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

The Blockade

This involves creating a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you might manage, to barricade in the opponent’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most acceptable strategy at the start of the game. You can create the wall anywhere between your eleven-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the match continues.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. e.g., if your opponent rolls an early two and moves one piece from your 1-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you will be able to play 6/1 six/one eight/three eight/three. Your challenger is now in big-time dire straits considering that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inner board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or more anchors in your competitor’s home board. (An anchor is a position consisting of at a minimum 2 of your pieces.) It must be employed when you are extremely behind as this plan greatly improves your chances. The strongest places for anchor spots are close to your competitor’s smaller points and also on adjoining points or with one point in between. Timing is essential for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there is no reason having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break apart this straight away, while your opponent is shifting their pieces home, taking into account that you don’t have any other additional checkers to shift! In this situation, it’s more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you might maintain your position up until your opposer gives you a chance to hit, so it can be a good idea to attempt and get your opposer to hit them in this situation!