Why I Never Complain about the Dice
by Phil Simborg, 1999
Phil Simborg
Here is why I never complain about the rolls, or luck:

  1. It's rude. It suggests your opponent is just lucky and detracts from his skill. It's poor form.

  2. Nobody cares. Everyone is tired of hearing it. Everyone only sees their own bad rolls and forgets their great ones.

  3. It's not true. Everyone rolls the same. If you think you are rolling more than your share of bad rolls, you're probably playing badly and not realizing it ... because the worse you play, the more bad rolls there are and the more good rolls you give your opponent. This also applies to complaining about the on-line servers. No machine cares or knows who is rolling or what the position is. The dice are random, and every study done on every server so far has proven that. The dice are just plain goofy everywhere ... it's the nature of statistics that sometimes you will get a bunch of doubles in a row, or dance five times on a two-point board.

  4. Complaining focuses your mind and energy on the wrong things. You start concentrating on how bad you are rolling, or how good your opponents roll, instead of what you really should be concentrating on: what is the right decision? And if you start thinking about your bad luck, you might start changing yours plays assuming you are going to roll bad, or that your opponent might roll a joker, instead of considering what really matters: the odds.

  5. Complaining makes the game less enjoyable. For you. The more you make an issue of your bad luck, the more you will remember the bad luck and the less fun you will have playing.

Bottom line, I never complain about a roll, or bad luck. Ever. And I am sure my opponents appreciate it, and I am sure I play better and am happier as a result. And when someone tells me how lucky I was, I give them my standard reply: "Yes, I was lucky I got you for an opponent!"

Phil Simborg is a fulltime backgammon player and teacher.
You can contact Phil at: or visit his
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