Backgammon Terms and Definitions

If you are new to the game of Backgammon you will no doubt want to increase your knowledge by taking advantage of the various strategy and tactical guides available on the Internet. Problems can arise, however, as you come across terms and words that you may not understand.

The following list includes some of the most commonly used terms n Backgammon.

Let us start with the board. The Backgammon board is divided into two four squares, two for each player. Each has a home board and an outer board. The triangles are called points. The space separating the boards is called the bar.

The objects that are being moved about are variously called checkers, counters or stones. A checker that occupies a point is called a blot. A blot can be removed from its position on the point by an opposing checker. When that happens, it is called a hit, and the hit checker is placed on the bar.

The term anchor is used when you have two or more checkers inside your opponent's home board. When your checkers are on the four or five point, it is called an advanced anchor. Connectivity is a term used to indicate that your checkers are arranged in such a way that they are no more than six points from each other.

A double is a situation wherein, before a Backgammon game an offer is made to double the stakes. If the opponent refuses, he loses the game automatically and the current stakes. If the player accepts the double, the player who made the offer turns over the doubling cube, which is used to monitor the wagers.

Other terms that you will come across are pip and pip counts. A pip in Backgammon can refer to either a numeric value on a die, or the distance between points on the Backgammon board. The pip count denotes the number that a player needs to bear off (remove) his checkers from the board.

The effectiveness of a lot of Backgammon strategies depend on the rules employed in a game or tournament. The Crawford Rule states that the doubling cube cannot be utilized when a player is within a point of winning. A Crawford Game means the doubling cube is not allowed.

The Jacoby Rule states that if a player has not offered to double in the game, gammons (losing player fails to bear off any checkers) and backgammon (losing player fails to bear off and leaves one or more on the bar) count for a single game.

Although far from complete, this list of terms should enable you to understand some of the terms and definitions used in backgammon articles. You will be able to follow the strategies and discussions, which will help increase you knowledge of the game.