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Backgammon Etiquette

This list is mostly borrowed from the Orange County Backgammon Group Etiquette Page.

When you double, place the cube gently in the center, and say double.  If you take, put it on your side and say "take".  If you drop, be sure to put the cube in it's proper place and say "drop" or "pass" clearly. Make sure your words/actions are clear. Simply waving your arms is not good enough.

When not using a baffle box,
always shake your dice at least three times and roll them out.  Do not shake while your opponent is playing or thinking about a play.


Be quiet and still while your opponent is thinking or playing.


Do not point out your opponent's luck, or lucky rolls, either during or after a match.  Whether you mean to or not, pointing out your opponent's luck suggests that he is winning or has won due to that luck and not due to his skill.  Even if he was unbelievably lucky, it's poor form and bad sportsmanship.  And most players fail to see their own good luck as well as the many bad rolls the opponent probably got too.  Most players also forget that the better you play, the luckier you seem to be, because you are set up for more good rolls and protected against more of the bad rolls.
Do not say "nice roll" or "good game" after every good roll and after every game.  Complimenting your opponent's rolls is just another way of telling him he's lucky.  If you want to compliment him on a play, or cube decision, or well-played game, on exceptional occasions, or after the match is over, that's fine.


Do not call your opponent's bad rolls, or your own good ones.  It's irritating and capricious.


If you wish to stop and copy a board position for later analysis, do it on your own time.



I'm adding a couple more from the USBGF Rules:

Players must at all times treat the playing equipment and their fellow players in a non-abusive manner.


Spectators should generally observe Tournament backgammon as quietly and unobtrusively as reasonably possible. Spectators shall neither call attention to mistakes or illegal actions, nor ask questions or comment during a match except to point out if a player’s game clock reserve time has expired. In cases of perceived improprieties or other errors in game clock handling, spectators should immediately and privately alert the Tournament Director or another Tournament staff member. However, spectators will not be subject to sanctions under section 1.6.3, below, simply for failing to report suspected improprieties or errors in game clock handling.


In matches using a game clock, an opponent may not pick up the dice before the initial roller has completed his turn and activated the opponent’s time on the game clock. If this section is violated, the Tournament Director should be called for purposes of issuing a warning to the offending player. The Tournament Director should thereafter impose a reserve time penalty of thirty (30) seconds for each subsequent violation committed by the player. If the offending player has less than thirty (30) seconds of reserve time remaining, the player’s reserve time should be reduced to one (1) second. If the player then commits another violation of this section, the player will be deemed to have forfeited the match based on time expiration (see section 4.3.3).

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
2019 Top 25 April 18, 2019 12:44 AM Sean G.
2018 Ohio Valley Challenge Cup April 2, 2019 8:10 PM Sean G.
2019 Indiana Challenge Cup March 9, 2019 10:49 PM Sean G.
END OF MATCH DOUBLING May 23, 2018 11:41 PM Kevin H.
2017 Ohio Valley Challenge Cup May 1, 2018 7:36 PM Sean G.
2018 Top 25 December 27, 2018 5:52 PM Sean G.
2018 Indiana Challenge Cup February 25, 2018 5:38 AM Sean G.
Bloomington Backgammon Club June 21, 2017 9:23 AM Donna L.
2016 Ohio Valley Challenge Cup April 27, 2017 9:30 PM Sean G.
2017 Top 25 January 3, 2018 11:10 PM Sean G.
2017 Indiana Challenge Cup April 4, 2017 5:25 PM Sean G.
Backgammon Etiquette July 31, 2018 7:49 PM Sean G.

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