In extraordinarily simple terms, there are 3 fundamental plans used. You want to be able to hop between strategies quickly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This consists of building a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at a minimum as thick as you can manage, to lock in your opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable tactic at the start of the match. You can build the wall anywhere inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the game progresses.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as quick as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. e.g., if your challenger rolls an early two and shifts one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a five-five, you can play six/one six/one 8/3 eight/three. Your opponent is now in big-time dire straits due to the fact that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or more anchors in your opponent’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a position occupied by at least 2 of your checkers.) It must be used when you are significantly behind as this action greatly improves your circumstances. The best places for anchor spots are near your opponent’s smaller points and also on adjacent points or with a single point in between. Timing is important for an effectual 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 forced to break up this straight away, while your competitor is shifting their pieces home, because you don’t have other additional checkers to shift! In this situation, it is more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you might maintain your position up until your challenger gives you an opportunity to hit, so it may be an excellent idea to try and get your opponent to get them in this case!