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Backgammon – 3 Basic Plans

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In very general terms, there are 3 chief strategies used. You must be agile enough to hop between game plans almost instantly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of building a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you are able to manage, to lock in your competitor's pieces that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable strategy at the begining of the game. You can build the wall anywhere within your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This is composed of locking your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. i.e., if your challenger tosses an early 2 and moves one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you can play 6/1 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your challenger is then in serious calamity 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 more anchors in your competitor's home board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at a minimum 2 of your pieces.) It needs to be played when you are extremely behind as it much improves your chances. The strongest locations for anchors are close to your competitor's lower points and also on abutting points or with a single point separating them. Timing is crucial for a powerful backgame: at the end of the day, there's no reason having two nice anchors and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to dismantle this straight away, while your challenger is getting their pieces home, owing to the fact that you do not have any other extra pieces to shift! In this situation, it is more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you can maintain your position up until your opposer provides you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a good idea to attempt and get your challenger to get them in this situation!

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