Ed's Backgammon Page!

Last update:  November, 2023


Why are so many people turned on to the game of backgammon? 

The reason is quite simple. Everyone craves excitement, and backgammon is the most exciting game you will ever learn. Whether you are playing in a casino for huge stakes, killing time on a tedious plane journey, or just livening up a quiet evening at home, you inevitably find yourself playing on a little longer and a little longer. Backgammon players have learned to acknowledge that "Now, these have got to be the last three games - and this time I really mean it" is one of the most pointless sentences in the English language.

If you enjoy solving problems of logic, backgammon will constantly challenge you with new situations. If competition is what you like - "thrill of victory and agony of defeat" stuff - backgammon tournaments will gratify your wildest fantasies. And, of course, if gambling is your bag, prepare to get hooked for life. The game requires time to learn, but once mastered, backgammon repays its devotees with endless hours of high drama.

(From the excellent book Backgammon - Learning to Win by Lewis Deyong)


Backgammon: the right balance between a board game where thereís real skill in maneuvering the pieces - which of course it has in common with chess - and a gambling game like poker, where youíre betting on probabilistic outcomes.  Itís a very nice merger of the two.

- Bill Robertie



Backgammon is a deceptive game. Players of all levels invariably underestimate its profundity; it is a complex game of tactics and strategy. On every roll, a decision must be made, and the cumulative weight of these decisions is a vital factor in winning.

- Paul Magriel

Backgammon is an elegant amalgamation of probability, statistics, game theory, and psychology. It is a game of considerable long-term skill punctuated by short-term uncertainty.

Over time, the experienced player will defeat the novice by reducing the uncertainty component through skillful play and will be known as "lucky."

- Ed Rosenblum



Backgammon is a rich, complex game of strategy that is far from solved. Top players like myself are constantly learning new things.

The beauty of backgammon is that it always can be blamed on the dice when you lose. Great players always seem to be getting lucky! They carefully choose plays that take reasonable risks in return for maximum reward. They choose plays that create good rolls for themselves and bad rolls for their opponent. Then when they get a good roll or their opponent gets a bad roll, it is easy for the opponent to blame the dice rather than credit their skilled adversary for creating the conditions to make their demise likely. Yes, any player can beat any other player in any single game. It is the illusion of hope and the occasional reinforcement of that hope that keep people wanting to play more.

- Rich Munitz

Backgammon, like life, is decision making under a constant circumstance of uncertainty.

- Neil Kazaross


Backgammon is a much more subtle, difficult, intricate game than people can possibly believe. The difficulty comes not in explicit calculation of odds; it comes, like chess, in the understanding and recognition of the strategy. In chess thereís no calculating of odds, yet thatís a very difficult game. Backgammon is an extremely misleading game in the sense that it seems a lot simpler than it is.

The fact that thereís the dice element masks the deep subtlety, the complexity, the beauty of the underlying strategy. Thereís so much more going on beneath the surface than people usually can possibly imagine. All different levels. People at all levels pretty much think they know all there is to know, they brush up a little about odds when theyíre just a million miles away from understanding. But the dice disguise the fact that itís a game of position and strategy.

Backgammon is very misleading. Itís hardly a simple game at all. The complexity certainly rivals, I believe, that of chess or bridge. Thereís a lot more to the game than people can possibly imagine. There are all sorts of different levels of ability and skill. You keep on getting better and better but people just donít recognize that there are all different levels, these different levels of play. So itís a very subtle, very profound game. But it appears to be a very, very simple game, which is part of the fascination of it.

- Paul Magriel


Where does that leave us in our quest for the perfect game? If I was going to have to pick one, I would choose backgammon. It is full of drama, twists and turns. The lead can shift dramatically with a roll of the dice. As with the mathematics of chaos, small changes can send things in completely new directions. A beginner has the ability to beat an expert, but even when the dice seem against you, strategic play can still give you the upper hand. The rules couldnít be simpler, and yet, in each of the thousands of matches Iíve played, the story is different every time. And as well as being one of the most perfect games, it is also one of humanityís most ancient Ė able to trace its origins back to the game Finkel decoded at the British Museum.

- Marcus du Sautoy



How did I become a
backgammon fan?  
Here's my story!
My collection of
105 different

backgammon books!
Photos of some of
my backgammon sets
Is backgammon a
game of skill or chance?

this article from the
September 1982 issue of
GAMES Magazine
Here's a few entertaining
backgammon problems
from Bill Davis
Here are a couple of
backgammon probability charts
you may find interesting

The technology 
behind backgammon

by Paul Wardley
Personal Computer World

 Here's a very simple lesson I
wrote many years ago,
regarding dice
and the laws of probability
Here's a very simple
backgammon lesson, again,
that I wrote many years ago.

My first
backgammon tournament!


Playing For Keeps: 

A Weekend With The
Backgammon Sub-Culture


Below are a few backgammon links

GammonVillage Young Backgammon Player A Star bgonline.org/forums Backgammon Studio
The Gammon Press Brahma Boards Nack Ballard's website Backgammon Learning Center
Database of Backgammon Matches Backgammon Elegance GammonLife.com Gnu Backgammon
All About GNU
Why Isn't Backgammon More Popular? Paul's Backgammon Vaults Backgammon Camp TheDoublingCube.com
Rollouts for Robertie's 501 Essential
Backgammon Problems
Sports Illustrated Article
A Gamesman's War Against Luck...
Developing a New Java Algorithm
for Playing Backgammon
Playing For Keeps:  A Weekend
With The Backgammon Sub-Culture
Backgammon at BoardgameGeek Erhan Boards  Custom Backgammon Boards eXtreme Gammon
Backgammon: Luck or Skill? The Ultimate Backgammon Board Backgammoned.net Temporal Difference Learning and TD-Gammon
TD-learning, neural networks, and backgammon Backgammon Sets from Zontik Games Chicago Point Arizona Backgammon Club
Carol Joy Cole's Backgammon A La Carte Backgammon Bonanza Backgammon Galore! Backgammon Tutor
Double Sixes:  What Backgammon and My Daughter Taught Me About How to Lighten Up Love of Backgammon:
To Arabs, It's the
1 Game That Counts
Backgammon Forum
at Two Plus Two hosted
by Bill Robertie
34th Monte Carlo Backgammon
World Championships 2009
 Backgammon Stock Photos & Images on 123RF Gammon Stuff Global in Its Appeal,
Backgammon Is on a Roll
Kit Woolsey's Gammon Online
Essential Backgammon bgtrain.com Back-Gammon.TV World Backgammon Association
Backgammon on YouTube Let it roll with
GNU Backgammon!
Las Vegas Backgammon Club Backgammon Sets from Crisloid
Backgammon Club Database Backgammon at Wikipedia Backgammon merchandise on eBay Backgammon at Games.com
Mochy at Twitch.tv Backgammon By The Bay American Backgammon Tour on Facebook Backgammon Pictures
& Images on Photobucket
Chris Bray Backgammon Orange County Backgammon Club Collection of Unique Backgammon Boards Hardy's Backgammon Pages 
Gammon Backgammon Boards FTH High-Class Tournament Boards  US Backgammon Federation  The Chaos of the Dice
BackgammonAce The P-40 Backgammon Board Bradford Boards Gammon City
The Professional Brazilian
Backgammon Boards
Nordic Backgammon Boards A 1979 Sports Illustrated
Article on Paul Magriel
Large collection of backgammon-like
games to play with your browser
Backgammon Galaxy Paul Magriel  Memorial -
Tribute by Robert Wachtel