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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.



Main Flight: A term to describe the group of players in a tournament
who have not lost a match. At the beginning of a tournament you are competing in the main until you lose a match with typically sends
you to the consolation flight.

Making a Point: Two of a players checkers on the same point 'make it' and close it to the opponents checkers. Making a point or two in you inner board is important if you plan on containing your opponents checkers there.

Mandatory Double: This occurs when it is correct for the trailer in the match to double in a game because if they lose, the match will be over regardless of whether they double or not. In essence, they have nothing to lose by offering the double. A trailing player has a mandatory double any time after the Crawford Game is played.

Market : The chances of you winning extra points by offering a double.
A Market Gainer would be a sequence of rolls that would allow your opponent to take a double that they previously wouldn't. A Market Loser would be a sequence of rolls that would cause your opponent to drop a double they previously would have taken. A double is more efficient
if you turn the cube before you lose your market.

Match : A series of games played to a predetermined number of points.
A typical match in tournament play for beginners is 7 points.

Match Equity: The chances of a player winning a match. Match equity
is a key consideration when making cube decisions.

Match Equity Table: A table that gives accurate estimates of Match Equity based on the score of a match and the assumption that the players are of equal ability. If you can memorize a match equity table
you will be at a distinct advantage when it comes to making cube decisions. Click here for a match equity table by Kit Woolsey.

Match Play: A method of play usually used in tournaments whereby the first player to reach a predetermined number of points win the match. Cube handling can be quite different in match play when compared to money play.

Match Point: One point less than the number of points needed to win
the match. If you are one away from winning you are said to be
at match point.

Match Point Game: Any game where one player is at match point.

Middle Game: The main body of the game after the opening moves and before either player begins to bear off. The middle game tends to be where stronger players excel as they use their skill to strengthen their position and determine the likely direction of the game.

Midpoint : Your 13 pt. or your opponents 12 pt. A good strategic point held by both players at the beginning of the game that provides
control of the outer board and a place for back checkers to land. Players are typically loathe to abandon their midpoint early in the game.

Mix it Up: To get involved in a blot hitting contest. Sometimes when you are playing a weak position it is better to mix it up and hope for something constructive to happen.

Mixed Roll: Any roll where there are two different numbers on the dice.
A mixed roll includes every roll besides doubles.

Money Game: A game played for money. In a money game the cube can always be used and is not restricted by a set number of points. A money session is a series of money games played for a predetermined number of games, until one player is a chosen number of points ahead, or
can be ended when either player wishes to stop.

Movement of Checkers (down, in, off, out, up, around the corner, across): 1. In- from the bar to opponents home board 2. Up-moving forward within opponents home board. 3. Out-moving from opponents home board to opponents outer board. 4. Down or Around the corner-moving from opponents outer board to players outer board. 5. In- moving from a players outer board to the players home board. 6. Off- moving from players home board off the board permanently in the bear off. 7. Across- Moving from any of the four quadrants to any other quadrants.

Mutual Holding Game: A game in which both players hold defensive points waiting for the other to be forced out of hit by rolling an awkward number. A mutual holding game typically consists of players controlling the midpoints and bar points and waiting for the other to be forced off of their holding point by timing.

MWC : Match Winning Chances. The odds or probability that you will win the match.