Thursday, June 29, 2006


The first strong computer opponent was BKG 9.8. It was programmed by Hans Berliner in the late 1970s on a PDP-10 as an experiment in evaluating board positions. Early versions of BKG played badly even against poor players, but Berliner noticed that the critical mistakes the program made were always at phase changes. He applied basic principles of fuzzy logic to smooth out the transition between phase changes, and by July 1979, BKG 9.8 was ready to play against then current world champion Luigi Villa. It won the match, 7-1, becoming the first computer program to defeat a world champion in any game, although this was mostly a matter of luck, as the computer happened to get better dice rolls than its opponent in that match.
Beginning in the late 1980s, creators of backgammon-playing software began to have even more success with a neural network approach. TD-Gammon, developed by Gerald Tesauro of IBM, was the first of these computer programs to play at or near the expert level. This program's neural network was trained using Temporal Difference learning applied to data generated from self-play.
This line of research has resulted in two modern commercial programs, Jellyfish and Snowie, the shareware BGBlitz (implemented in Java), and the free software GNU Backgammon, that play on a par with the best human players in the world. It is worth noting that without their associated "weights" tables which represent hours or even months of tedious neural net training, these programs play no better than a human child.
It is interesting to contrast the development of backgammon software with that of chess software:
For backgammon, neural networks work better than any other methods so far. For chess, brute force searching, with sophisticated pruning and other refinements, works better than neural networks.
Every advance in the power of computer hardware has significantly improved the strength of chess programs. In contrast, additional computing power appears to improve the strength of backgammon software only marginally.

Play Backgammon for Money

Backgammon is one of the all time great board games. It is popular worldwide and has gained in popularty over time.
It is a game involving skill and the luck of rolling the dice. Backgammon is also an extremely interesting game of strategy and of quite amazing comebacks. A few lucky rolls of the dice and you can come from an almost impossible position to win the match. Now that's exciting!
Backgammon is well suited for play on the Internet. Like poker, online tournaments are popular and can match two players from two very different countries from just about any country in the world. A German may be matched against an American. A man from Turkey (where backgammon is THE game of choice ) may be matched against an Australian. Online backgammon provides a tremendous opportunity to make friends from all over the world.
Unlike Poker, Backgammon is a game of constant action. In poker a decent player will fold about 85% of the time. While one can learn a lot about the betting patterns and behavorial tip offs of your fellow players and opponents by watching what's going on after you fold most players would really rather still be in the hand. Those who always have to be a part of the action are not good players. So in order to win at poker you have to sit out a lot of hands.
Backgammon is played head to head. There is always something to be thinking about as it is your turn as soon as your opponent has completed his move. Gammon is a game of constant action as you are always making a move or using your head to get ready to move, and your move is determined in part by the outcome of your opponents move. So there is always something to be thinking about and doing.
Backgammon games tend to last a long time compared to a Poker hand. Poker hands last for a few minutes while a good Backgammon game is more like baseball --- it can go on for a long time. Just how long is never known at the start of the game which makes backgammon all the more interesting.
One other thing that Backgammon has in common with baseball is that it is possible to make amazing comebacks from very difficult positions, like the baseball team that is down by five runs in the bottom of the ninth and makes a fantastic comeback to win the game. That makes for truly exciting play.
Chances are if you are a serious Poker player you will love Backgammon. Not that you would ever give up your first love Poker. But a change of pace is helpful for everyone now and then. A break from Poker by playing another exciting but very different game can refresh your mind and give you a mental boost the next time you play Poker.
Why not give backgammon a try? You can start out for free and play for money only when you feel that you are up to the challenge.

played backgammon before for real money?

Whether you have never played backgammon before, or you are an experienced backgammon player making his first steps in the internet world, this guide is here to help you make those steps in the online backgammon world.
Backgammon is the oldest game known and it is very popular all around the world. In the past you needed a board, dice and gammons. And something else of course - two players sitting and playing against each other. Today, with the development of the internet you no longer need the other player to sit in front of you, he can be playing from the other side of the world, and you can even play against the computer. Why play on the internet if you can play with a real board and dice?
First of all, it doesn't have to replace each other; actually most of the best online players keep playing the real game. The internet can't really replace the feeling of throwing the dice or seeing your opponent's face as you throw yet another double, but the internet can give you what internet gives best- online backgammon, 24 hours a day, without the time being wasted on arranging the game and without thinking where to put the backgammon board when your boss sees you. The fun about playing backgammon online is the availability to play as long as you wish, even for 3 minutes, against players from all over the world.
Playing online can even makes you richer- but this is only for the professional players.
If you do a survey among the online backgammon players, you would be surprised to learn that most of them play regularly online and rarely offline.
Step 1) Choosing the online site-
The internet has a wide variety of online sites. We recommend you begin with the big sites who offer backgammon games for fun and not only money. If you don't speak fluent English, look for a site that has the instructions in your language as well. A quick search in Google will give you the results, just click in and see whether the site looks professional or not, the professional ones will have games for money and for fun, schools, FAQ, support team. If you really are paranoid just fake a question and see if they contact you back. Keeping, at least in the beginning to the big and commercial sites makes you safer and will have more added values later on. Don't give any credit card details or any other detail except an email, and download the program.
Step 2) Learn How to play backgammon-
The online backgammon rules are the same as the offline. For those of you who don't how to play, you can read the article on our site on how to play backgammon and almost any backgammon site has the rules.
Most of the professional sites have schools for backgammon; this is a recommended way to learn quickly how to play- the computer shows you which moves are recommended for every dice.
Step 3) Playing against a real person-
In this stage you play only for FAKE MONEY!
After you register, you are awarded with the minimum points. Each time you win a match you earn more points depending on the level of your opponent and the points you agreed before. . The player's level of expertise is determined by his points. The site will offer you free of charge to enter "rooms" and ask players to play with you.
Step 4) Playing for real money-
You should be well trained before you start playing with your money. It is recommended to play in the backgammon schools in the advance mode, play for fun a lot and learn from other players by observing other matches.
The sites accept most of the credit cards since backgammon isn't considered gambling. The site collects a fee from the winner of each match in percentage and depends on the level of the players, the sums, and the differences between the levels of the players. In other words, basically the fee is higher the bigger difference in the player's level as an incentive for players to keep to their own league.
When you feel you are ready, it's time to choose an opponent.
Beware, although the level of each player is determined by its points, not all is what it seems. Although the points give you a perspective on the level of the player, it can lead to under valuate your opponent. Always remember that even if the best backgammon player in the world is playing, even he as a new player on the site starts with the minimum points and works his way up. In the past, some of the professional players tried to trick other players to play with them by registering under a different name and so starting with minimum points, but today only one player is allowed on each credit card, so rarely will you meet professional backgammon players who borrow their friend's credit card.