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Backgammon glossary

Anchor: A point occupied by two or more checkers.

Backgammon: A game won while the loser still has a checker in the winner’s home board. The winner is awarded three times the number of points indicated by the doubling cube.

Bear in: To bring one or more checkers into your home board

Bear off: To remove checkers from the board

Blitz: An attacking strategy consisting of hitting the opponent’s isolated checkers (called blots) in the opponent’s home board.

Block: A point occupied by two or more checkers with a view to hindering your opponent’s progress.

Blockade: The formation of a series of blocks to impede your opponent’s progress.

Blot: An isolated checker which can therefore be captured by your opponent.

Board: The name given to the backgammon playing surface.

Cover: To add a second checker to an isolated checker (blot) in order to establish a block.

Cross-over: Movement of a checker from one quadrant of the board to another.

Cube: (or doubling cube) A six-sided die which is numbered 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64. Rather than being rolled, it is simply used to double the stakes of the current game

Double: To obtain two identical numbers when rolling two dice.

Doubling: To offer the doubling cube to the opponent. In other words: to offer your opponent the opportunity to double the stake for the game.

Drop: To refuse a double proposed by your opponent and therefore abandon the game. The game ends and the player who drops out loses the original stake for the game.

Flunk (or dance): To fail to re-introduce one or more checker(s) into the game because neither of the numbers thrown makes it possible to reach a free point in the opponent’s home board.

Gammon: A completed game in which the loser has failed to bear off any checkers from his or her home board. The winner thus pockets twice the value of the doubling cube.

Hit: To land one or more checker(s) on a point occupied by an isolated opposing checker (blot). This checker is then captured and placed on the bar in the middle of the board.

Home board: The quarter of the game board to which the player must bring his or her checkers before bearing them off.

Jacoby Rule: A rule in free play only, which states that gammons and backgammons only count as a single point if neither player has offered a double during the game.

Leave a shot: To leave an isolated checker (blot) within hitting range of the opponent’s checkers.

Outer board: The remaining quarter of the game board on the player’s side.

Pass = Drop: To refuse a double proposed by your opponent. The game ends and the player who drops out loses the original stake for the game.

Point (Pip): One of the 24 points on the board.

Quadrant: Quarter of the game board consisting of six triangles (points). Each player possesses the two quadrants situated in front of him.

Slot: To place a single checker on a point with the intention of forming a block on your next turn.

Split: To separate two checkers which form a block in order to leave two blots.

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