“N” Backgammon Terms

Terms that Start with “N” Letter

There are - 21 - terms.


[Named after Nack Ballard, who popularized the game.]  A backgammon variant played using the same rules as regular backgammon except for the starting position. Players start with 2 checkers on each of the opponent's one-point and two-point, 4 checkers on the mid-point, 3 checkers on the eight-point, and 4 checkers on the six-point. With fewer checkers up front for attacking, and more checkers back for anchoring and maneuvering, games tend to be longer and more positional


[An amalgamation of "Nack" (for Nack Ballard) and "action notation."]  A convenient notation for describing backgammon positions in the first several moves of the game.   See: the Nactation Tutorial for a complete description.


[Also spelled "Nardi" and "Nardy".]  A Russian game similar to Moultezim.   See: How to Play Narde.

Neil's Numbers

[Devised by backgammon expert Neil Kazaross.]  A mnemonic device for estimating match equity (1) based on the current match score. The leader's percent probability of winning the match is 50, plus his point (4) lead in the match multiplied by the appropriate Neil's number. Compare: Janowski's Formula and Turner's Formula.

Neural Network (Neural Net)

The architecture used in many of the strongest backgammon programs such as Jellyfish, Snowie, and GNU Backgammon. A neural network consists of many simple processors connected by unidirectional paths carrying numeric data. The network is "trained" by adjusting the weights of the connections until desired outputs are achieved for given inputs.


[From the online match between Kit Woolsey and Readers at GammonU. When the Readers' play is obvious, they are greeted with a link that says "Next" and the game proceeds without a vote.]  A move that is clearly better than the alternatives or obvious enough that it requires no explanation.


An easy decision.

Noncommitted Position

A position with a flexible game plan; a game where there is more than one reasonable strategy for winning, such as racing, priming, or blitzing (1).

Nonprogressive Consolation

A consolation tournament for losers of the first round of the main tournament. Losers in later rounds of the main event do not get to enter the consolation event.  Compare: Progressive Consolation.

Norges Backgammonforbund (NBGF)

Norwegian Backgammon Federation.   Website: www.norgesbackgammonforbund.no.

Normalized Match Score

A match score expressed in terms of the number of points (4) needed to win the match rather than the number of points won so far. For example, a score of 5-1 in a match to 7 would be "2-away/6-away". Normalized scores are used in match equity tables.


The method of representing the moves of a game. See post by Dean Gay.

Novice Division

The tournament division for the weakest players, particularly those who do not desire the stronger competition and higher entrance fees of the other divisions.   Compare: Intermediate Division and Open Division.

Novice Level

A player who is new to backgammon.  Compare: Intermediate and Advanced level.

N-Point Board

A home board with n made points.

N-Roll Position

A position in which you will bear off all of your checkers in n rolls or less. For example, having ten checkers left on your ace-point is a "5-roll position."