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Improve Your Backgammon

The best way to improve at backgammon is to get your hands dirty and really work to learn to understand this game.
Neil Kazaross, 1994 1) 
You can play backgammon a whole life long without ever asking yourself whether a specific move or cube decision was correct or wrong and still enjoy the game. Such a player, however, will never be able to win a major backgammon tournament or reach a top rating on a backgammon server in the internet.

Well, you can still enjoy playing backgammon this way. This section of my website, however, is dedicated to all those players who understand that good backgammon results from skill and who want to improve their playing strength, to become more successful at backgammon.

Per aspera ad astra 2)  - only if you are willing do dedicate quite some time studying the game of backgammon, you are likely to become a good backgammon player! Here you will find some general information about how to improve.

Improving at backgammon consists of three major elements:
  1. Play backgammon,
  2. analyse the matches you have played (otherwise you won't notice the errors you made) and
  3. study good backgammon books.
Please note, that playing without analysing your matches afterwards won't help you any further, unless a stronger player tells you, where you made errors and why.

The internet is a good place to play backgammon. Therefore im am introducing four of the best online play sites. Which is of utmost importance is, to log your matches. Most backgammon servers provide a logging funtionality, so you can replay your matches afterwards and analyse them. Any backgammon server not allowing you to log your matches should be avoided. They are unprofessional. Playing there is a waste of time.

Your logged matches can be analyzed with the help of modern backgammon software. Every world class player today is using backgammon software to analyze his matches. If you play too much and don't find time to analyze your matches afterwards, you are making a severe error. Better play half the matches and spend sufficient time in the analysis. My rough estimate is, that you will use probably the same amount of time for the analysis as for playing the matches.

Backgammon software will tell you, were you made wrong moves or bad cube decisions. However, it will not tell you why those decisions were wrong. So you have to back up your studying process by reading good backgammon books. If you are looking for good backgammon books that can help you to improve, visit the recommended reading page.

Another good way to improve at backgammon is to watch and study matches of world class players. More than 100 top backgammon matches can be downloaded from my match archive. You should study those matches move by move, thinking about the correct move and cube decision yourself before looking at what the top player did 3) .

Last but not least you may find some of the backgammon articles useful. Guest authors are heartly welcome; please apply by e-mail.
1. Magazine "Inside Backgammon", Jan/Feb 1991

2. Latin phrase meaning "Through rough ways to the stars"; It's not easy to reach the top, you have to work for it.

3. But be aware, even world class players err from time to time!
Last update: 24th December 2006