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Advice on where to play

Posted By: Stick
Date: Tuesday, 20 May 2014, at 7:51 p.m.

In Response To: Advice on where to play (Alex Schofield)

Personally, I prefer Dailygammon which is turn based and Gridgammon which is real time play.

On Dailygammon (DG) you can sign up for and participate in an unlimited amount of matches. You can play as much or as little as you like. They offer everything from dmp tournaments to 21pt tournaments and even Nackgammon. It is free to sign up and play. Obviously you aren't playing for any real money but you do get a rating and experience points. They have discussion forums which offer a little backgammon material but overall are more random noise than anything. There is also a list of the top players so you can see how you compare to everyone else. The overall level of play here is decent but not super strong. When your matches are finished you are able to download the file and analyze your matches.

With Gridgammon (GG) you have a selection of the biggest names in backgammon participating. This is played in real time and is also free but you need to have a current member recommend you. This isn't the biggest issue, sometimes it takes Gridgammon support a while to get you signed up so you have to wait with your fingers crossed. Gridgammon also offers daily tournaments that some people play. The interface is the best out there in my opinion, Snowie esque if you ever used that bot. You can't play for real money here though some people play for real money and settle up in person. You can automatically save your matches for later analysis and you can watch other matches and save them and review them if you like.

A few more worth mentioning. First, Safeharborgames. I've played at SHG a bit in the past and the interface is not bad but a bit clunky. The biggest thing you need to watch out for if you decide to play here is the color of dice of the room you're entering. They have either yellow or red rooms. The yellow rooms are your normal random dice. The red rooms have "The number of doubles is signficially less than the expected result for properly weighted dice. Because of this, the dice cannot be considered completely random due to the number of doubles."

You might also experience some troubles loading SHG. There also aren't a ton of people on SHG and the level of play is mediocre at best.

FIBS or the 'first internet backgammon server' has been around a while. You have to download and learn to use an interface to access FIBS. This is also a real time site. There are also tournaments hosted here you can participate in as well as unlimited and availability of matches to any length. You will be able to export, save, and analyze your matches here too. There are even bots available to play here if you're wanting a match and either don't want to or can't find a human to play. It's kind of old school but still has a decent following out of loyalty.

Gammonsite was created by Xavier Dufaure de Citres who is also the creator of the best modern day bot imnsho XG or eXtreme Gammon. Given that, the interface is XG and is great. Here you can also play against a bot (XG) if you want. There are many available tournaments here too. A rating is given much like the other sites but you must pay for a membership here if you want certain features. There is free play but that leaves you unrated and only able to play matches to a maximum of 3 points. For more detailed info just check out the site. The price tag is cheap, $20 for a year or $10 for 6 months. I can't comment on the number of players or level of play.

The problem with online backgammon for money is the ease with which one can cheat not only an individual user playing an individual user but someone placing multiple bots available for play. This is why most if not all of the real money online sites have died off or are known for having lots of cheats on them.


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