Knowing your odds..
Backgammon combines elements of both luck and skill. The skill set required to play backgammon is closer to that of card games like poker or gin rummy than to games like chess or checkers. Making a smart decision when faced with uncertainty takes years of experience. It is not something that can be learned by reading a book. One of the difficulties when learning a game like backgammon is that the player is not always rewarded for the correct play. Knowing if you were unlucky or just played very bad is valuable information. Luckily today we have tools like the free gnubg to analyze games and point out errors. Even that is of little value to the absolute beginner. If you are just starting out, my advice is to play play lots of short 1-3pt games and watch experienced players. Don't over analyze moves or think too long about right or wrong moves. After you gain some experience, you will begin to develop a feel for what a good move looks like. You will start to sense when a cube is about to get thrown at you. If you play the bots, you will lose many games but for every game you lose, you will have learned something and you will be that much stronger for the next game. If you get used to playing the bots, when you take a break from them and play human opponent, you will sense their weakness and you will have confidence even against the strongest human opponents.
When you get to about 1650 rating on FIBS, you can start to analyze your games and try to reduce your biggest errors. At 1750 and up you can start to study match equity and other advanced topics. If you get to 1800 and above you can start to venture out to the real money games and play low stakes 50c $1 sit and go or short matches, and have an expectation of breaking even or maybe making small gains.
Backgammon like poker, is a gambling game. There must be a stake for the game to have any meaning. If you get doubled, which is similar to a raise in poker, the level of the stake is what makes the decision interesting. If there is no fear of loss, everyone carelessly takes all doubles and reraises the raise. This is not backgammon. When you play backgammon with even a small stake like 50c, your palms will sweat, your blood will pump and you will come alive. THAT is backgammon!!
Some backgammon strategy links..
Basics for Beginners
Most common errors
Using the bots (by Kit Woolsey) Tip, If you are lucky you can sometimes find Woolsey on FIBS logged in as kitwoolsey playing Escoffery FIBS tournament This tournament is hosted 4 times a year and many well known excellent backgammon players attend. Unfortunately the matches are conducted at random times known only to the contestants. If you do happen to drop in on a game in progress, remember to use the "whisper" option to make comments so as not to disturb the contestants. A whisper will be heard only by watchers.
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greedygammon the best free backgammon game..
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