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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.



Dance (Dancing on the Bar): To fail to re-enter off the bar. A game can be difficult to win if your opponent strengthens their position while you dance on the bar.

Dead Checker: A checker deep in your own inner board that can no longer help build a point. It is difficult to close your inner board if you have too many dead checkers.

Dead Cube (Frozen Cube): This is a term used in backgammon match play when the doubling cube is not further used because the value of the cube is enough for the player to win the match. It is sometimes easier to double an opponent when you know the cube will be dead if it is accepted because you know it cannot be given back to you to double the stakes yet again.

Decline a Double: See Drop.

Deep : Refers to the one or two point in your inner board. It is usually unwise to make deep points early in the game unless you are attempting a blitz.

Deprive yourself of numbers: See Killing Numbers.

Deuce Point: The 2 point.

Dice : Cubes with dots numbered from 1 to 6. Each player takes turns rolling a pair of dice to determine the amount of spaces per move. The dots on the dice are also referred to as pips. A single roll of the dice has the potential to win or lose a game.

Dice Cup: A cylinder or open-ended box, in which a player shakes the dice and casts them. Dice cups were probably employed in backgammon to reduce the chances of manipulating the dice using sleight of hand.

Die : The singular form of Dice.

Dilly Builder: A spare checker that can only help to build a deep point in your inner board. The only purpose of a dilly builder is to make the 1 or 2 point which are more useful at the end of a game.

Direct Shot: When a checker can be hit by a number on a single die (1-6). A direct shot will be hit more frequently than an indirect one.

Disengage : To break contact with the opponents checkers turning the game into a pure race. When well ahead in the race it is wise to disengage.

Diversification (Diversify): Arranging checkers so that you will have different useful numbers on the following turn. It is better to arrange checkers in a way that whatever number you roll on your next turn, you will have a constructive play to make.

DMP: See Double Match Point. A match that goes to DMP is played
just as if it were a one point game.

Double (give a little present to, cube, turn the crank, up the ante, twist): The process of turning the cube in backgammon. Each double multiplies the preceding stakes by two. While the cube itself has
markings only up to 64, theoretically doubling and redoubling can continue beyond this number. In practical play the cube is seldom above 8. A player generally doubles when they feel they have a distinct advantage in the game almost daring their opponent to play on for double the stakes.

Double Ducks (Ducks, Quacks): The roll of double 2's. Ducks on an early roll are usually played by making the 4 pt. and the 11 pt.

Double Dummy: Speculating or discussing what would have been the correct move in light of what has been rolled and not what the odds dictated at the time. It is double dummy to try and justify a poor decision by looking at the very next roll, it is the majority of rolls that should be used to make decisions.

Double Game: See Gammon. Or alternatively: A money or chouette game where an automatic double has to be taken after the first roll was tied. Some players don't play with the automatic double rule that would cause a double game when the roll is tied.

Double Hit (Two on the Roof): To hit two opposing blots at the same time. A double hit is a very powerful tempo move as the opponent's entire roll must be used to attempt to re-enter the checkers rather than strengthen their position.

Double Jeopardy: When an awkward number could appear on either of the next two rolls. A stripped position while bearing off against a good backgame could lead to double jeopardy.

Double Match Point (DMP): When both players are either one away or two away from the end of the backgammon match. At double match point when two away, the Bots tend to double on the very first roll whereas human players tend to wait for some small advantage hoping
for their opponent to drop.

Doubles (Doublets): Two dice with the same number, which allows you to move twice the amount of the double. Doubles are especially useful during the bear off when you may get to take off 4 checkers instead of only two.

Doubling Cube (Doubling Block): See Cube.

Doubling on the Come: Doubling in expectation of a good roll. Some players like to double when they have a single shot at a checker when if hit, would lead to winning the game even though the odds are against them.

Double Whopper (also Double Whopper with Cheese): A very big blunder or mistake. When players are discussing errors in checker play they use the term whopper (referencing the Burger King delicacy) to varying degrees based on the severity of the error.

Doubling Window: The 'window' of opportunity (time) during a backgammon game where offering a double would be advantageous and give you the greatest equity. If you double before the window it is too early and an easy take and if you double after the window it is too late and is a drop. The window is typically when you have 60-75% match winning chances. To offer efficient doubles in backgammon it is a
good idea to get an estimate of the match equity to make sure you are within the doubling window.

Downside : What you lose if you take a risk and don't succeed. The downside to slotting an important point is that the blot may be hit.

Drop : 1. To Drop a double (pass). 2. To drop a man (slot). When there is less than a 25% chance of winning a game it is usually wise to drop a double. Some people like to drop a man from the 6 pt. to the 5 pt. with an opening roll of 2-1.

Dropper : 1. Someone who tends to drop (decline, pass) doubles even when they should be accepted. 2. A term for someone who leaves in the middle of an online match because they are losing. It is good to offer early doubles against a dropper. Several servers have matches finished automatically by Bots after a certain amount of time to negate the efforts of droppers.

Drop Point: The point at which it is no longer equitable to take a double. The drop point changes depending on the match score.

Drop -Take: A situation in a Chouette where one player drops a double while another takes but both share the loss on the dropped cube and the potential wins or losses on the taken cube. A drop-take situation in a Chouette leads to only one cube still in play but two players sharing it and the loss from the dropped cube.

Duplication : Arranging checkers so that your opponent needs the same numbers to do useful things (i.e.. hit a shot) on the next roll. If you have to leave shots during a backgammon game it is advantageous to
practice duplication and leave the shots the same number of pips away from the checkers that can hit them.