minimum as deep as you might achieve, to barricade in the opponent's pieces that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable tactic at the begining of the game. You can create the wall anywhere within your 11-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This is comprised of locking your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your opponent on the bar. e.g., if your opponent rolls an early two and shifts one checker from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you are able to play six/one 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your opposer is then in big-time trouble seeing that they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inner board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have two or higher anchors in your competitor's inner board. (An anchor is a point filled by at a minimum two of your checkers.) It should be played when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your circumstances. The best locations for anchor spots are close to your competitor's lower points and also on adjoining points or with one point separating them. Timing is important for a competent backgame: besides, there's no point having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then required to dismantle this right away, while your opposer is shifting their checkers home, because you do not have any other spare checkers to move! In this case, it's more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position up till your opposer provides you a chance to hit, so it can be a great idea to attempt and get your opposer to hit them in this case!

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