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backgammon tips

Backgammon Terms starting with 'F'

Fly Shot - An indirect shot with only a few combinations. Late in the game it can sometimes be better to play very safe rather than leave an unlikely fly shot that loses you the game.

Front Position - A collection of blocking/attacking points in your own home board. A good front position is of little use if there are none of your opponents checkers behind it.

Free Drop Vigorish - The slight advantage the leader has after the crawford game because of the option to drop an early double at no cost. This occurs in Post-Crawford games when the trailer has an even number of points to go. If you had to bet on two players of equal ability where one has a free drop, you would be wiser to bet on that player due to the free drop vigorish.

Free Drop - In backgammon match play after the Crawford game when the player in the lead has the option to drop a double without reducing the number of games the trailer needs to win the match. A free drop is utilized when the trailer has an advantage from the initial roll. The free drop offers the leader a little extra equity since they are able to drop a double in a position that gives their opponent a slight advantage.

Forced Move - When there is only one legal way to play a roll. Late in the bear off if you roll a set of sixes and have no checkers on the 6 pt. it is a forced move to take off the next four highest checkers.

Fish - A weak player willing to play for money against a stronger player. Jake Jacobs and Walter Trice wrote a book about matches involving unequal players called 'Can a fish taste twice as good?'

Field Goal - When a player has two men exposed close together and the opposing checker lands between them without hitting one. A field goal is a specific type of air ball.

Fast Board (Speed Board) - A bear off position where all the checkers are on deeper points where large numbers are not necessary to bear off and there are no gaps to waste numbers. Usually by the time you get to use the advantage of having a fast board in the bear off, the opponent is already too far ahead in the game.

Fan - To fail to re-enter after being hit. Sometimes it feels as if the only time you roll double sixes is when you fan from the bar against a 1 point board.

Flexibility - Having your checkers arranged so that you can constructively play a variety of rolls on subsequent turns. It is important to have flexibility in the early stages of the game so that you are not forced into making candlesticks.

Full Prime - Six points in a row held by one player. A full prime is the most powerful position in backgammon as an opponent is stuck behind it until it is broken.

Articles written by backgammon players about the game
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