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It's a New Year; Let's do Something New

Posted By: Trunky
Date: Friday, 18 December 2015, at 12:36 p.m.

In Response To: It's a New Year; Let's do Something New (Phil Simborg)

This is a very thoughtful and interesting post. Thanks Phil. I have sometimes pondered this myself.

In a nutshell, I think beginners see backgammon as a board game and good players see it as a gambling game.

There are many millions worldwide that play backgammon, have boards and have downloaded BG apps. Many enjoy playing it as a family board game or as a pass time on their computers and that is enough for them. Last year I went to a backgammon group who thoroughly enjoyed playing once a month but weren't even very sure of the rules, didn't use the cube and had no concept of tactics as we know it. So maybe backgammon is being played much wider than you actually see, just not at the level you are aware of.

I think that when those players come up against even a intermediate player, they will either have their eye opened to the possibility of improvement or run away. I find it interesting that many of the comments for even the poorest BG apps is that they cheat. We know that they don't but I think people just get disheartened when they loose and give up. After all, people like winning.

So how do we reach out to those people? I think Backgammon Ace has a great interface and doesn't complicate things with match play.

I remember when I first went to a backgammon club when I was a beginner. I was told that you have to play for money to learn, which put me off and I never went again. I knew I was bad and would loose a lot of money. I think that 'pay to learn' is what better players say to fish to keep them coming back. I wonder if that is one of the reasons people don't go to more live events and clubs they get taken advantage of.

I think a way to get these people playing live by setting up group in your town that just play h2h, without money and the cube, then slowly teach and encourage them to learn more about the game at a speed they are comfortable with. Schools, universities and social clubs might be good places to start these. The beginners group I went to was organised on http://www.meetup.com

The question is, are good players interested in spend their time setting up a group to encourage and teach beginners for no money reward. Maybe we can give up one evening a month to do it.

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