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Four Solid Reasons You Should Be Playing Backgammon

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Who This Is Written For

This is mainly written for people who haven't learned of the joy and splendor of playing backgammon.

Those who have played it and love it, don't need to read this. Those who have played it but don't like it, will not likely have their minds changed by my words on this topic, much to their detriment, I'm sure. What follows are four reasons you should make backgammon a part of your life.

Reason # 1 You Should Be Playing Backgammon

It's a great game because even game challenged people (GCP) like myself can play it. Chess is a huge headache for people on my level. Checkers is even too much work to master. Backgammon, on the other hand, has an element of chance to it, so that on any given game, a GCP might be able to beat a real expert.

Dice are involved, so it's definitely possible for someone who isn't good to get lucky rolls, at the same time someone who is great, can get unlucky rolls. If that happens enough times, the underdog can win.

This is not to insinuate it's a game exclusively fitting for me and slower folks like me. It's not purely a game of luck, by any stretch of the imagination. It's also a game of skill.

People who are truly good at backgammon, are definitely skillful and intelligent. They are generally quite adept at math, and they understand odds, pattern recognition & risk management, to name just a few skills involved.

I don't have any of the requisite skills to be good at the game, yet sometimes I beat people who, from my perspective at least, have become masters at the game. That is an amazing feeling and something that could never happen with virtually any other game that calls for high levels of skill to become the best.

Reason # 2 You Should Be Playing Backgammon

Because it won't rot your brain the way watching several hours of TV shows or movies or playing video games will do. This is the same reason you should pick up a book, toss the football around, or have a family meal without texting.

It's good old fashioned fun. It's just a mentally healthy choice. It's like eating organic veggies. Even if you think you don't really like it, keep at it and watch it grow on you.

Reason # 3 You Should Be Playing Backgammon

It's a great way to interact with people face to face. It's not only good to do with people you know and love; it's great for people you're just meeting. It could be great to do as part of a date – even a first date.

It lets you spend time with others, not having to worry about what to talk about all the time. It's a great ice breaker and perfect for getting comfortable around others.

Reason # 4 You Should Be Playing Backgammon

When you play backgammon online at a turn based backgammon website, it is perfect for keeping in touch with people on a regular basis that you might otherwise not remember to keep in close contact with.

We all have good friends that we have let slip away. Sometimes years go by, or even decades, and then your paths cross again and you pick up right where you left off.

At some point the conversation gets around to how in the world you allowed yourselves to lose track of each other. You lament the lost years, and all the personal events you didn't share with one another.

If you had been playing backgammon at a turn based website, that would never had happened. After you check in and take your turn, there is a place to leave a message. You don't have to write anything every move, but the option is there.

Sometimes the message may be a silly remark on the topic of the game, like, “Beat that, Hot Shot,” or, “Did I do that? Oh my!” Other times, it could be about something you recently experienced or have plans to do, or the truth about Obamacare, etc., etc.

The friendly competition found in online turned based backgammon is, no doubt, responsible for strengthening the bonds of all types of relationships. It has helped to turn acquaintances into close friends, and many a friend into lovers.

In some cases, quarreling lovers are on record as having made up a lot sooner that they otherwise would have because they had backgammon games in progress. It was the vehicle which kept them communicating with each other, when otherwise, they would have gone much longer without communication. No one is saying that online backgammon is going to save your marriage, but it's not out of the realm of possibility that it could help you get to the make up sex, sooner.

The Problem With Turn Based Online Games

Turn based online games can take almost forever to complete just one game. Backgammon games can be comprised of a single game, or 21 or more games in a match. That means, that in the regular turned based game website, it might take multiple lifetimes to complete a long match.

The Solution

Fortunately, one site has found the solution to the problem. It's called DailyGammon and it uses computer guessing.

What The Hell Is Computer Guessing?

You log in and click on the game in progress. Instead of making a single move and then waiting, God knows how long before your opponent logs in and makes her single move, the computer will simply try to guess what move she will make, for her.

At that point, it's your turn again. The page will say, “What will you do if the game proceeds this way?” So you answer, by making another move. Then the computer will guess your opponent's next move after that, and so on and so forth for a few to several moves.

When the computer decides to quit playing this alternate game, you have the chance to leave a note for your opposing player. Then, whenever she gets around to logging in, she may or may not make the move the computer guessed she would.

If she does, then she will see your next move (that you already made). She will then respond to that, and again, if the computer guessed your opponent's move correctly, she will then see the next move you have already made.

As soon as there is a computer guess that is incorrect, the game gets, “rolled back,” and sent back to the you, to play the actual roll your opponent took instead of the game in the parallel universe, (so to speak.)

Yes, there are a lot of rollbacks, but there are also a lot of accurate computer guesses. Overall it makes the games go by, at least a hundred times faster, I would venture to guess. Brilliant!

One by-product of this system is how you can think you have just about won the game, and then you discover, upon the roll back, that in reality, you aren't doing nearly so well… (And, of course, the opposite scenario happens as well, when the situation appeared dire, but the rolled back reality gives you a reprieve.)

There are some purists who can't stand that, but most people learn to enjoy those surprises and have fun with them, even when they go against them. Even most people who don't embrace that aspect of the website with much enthusiasm, have to admit, the trade off you get in terms of the ability to play so many more games in so little time, is more than worth it.

Backgammon Anyone?

If you would like to challenge me to a game of backgammon, I have an account at the DailyGammon website with the username, bomac. I have to warn you though, I'm thoroughly average.

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