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Basic Backgammon Glossary

By: tcads

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Anchor: An anchor is a situation when you have two checkers or more on a point in your opponent's home board. For example, each game begins when each player has an anchor on his opponent's 1-point.

Automatic doubles: Any re-rolls at the start of each game (when each player rolls one die to determine who will go first) that causes a double. For instance, a 4-4 roll, will cause the game to start with double the normal stakes. The doubling cube will remain in the middle, so any player is able to double at will.

Backgame: This is where you have 2 or more anchors in your opponent's home board. (It should be used when you are considerably behind since it will improve your chances of winning.) The higher the point (or lower, from your opponent's point of view), the better it is to anchor, either on adjacent points or with a single point in-between. That way, you are able to interfere and hit your opponent's checkers later in the game. The Backgame strategy is also known as anchoring.

Backgammon: A situation where a player has not borne off any checkers and still has a checker on the bar or in the opponent's home board, while his opponent has finished the game. The losing player has lost a Backgammon - which counts for triple the amount of a normal loss.

Bar (Rail): The rail dividing the inner and outer tables is not counted as a space itself. When a checker is hit, you place it on the bar.

Bear Off: When all 15 checkers are in the player's home board, and he starts to take them off the board (bear off) according to the roll of the dice. Once a player bears off his last checker he has won.

Beaver: A beaver is a common rule meaning that a player is able to immediately redouble when offered the doubling cube, whilst still retaining the cube and not giving it back to the opponent.

Block/ Blocking Game: A basic strategy where a player deploys his checkers with the intention of forming blocks in front of his opponent's checkers to obstruct their progress.

Blot: A point with only one piece on it. A blot can be hit by the enemy's checkers.

Double (Doubling cube): A doubling cube is a 6 sided die that that has the numbers 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 on it. If a player believes that he has an advantage in the game, he may, in the beginning of his turn (before rolling the dice) double (demand that the game be played for twice the current wager). His opponent must either accept the challenge or forfeit the game. After that, the right to redouble belongs exclusively to the last player who accepted a double.

Doubles (Doublets): A situation where a player rolls two dice with the same number, which then allows him to move twice the amount of the double.

Enter: Entering means to re-enter a checker from the bar into your opponent's home board and then back into the game.

Full Prime: A full prime is a situation where one player holds six points in a row. It is regarded as the most powerful position in the game since your opponent is stuck behind it.

Gammon: At the end of a game, if one player has not been able to borne off any of his checkers by the time his opponent has borne off all of them, he has lost a gammon and loses twice the value of the game.

Hit: A hit is when you move one or more of your pieces to a point with an enemy blot which puts it on the bar.

Home Board: The first six points on the board, to which a player must move all his checkers for the bearoff. It is also known as the Inner Board

Jacoby Rule: The Jacoby Rule means that gammons and backgammons will count for double and triple points only in the case that at least one doubling has occurred during the game.

Outer Board: The points that are not considered any players' home board (points 7-18).

Pass- to pass: The refusal to accept the doubling cube when doubled by the opponent, hence forfeiting the game and losing the value indicated on the cube before the double.

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