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Hypergammon--information please?

Posted By: Timothy Chow
Date: Wednesday, 3 September 2014, at 9:52 p.m.

In Response To: Hypergammon--information please? (phil simborg)

I haven't played hypergammon, but it sounds interesting. But it seems different enough from ordinary backgammon that it doesn't seem like a good way for beginners to get acquainted with backgammon. The best way to get acquainted with backgammon, IMO, is to play backgammon.

It would be interesting to see some of the tough plays that Sconyers alludes to. I can certainly believe that some plays are extremely difficult. If your opponent has borne off two checkers, for example, and you have to spread your three checkers in such a way as to provide maximum containment, I'm sure it's extremely difficult for a human to figure it out. But I would expect that bots trained on ordinary backgammon should have an easy time with it since a 4-ply or even 3-ply analysis will usually be extremely accurate.

Another game along these lines is Parcheesi, or a variant that I recently encountered in Haiti called Haitian Parcheesi or Rhum. Although I hadn't played Rhum before, after watching a few games I was able to use my backgammon experience to make an educated guess as to what good strategy would be. The players I was watching weren't experts and it seemed to me that they were playing too timidly. I'd love to see someone program it up to confirm or disconfirm my intuitions.

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