Winning Causes Poor Play

by Douglas Zare
1 June 2011

Douglas Zare

Backgammon is a game of skill and luck, so there are times you will win even if your opponent outplayed you. You will also lose some matches against players who are playing poorly but rolling well.

We can all see many examples where the match winner has a high error rate, either by analyzing our own matches using a bot or by looking at others' matches, but isn't that just luck? In the long run, the players with fewer errors win, right?

Yes and no. You will win more if you improve your play while your opponents don't change. However, it is possible that the winner of a match tends to have a higher error rate than the loser.

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