Some myths about backgammon

1. Many people say that backgammon is a game of luck. Of course it is a game of luck. You must roll the dices and make your moves according to what the numbers on the dices show. You cannot predict what they would show, or you cannot make them show the numbers you need. Until now, it is all clear. But let’s think a little bit more. You may have the best rolls that you could ever ask for, and move the checkers in the worst ways possible. You can even loose the game if you do that. On the other hand, someone who has a lot of experience, may not have the same best rolls, and still be able to win the game. It is all about the experience of the player; it is about how he is able to turn every roll into his favor, how to calculate the best moves that he can make, in order to minimize the risks. Perhaps it is even a little bit of mathematics, and a little bit of knowing how to take the focus and attention away from the other player.  You cannot control the dices, but you can definitely control how to play. And that has nothing to do with luck.

2. If you find yourself in the position of choosing between two or more moves, which you think they are very close to each other, take a moment and think again. There is no such thing as the same. One of them, in the long run, is at least a few percentages better than he other. And in the long run, one or two decisions like these ones can make the difference weather you loose the game or not.

3. Don’t think that if you play against a computer, you have more chances of winning just because you are not playing against a real person, who can take decisions and who can “think”. Except a few cases, computer programs are at least as good as real, even very experienced players. So if you would like improve your skills and knowledge, computer programs are a good way start with.

4. Like many other people, you may think that when you play online, the dices are not accurate. That they show exactly what you don’t need, but exactly what the opponent needs. Or that too many doubles occur. But there have been many studies done both by the owners of such online backgammon servers, and by other people, and the conclusion was the same: there is no need to worry about, because dices on line are as random as the real ones. And nobody has ever come up with any computer program that can calculate which numbers to roll in order to fit or harm a player.

5. As I have said before, you can gain experience by playing a lot. But now I come back to this statement, in order to complete it. You cannot gain experience just by playing backgammon, because it is not quite enough. Of course, you can become a pretty good player, and win against most of your friends, if you just stick to this level. But if you plan to participate in tournaments, playing against really qualified opponents, you must spend quite some time studying from books or from a teacher.