Lessons From Backgammon

by Douglas Zare
1 July 2008

Douglas Zare

Strong backgammon players have succeeded in many areas, from other games such as poker, to real world risk management and equity evaluations in the financial markets, and the esoteric abstractions of mathematical research. Poker players noted the large number of high profile poker players with a backgammon background, and asked whether learning to play backgammon would improve their poker games. In this column, I'd like to point out some of the things we learn from studying backgammon which give us an advantage elsewhere.

Many of the lessons from backgammon are related to bots, computer programs which have changed the way we think about the game. Bots are now coaches and sparring partners for almost all top players.

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