Basic Backgammon Vocabulary

As in any game, backgammon uses its own terms. Players must understand the backgammon terminology in order to play the game well.

Points refer to the track of 12 triangles on each side of the board. They are numbered from 1 to 24.

The home board or inner board refers to points 1 to 6 while points 7 to 12 are the outer board. The 7-point is called the bar point while the 13-point is the mid point.

Blot refers to the lone piece on a certain point. A blot can be hit by an opposing checker and is placed in the middle of the board on the bar. The bar is the divider between the home boards and the outer boards.

The doubling cube is used for a faster match play. The cube is a six-sided die bearing the numbers 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64.

Double refers to the offer of a player to his opponent, thereby increasing two times the current stakes of the game.

Beaver refers to the counter offer of a player who has accepted a double. Beaver means to double the value of the game once more.

Anchor means a point occupied in the home board by two or more of your opponent’s checkers.

Back game refers to a tactic of occupying two or more points in your opponent’s inner board.

Bear off means to remove a checker from the home board. This can be achieved by rolling a number that equals or exceeds the point on which the checker is placed.

Checker refers to the 15 pieces allotted to each player of the game.

Cover means to block on a single point.

Deep anchor means an anchor on the one-point or two-point of your opponent.

End game refers to the phase of the game when one of the players starts to bear off.

Golden point refers to your opponent’s five point.

Hit means to move to a point occupied by an opposing blot and to move your opponent’s checker to the bar.

Match is a series of games played until one player reaches a predetermined score.

Open point means a point not occupied by more than one checker of your opponent.

Pip means any one of the markings of a die which corresponds to one movement.

Prime refers to several consecutive points earned by a player.

Race refers to a backgammon game where there is no more contact.

Redouble means to double an additional time. This can be done after a player has doubled and his opponent, in turn, offers to double again.

Split means to break up two checkers which are on a certain point and leave them as blots.

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