Backgammon in Definitions


To resign is to forfeit the game. If a player believes that he will lose, he may choose to resign. The opponent, however, can refuse the resignation if the opponent believes that the game could otherwise end in gammon or backgammon. A player may also offer to resign as a gammon or backgammon.

Match play

Match play is a two-player tournament in which the players play a series of games until one of them attains a predetermined number of points. This series of games is called a match.

Precision Dice

Precision dice are dice that are made specially to be precise by having flat rather than indented pips.

Back Game

When a player is behind in the race but has one or more checkers in his opponent’s home board, he may play a back game strategy in which he hits a late shot and tries to contain his opponent’s checker behind a prime. A player playing a back game risks losing in a gammon or a backgammon.


To preclear is to vacate a high point in your home board before all your men are in your home board, in preparation for bearing off

Premature Roll

If a player rolls the dice before the other player has removed his dice from the board, it is considered a premature roll. In most backgammon tournaments and rules, premature rolls must be rerolled.

Game Plan

There are three main game plans (strategies): run, block, and attack.

Running Strategy

A player playing a running strategy avoids contact with the opponent to the greatest extent possible.

Blocking strategy

A blocking strategy relies on building primes and keeping the opponent’s checkers from progressing.

Attacking Strategy

A player using an attacking strategy hits and closes out the opponent as much as possible by controlling the points in his home board.

End Play

The end of the game when at least one of the players has started to bear off is called end play

Contact Position

If checkers have not all passed each other and it is still possible to hit or block, it is considered a contact position.

Pure Race

When players are no longer in a contact position, and are only trying to bear off as quickly as possible, the backgammon game is referred to as a pure race.

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