The Ultimate Backgammon Terms

Whether it is online backgammon or real-life, backgammon is a game with a language of its own. Your chances of being a great online backgammon player are all the much better if you understand the backgammon terms.

Ace - The number one on the die.

Acey-Deucey - A roll of 1-2 or a variation on regular backgammon.

Action Play - A move which is going to see hits exchanged.

Active Builder - A piece which can be used to build a point.

Advanced Anchor - Making a point in the opponent’s home-board, typically on the 3, 4 or 5 point.

Ahead in the Count - Having a better pip count when it comes down to the race.

Anchor - Having built a point in your opponent's home board.

Back Game - A strategy used when a player who is well behind tries to build as many anchors as possible.

Back Man - The players furthest out piece.

Bar - The point between the two sides of the backgammon board where hit checkers rest.

Bar-Point - The seven-point.

Bear Off - Taking checkers off.

Beaver - Redoubling straight after having accepted a double without giving up possession of the doubling.

Blitz - Trying to hit the blots in your home board.

Block - Points built with the express desire to halt the opposition.

Blot - A single checker which can be hit.

Builder - A checker that is left free with the intention of being used to build a point.

Bury a Checker - Placing a checker in deep your home board that it is basically out of the game.

Catchers - Spreading out your checkers with the hope of trying to hit a blot.

Checker - One of your 15 pieces.

Chouette - A variation of backgammon.

Close a Point - Making a point.

Closed Board - All six points on the home board are made.

Close Out - Close the board while the opponent has a piece on the bar.

Cocked Dice - Dice which don’t lie flat on the board and must be rethrown. Doesn’t occur in online backgammon.

Combination Shot - A blot more than six points away which requires both dice in order to be hit.

Come In - Entering from the bar.

Connectivity - The relative space between all of the checkers.

Consolidate - Decreasing the amount of blots.

Control a Point - Has more than two checkers on the point.

Control the Cube - Has accepted a double and thus have next use of it.

Count - The number needed to bring everyone home.

Crawford Rule - The first game that a player moves within one point of winning the match, the doubling cube will not be in use for the next game.

Deuce - Rolling the number 2.

Direct Hit - When any number from 1 to 6 will result in a hit.

Double - Offering to double the stakes of the game or winning by forfeit if the offer is declined.

Drop - Refusing a double.

Drop Point - The point at which not accepting the double is the right move.

End Game - The part of a game when bearing off commences.

Enter - Having you hit piece come in from the bar.

Forward Game - A style of game where the aim is to get all your pieces home as soon as possible and little attention is paid to defense.

Gammon - Winning the game before your opponent has borne off a single piece.

Heavy Point - A made point which has more than three pieces on it.

Hit - To land on a point where a blot is thus sending it off the board.

Hit and Cover - Making a point and hitting a blot all on the same turn.

Home Board - Where all your pieces have to be before you can begin to bare off.

Lovers' Leap - Rolling 6-5 on the opening roll.

Make a Point - Putting two checkers on the same point to secure it.

On the Bar - When you have been hit your piece will be placed here. You can not do anything until it re-enters the board.

Pip - A unit of distance.

Pip Count - The total amount of pips you are away from winning.

Prime - Consecutive points made.

Prime-vs-Prime - A game where both players have primes.

Raccoon - A redouble which immediately follows a beaver.

Running Game - Trying to win while paying zero to no attention to your opponent.

Slot - Leaving a blot with the hope of covering it up straight after.

Snake Eyes - Rolling 1-1.

Split - Separate two pieces on a point thus making both blots.

Suicide Play - Leaving a blot with the deliberate intention of it being hit.

Tempt - Leave a blot with the hope that it would be hit but only by your opponent yielding his point.

Written by Irene Jones: Backgammon columnist.