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Backgammon Sets

Backgammon Glossary

ABT is the acronym for the American Backgammon Tour. The ABT holds an annual tour similar to the American Contract Bridge League's. For more information visit

Anchor/Advanced Anchor
An anchor is a point on your opponent's inner backgammon board occupied by two or more of your checkers. An advanced anchor is an anchor on your opponent's four point or five point.

Back Game/Holding Game
Back game refers to the strategy used when a player holds two or more anchors. The goal is to hold the anchors as long as possible, forcing an awkward bear off, and hopefully hitting a blot. If a player is behind on the table, this strategy is called a holding game.

Bear In/Bear Off/Bearoff
To bear in is to move your checkers into your inner board in preparation for bear off. Bear off, also known as throw off, take off, eat, or peel, is the process of removing pieces from the inner table.

A single checker occupying a point is called a blot. A blot is vulnerable to a shot from an opponent's checker. A successful shot is called a hit, at which point the blot is moved to the bar and forced to start over. 15 Inch Blue/Beech Wooden Backgammon Set

Closed Out/Shutout
Losing a blot is especially frustrating if it is closed out or shutout, which occurs when a checker on the bar can't re-enter play because all points on your outer board are occupied by two or more of your opponent's checkers.

No, this doesn't mean your Internet connection status when playing backgammon online. Connectivity means positioning checkers so that they're within six points or less of your other checkers, enabling you to form points and avoid blots.

Gammon is the backgammon term for bearing off all of your checkers before your opponent has peeled any (or vice versa). If you're playing with a cube, a gammon is worth twice the points.

Inner Board/hHome Board/Outer Board
Your inner board or home board is the quadrant with the six points your checkers must occupy before bearoff. Your opponent's inner board is your outer board.

Stacking refers to the backgammon style often used by timid or defensive players. Checkers are used to establish points and avoid exposing blots, leading to checker formations that resemble candlesticks.

U.S. Backgammon Federation
The USBGF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness, participation and education of backgammon. It is a leader in promoting the game through forums, tournaments and information.