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How Technology Changed Backgammon

Few games have been heavily influenced and helped by computers and the Internet than Backgammon. For people who have only played the game online and little knowledge of the past, the differences that technology has made can be quite surprising.

During the early years of Backgammon, there was no agreement as to which where the best moves for the different aspects of the game. During the 1970s the first attempts to analyze the game were made via roll outs.

These basically involved trying out a certain position using one roll. All the possible moves using that roll would then be tried out and played to see which were ideal. This, naturally, took a lot of time and was tedious at best.

During the 1980s the advent of the personal computer made it possible for Backgammon experts to try out the different kinds of moves and rolls using software. However, despite this fact, the applications available at the time made it hard to compute all the variations involved.

It was not until IBM scientist and researcher Gerry Tessero came up with TD Gammon that things began to move. The difference between this software and the others before it was that it was taught the rules of the game and could play naturally. This made it easier to analyze the moves and rolls.

Thus, with this software, and the others that followed, that many of the "best" rolls were known. Later on, other software like Jellyfish and Snowie allowed even ordinary players to perform analysis on their own moves and gameplay. These innovations allowed for the improvement of Backgammon games in general.

The explosion of the Internet was the next big step in the evolution of the game. With online Backgammon, players now had the opportunity to compete with other players. The number of players fascinated by the game led to the rapid growth of web sites, forums and servers dedicated to the game.

Today, anyone who wishes to get started in online Backgammon can find a wealth of information, ranging from the most basic strategies to the more advanced concepts. For the veteran players, there are a lot of tournaments available that will allow you to compete for big money.

As technology improves, so will the way that Backgammon is played. Being a complex game that involves a lot of calculations, players will only stand to benefit from improvements in software, as they will get to make better decisions and lead to better plays.