# When is a backgammon not a backgammon?

So here is the basic idea: My opponent has put one of my checkers on the bar and begins bearing off. A turn or two later, I get a lucky roll and move off the bar, putting one of my opponent's checkers on the bar. Assuming I already had my home area covered, I continue to roll until I start bearing off, when my opponent encounters some serious bad luck in the rolling department and isn't able to move his checker off the bar until his last turn. On my next roll I get lucky again, role doubles, and I'm done.

Since I have borne off all my checkers, and my opponent still has a checker in my home area, is this a backgammon, or has the fact that my opponent has borne off at least one checker make this only a cube? I was always taught that cube is only when the loser has all their checkers in their home area and have borne off at least one checker, however another answer here, as well as wikipedia seem to indicate otherwise.

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Welcome to the site. An upvote to get you started. – Tom Au Sep 6 '11 at 14:12

## 1 Answer

A backgammon occurs when you have borne off ALL your checkers, and BOTH of the following are true: 1) Your opponent has at least one checker in your home area and 2) Your opponent has borne off NO checkers.

In this situation, your opponent had ALREADY begun bearing off checkers when he got hit. So the fact that this checker was in your home board has no bearing on "backgammon." (And if he had gotten it out of your home board before you bore off, there would have been no gammon.)

The cube can operate with or without a gammon or backgammon, so you get the value of the cube in this instance. If you're playing "Jacoby Rule," you can't score a gammon or backgammon without the cube's being turned.

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A small point, but it's the Jacoby rule that stops you claiming a gammon/backgammon in an uncubed game. (The Crawford rule is in matchplay, you can't double in the first game after your opponent reaches 1 short of victory) – Julia Hayward Mar 3 '14 at 14:15
@JuliaHayward: OK, fixed. Thanks. – Tom Au Jul 29 '14 at 14:16