Backgammon is one of the oldest board games known to man and it's endurance over the centuries is in no small part due to how simple it looks on the surface but how complex it actually is the deeper you look into it. One of the features of this game that makes it so interesting and so fun to play is that it is equally a game of luck and a game of skill. This is why it is so complicated. Beginners are initially taken by how the game is governed by a simple set of rules and is pretty easy to learn how to play. But when a beginner plays against an experienced backgammon player they start to realize how much deeper the game actually is to what they initially thought. This is because even though backgammon moves are governed by the roll of the dice, it is what you decide to do with those random rolls that really determines how a game of backgammon unfolds. Backgammon players often talk about the “superficial” game of backgammon and the “deep” or “inner” game. The first as explained above is simply determined by rolling the dice and moving your stones around the board so as to get “home” and then roll to remove them.
The deeper game which is much studied by experts and even computer experts tasked with creating evermore competent computer A.I backgammon players. There are a mindboggling number of possible moves a player can make upon having rolled the dice and usually the outcome of a game is determined by how good each of these moves is and how consistent a player is in making the best possible moves with their stones. This is why backgammon can also be thought as a game of psychology and endurance and of course tactics. Beginner players rarely stray further from the luck aspect of the game and their wins and loses are determined almost purely by chance. This is also why one of the commonly said things about beginning to experiment with backgammon strategy is that at the beginning you will usually lose games, this is because exploring backgammon strategy involves making moves that can be thought of as counter-intuitive.
As such backgammon players who complain of bad luck, or bad dice are usually thought of as just bad players. The truth is you can spend hundreds of hours playing the same kind of game and not see yourself noticeably improving. The reason for this is that growth as a backgammon player is hard-earned and involves thinking outside of the box, quite literally. Beginner strategy usually involves keeping your stones as safe as you can, hoping that your next roll is a good one and doing the best you can with that roll. Be aware that this is only the entry level of the game and backgammon is much deeper than just that.
This is why a wealth of literature has been devoted to the game. If you are truly interested in progressing further than this basic level of play in backgammon we have a few tips that will send you on your way. Firstly as mentioned there are a huge number of books on the market written by expert backgammon players that will help introduce to the deeper levels of the game. Secondly, you can really reap the rewards of online backgammon communities by joining such a service and making friends with other more experienced players. These sites allow online play as well as offering a wealth of other resources such as player interviews, tutorials and strategy guides. Thirdly a decent backgammon program on your computer is essential. The reason for this is not only that chess A.I has come a hell of a long way over the last decade or so and so you will have access to a very high level of play right from the comfort of your own home, but also that such programs also offer detailed analysis of your moves so you can start to see where you are going wrong and just how many more possibilities there are than you initially thought. This kind of analysis is vital as far as we're concerned as it really narrows in on the type of game you instinctively resort to and shows you that even what you perceived as your victories have often been only due to incompetent opponents. Once, with the aid of a backgammon program, you start to zero in on all the unconscious mistakes you make and begin to learn new ways to play the game you will become a far stronger opponent. You can really learn more from a handful of games played with computer analysis than hundreds upon hundreds played I ignorance of the true depth of the game.
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