by Steve Sax
23 November 2009
Backgammon, like chess, go, checkers, is one in which players take turns until the game reaches its ultimate conclusion and one side or another has won. The difference between backgammon and "chess" for is that while chess players can plan their next series of moves based on how they perceive their opponent's will reply to their moves, backgammon players cannot. The reason is that they don't really have a good idea how their competitor will reply due to the randomness created by the dice.
Because there are 36 possible rolls for two thrown dice (21 if you take out duplicates such as six and five-five and six) the possible different positions that may occur even after only 4 moves for each side, are practically countless. For this reason, contests such as "Duplicate Backgammon", a game in which skill is supposed to come to the forefront since all players will be given equal rolls, has never really worked out.
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