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Online Backgammon Glossary
Your complete Backgammon Dictionary

Just start playing backgammon and have no idea what people you are playing are saying half the time? Been playing backgammon for awhile but still get stuck by some experienced player's mastery of backgammon jargon? If you are looking for a particular backgammon term just click on the letter below and scroll down until you find it.



Backgame : A defensive position you are sometimes forced into when you hold two or more points in your opponents inner board. Stronger backgames are when you hold the 1 and 3, 2 and 3, or 2 and 4. When forced into a backgame my favorite two points to own in my opponents board are the 2 and 3 points.

Back Man (Back Runner): A player's checker in his opponent's inner board. If you move a back checker to the 13 pt. with a roll of 6-5, you still have one back man to escape.

Back Position: A defensive position (point) in your opponents side of
the board. If you are behind in the race it is often advantageous to own
a back position such as the 7 or 9 pt. to put pressure on the opponents midpoint when they try to bring them home.

Backgammon : The name of the game. Also, the result of a game in which one player has removed all their checkers while the opponent still has a checker in the winner's home board or on the bar which counts
as a triple game. Let's play backgammon! You can win a 5 pt. match in one game if you win a backgammon with the cube on 2.

Backgammon Server: A computer network set up on the Internet by
an individual or a company where people can go to play Backgammon.
Players log on to the network utilizing a username and password. They may chat and play in matches or tournaments. The server provides the interface, either through downloadable software or an online application with graphical boards, and sends dice rolls to the players. The server also keeps a history of win/losses and ratings. My favorite backgammon server is Gamesgrid due to the high level of play and ease of use.

Barabino : A roll of 5-4 from the bar used to make the opponents 5-point. Named after backgammon player Rick Barabino who frequently
got out of trouble by getting this roll. A blitz is quickly nullified by a Barabino since it gives the opponent an advanced anchor.

Bar (Rail, Roof): The partition separating the inner and outer tables not counted as a space itself. When you hit an opponents checker you typically place it on the bar.

Barfly : A checker on the bar that has the potential to re-enter and hit a checker in the outfield. You don't have to worry about a barfly when you have more than one checker on the bar unless your opponent rolls doubles.

Bar Point: The 7 pt or 18 pt, the one beside the bar in the outer
. A holding game usually consists of one or both of the players holding their opponents bar point.

Battle of Primes: A type of position in backgammon where both players have their opponent's men trapped behind primes. The player with the best timing is the one who will win a battle of primes.

Bear In: To bring your checkers into your inner board in preparation
for the bearoff. You will have a slow board if you choose to bear in all your checkers to the 6 pt.

Bear Off (throw off, eat, take off, peel): Removing a piece from the inner table according to the throw of the dice. Once you bear off your final checker you have won the game.

Bearoff : The period of the game where the players are bearing off (taking off) checkers near the end of the game. I once lost a big match because my opponent rolled several sets of doubles in the bearoff.

Beaver (Binache): An optional rule whereby a doubled player may demand that the stakes be quadrupled instead of doubled, while retaining possession of the cube. This demand must be made before the doubler has thrown. When your opponent offers you a cube where you are actually the favorite to win it is often proper to offer a beaver if they are allowed.

Bertha : When a player accidentally moves a 6-5 roll from the 24 to the 13 point without having observed that his opponent has secured their 6 and 7 points. A Bertha is an illegal play but will stand if it goes
unnoticed by the participants.

BIBA: The British Isles Backgammon Association. An association of Backgammon players and clubs based in the United Kingdom that compete in tournaments. When you compete in the 'Bright n' Breezy' tournament in Brighton, England, you must have a BIBA membership.

Big Play (Bold or Strong Play): A bold or aggressive play when a safer yet less constructive play is available. An example of a big play would be to hit loose on your 5 pt. in hopes of making that point on the next roll and securing an advantage even though you could have played the roll without exposing a blot.

Binache : See Beaver.

Black : One of the players in the game of Backgammon, the one using the darker or black checkers.

Blitz (Wipeout, Attacking Game): See Attacking Game.

Blind Hit : A shot from the bar that hits an opponents blot in the outfield. When brining in winning positions with your opponent on the bar, beware of the blind shot.

Block : To form points in front of your opponent to hinder their progress. It is often important to block points 5 and 6 points away from a point your opponent would like to leave to make it more difficult and increase the likelihood of them leaving you a shot.

Blockade: See Prime.

Blocking Game: A strategy in which one or both players base their deployment of checkers on impeding the movement of the opponents checkers. (see Block).

Blocking Point: A point that hinders your opponents progress. (see block.)

Blot : An exposed single checker on a point. Subject to being hit by the opponent. When given the option, it is usually correct to hit a blot early in the game.

Blot Hitting Contest: A position in which there is a rapid exchange of hits. When both players are playing a very loose game it will often develop into a blot hitting contest.

Blunder : Moving your checkers in such a way that there was a far better way to do it. Making a very poor cube decision. Making a checker blunder gives your opponent a better chance of winning and will sometimes lead to them offering you a double. It is important to learn from blunders and this site has a great feature called "blunder of the week".

Board : The entire playing surface. Also, any of the four quadrants of the board. (i.e.. your inner board, your outer board, opponents inner board, and opponents outer board. In most backgammon tournaments you are required to bring your own board.

Boardage: The term used when a player has more points covered in their board also known as a "stronger board". Typically you should
try to maximize contact if you are behind in the race and have

Booby Point: The opponents Bar Point. Escape with both men from the booby point is difficult. The booby point is a liability when your opponent has the better timing.

Book a checker: Safety a checker by making a point. After slotting it is your goal to book that checker on the next roll.

Bot (Robot): A computer program, often a neural net, that serves as a backgammon opponent or as a tool for analyzing the checker plays and cube decisions in a backgammon match. The most common Bot players are Snowie, Jellyfish, and GNU. If you are unsure of the correct play in a certain situation it is often helpful to consult the decision of a Bot.

Box (in the box, man in the box): In a Backgammon Chouette, the player who is playing against the rest of the contestants. When the Captain wins the game, they become the box for the next game.

Boxcars (The Boys): A roll of double sixes. It is frustrating when your opponent gets boxcars in a close bearoff.

Break a Point: To give up a point already owned. When you roll a 6
from an ace point game and can't use that number anywhere else, you have to break the point (the 1 pt.).

Break a Prime: To open points in the prime. See break a point.

Break Contact: To bypass your opponents checkers making it a pure racing game. When you are well ahead in a race it is important to break contact so you will not be sent back by getting a blot hit.

Break the Board (break up, crash): To give up points you have established in your inner board. See break a point.

Builder : A checker in position to help build important points which need to be made in the next few rolls. You are more likely to make a point
with several builders within 6 pips of the point you wish to make.

Bulletproof : A term used to describe an opponent whose blots frequently avoid being hit. I would have won the match if I could have hit one of the shots my opponent left me but they were bulletproof and avoided the hit every time.

Bump : See Hit.

Button Up: To safety a checker by bringing it together with another checker. See Book a checker.