On Line Backgammon

Backgammon's Common Jargons and Technical Terms

Like every other game backgammon has its own jargon or set of technical terms. Beginners and skeptics may sometimes get confused about what players are talking about when discussing or analyzing a certain game. We'll discuss some of the jargons and technical terms that are often used and the ones that become quite confusing when we talk about backgammon.

The first jargon we'll discuss is the point. Points are the 24 triangles on the game board. When players say they made a point it means they have placed more than one checker on one of these points. In contrast, a blot is a jargon that means a point occupied by a single checker.

One technical term that's pretty easy to understand is the inner or home board. It helps to know that the backgammon game board is divided into four quadrants. This jargon refers to the quadrant where the checkers are removed from board.

The next jargon is now easy understand -- the outer board. Obviously these are the two remaining quadrants of the board.

The bar is the technical term we use to refer to the rail that divides the board in half. When a checker is hit, it is placed here. That leads us to our next backgammon jargon.

A hit is to knock off a player's lone checker (i.e. blot) from a point sending it to the bar. Enter or entering is the jargon we use to mean that a checker that was sent to the bar is coming back into play on the board.

The technical term for the layout of a player's checkers on the game board is the position. Relative to that is the pip count -- the jargon use to imply the total number of points all the checkers need to travel in order for them to bear off.

To bear off is the jargon we use to signify removing a checker from the board. In contrast, to bear in is the jargon we use when referring to checkers entering the home board.

A builder is the technical term we use to refer to a checker that is on a point we intend to use to make a point. When we are able to build a series of consecutive points the jargon we use to refer to this is a prime.

A familiar jargon we will encounter is the cube. When we say the cube we refer to the doubling cube (the dice that has the numbers two, eight, sixteen, thirty-two, and sixty-four on it. The rest of the cube jargon are to own the cube which means that a player accepts a double and reserves the right to redouble, to take means accept the offer to double, and last jargon is to pass which means to refuse doubling and lose the game.

These are the common backgammon jargons and technical terms player will often use. When we understand them we can then join in a conversation about the game.

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