If a team does not have the hammer in an end, it will opt to try to clog up the four foot zone in the house to deny the opposing team access to the button. This can be done by throwing centre line guards in front of the house on the centre line, which can be tapped into the house later or drawn around. If a team has the hammer, they will try to keep this four foot zone free so that they have access to the button area at all times. A team with the hammer may throw a corner guard as their first stone of an end placed in front of the house but outside the four foot zone to utilize the free guard zone. Corner guards are key for a team to score two points in an end, because they can either draw around it later or hit and roll behind it, making the opposing teams shot to remove it more difficult.
Ideally, the strategy in an end for a team with the hammer is to score two points or more. Scoring one point is often a wasted opportunity, as they will then lose last rock advantage for the next end. If a team cannot score two points, they will often attempt to blank an end by removing any leftover opposition rocks and rolling out; or, if there are no opposition rocks, just throwing the rock through the house so that no team scores any points, and the team with the hammer can try again the next end to score two or more with it. Generally, a team without the hammer would want to either force the team with the hammer to only one point (so that they can get the hammer back) or steal the end by scoring one or more points of their own.
Generally, the larger the lead a team will have in a game, the more defensively they should play. By hitting all of the opponents stones, it removes opportunities for their getting multiple points, therefore defending the lead. If the leading team is quite comfortable, leaving their own stones in play can also be dangerous. Guards can be drawn around by the other team, and stones in the house can be tapped back (if they are in front of the tee line) or frozen onto (if they are behind the tee line). A frozen stone is difficult to remove, because it is frozen (in front of and touching) to the opponents stone. At this point, a team will opt for peels, meaning that the stones they throw will be to not only hit their opposition stones, but to roll out of play as well. Peels are hits that are thrown with the most amount of power.