Some Common Backgammon Terms Beginners Should Learn

When you learn backgammon basics you'll encounter a lot of terminology that may seem vague. This is so since backgammon, like almost any other organized facet of life, will have its own set of jargon and peculiar terms. We'll go over some very elementary terms you have encountered in our discussion of backgammon basics and others more that should be part of your related vocabulary.

Term #1 - Blots: Blots are single or solitary checkers on a point. These are open to attack and opposing checkers can land on them, or in backgammon terminology - hit them, thus sending them to the bar.

Term #2 - Bar: The bar is located at the very center of your backgammon board. it is that ridge that divides your board in two. Incidentally, this is where your board folds in half, that is if your backgammon board is the type that folds like a chess board. Every checker that is hit is sent to the bar which is some sort of starting line for all checkers before entering a home board.

Term #3 - Hit: To hit is to land one of your checkers on an opposing blot. The checker that was hit will be moved over to the bar making it start all over again. Hitting is a tactical move in backgammon since it serves to delay your opponent's progress in the race.

Term #4 Make a Point/Build a Point: Making or building a point simply means to take control of certain points on the backgammon board. This is done by landing at least two checkers on any of the points on the board. Opposing checkers can't land on any points you have already made much so hit them. Sometimes when you make a point that point you have owned or controlled is called an anchor, which also serves as a safety zone where your checkers can land in peace.

Term #5 - Prime: A prime is a row of anchors you have made. These anchors are built side by side for the purpose of containing or trapping opposing checkers.

Term #6 - Home Board/Outer Board: The home board is the last quadrant where checkers need to go before they are borne off. There are two home boards and opposite them are the outer boards.

Term #7 - Builder: This is a checker landing on your outer board which will be used to build or make a point in your next turn.

Term #8 - Gammons/Backgammons: A gammon is a game that is scored at least two points since the losing player isn't able to bear off a checker. A backgammon is the name of the game and is also a game that scores at least three points since the losing player still has checkers on the bar or on the opposing home board.

These are a few elementary terms you should learn when going over the basics of backgammon.