“P” Backgammon Terms

Terms that Start with “P” Letter

There are - 55 - terms.


A succession of events, each of which depends on the preceding event. The probability of the entire parlay is equal to the product of the probabilities of the individual events.

Partial Prime

A prime of fewer than six consecutive points (2)Compare: Full Prime.

Partner for the Box

Chouettes with a large number of players often permit the box to take a partner. The partnership is offered in rotation, starting with the captain and moving on down the line. If no one offers to be the box's partner, a partner may be chosen by lot from among the team members other than the captain.

Pay Later

To play safe in the current position but risk greater danger later in the game.  Compare: Pay NowSee: Pay-Now-or-Pay-Later Decision.

Pay Now

To take an immediate risk (such as leaving a shot) to avoid the prospect of a more serious risk later in the game.  Compare: Pay LaterSee: Pay-Now-or-Pay-Later Decision.

Pay-Now-Or-Pay-Later Decision

[From a 1980's television commercial for FRAM oil filters which showed a ruined car engine and a mechanic who quipped: "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later."]  The problem of whether to take a modest but definite risk on the current turn or wait and perhaps take a more serious risk in the future.


The best possible roll; a joker.

Pick and Pass

To hit an opposing blot and continue the same checker to safety on the same play.


The victim of a hustler.


One of the spots on a die that indicate numeric value.

A unit of distance on a backgammon board corresponding to the difference in point (1) numbers. For example, the 13-point and the seven-point are six pips apart.

Pip Count

The total number of points (or pips (2)) that a player must move his checkers to bring them home and bear them off. For example, at the start of a game each player has a pip count of 167:  48 pips for 2 checkers on the 24-point, plus 65 pips for 5 checkers on the 13-point, plus 24 pips for 3 checkers on the eight-point, plus 30 pips for 5 checkers on the six-point.


A Greek game in which players pin blots rather than hit them.  See: How to Play Plakoto.


The collection of moves a player makes in satisfying the requirements of a roll.

Player's Privilege

A fictitious rule invoked by James Bond in the movie Octopussy. Bond is playing backgammon with the villain, Kamal Khan. Khan is winning by using loaded dice that roll 6-6 when he switches them into the game. On the last roll Bond needs a 6-6 to win, so he calls out "player's privilege," which is apparently a rule allowing one player to exchange his dice for his opponent's. The loaded dice are still in Khan's cup, but he can't complain without revealing himself, so Bond takes the cup, rolls 6-6, and wins.

Play Safe

To avoid leaving blots which might be hitSee: Safe Play.


One turn by one player, a measure of how far a player (or computer program) looks ahead when selecting a play or evaluating a position. See post by JP WhiteNote: There is no agreement in the backgammon community as to whether plies are counted starting at 0 (as GNU Backgammon does it) or starting at 1 (as Snowie does it). See this thread and this thread concerning the controversy.