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Safe Harbor Games dice

From:   Michael Petch
Date:   19 August 2011
Subject:   SHG dice
Forum: Forums

Neil Robins brought the original SHG problem to light.  Will Womack then
confirmed it with a sample that was larger, and I confirmed SHG had a
problem by analysing my sample of 600,000 rolls. This was resolved by
October 2009 with my assistance. Will Womack did a lot of work to keep
people informed and collect dice for the studies I eventually did. His blog
of what occurred is still available here:

SHG still uses the dice in question in the social rooms ("Red dice" Rooms).
These dice generally have a probability of a double being thrown at about
9.2% to 9.6% (rather than 1 in 6).The chance of rolling an individual 1, 2,
3, 4, 5, 6 roll is about what you'd expect. The dice in these "Red dice"
rooms don't favor anyone in particular. I would deem them fair but not
representative of typical dice.

The proper dice are in the "Yellow Dice" rooms.

Jason Lee  writes:

I think it's absolutely awful for backgammon to have a server that
knowingly allows screwy dice to be used. Those people will *never* be able
to play real backgammon.

Michael Petch  writes:

Some of SHG's social tournament groups threatened to leave the site if they
didn't have the ability to use the bad dice.  SHG was relatively young at
the time and didn't wish to risk losing tournament groups so they opted to
allow the rooms to have a choice.

I can understand why SHG made the choice to keep both types of dice.
However, can you really call "Red dice" rooms Backgammon?  Not really, but
if they are having fun I don't see the issue.

I'd like to see SHG eventually phase out the "Red" dice.

Will Womack  writes:

It always feels a bit strange when I recommend to others that they check
out the tournament action on SHG but have to explain that they should stay
away from the red dice rooms. I think it damages SHG's reputation as a
place for serious backgammon players.
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     


Computer Dice

Dice on backgammon servers  (Hank Youngerman, July 2001) 
Does Agushak Backgammon cheat?  (Mr Nabutovsky, June 2000) 
Does BG by George cheat?  (George Sutty, Nov 1995) 
Does Backgammon NJ cheat?  (Greg+, June 2010) 
Does Cybergammon cheat?  (Goto Informatique, Aug 1996) 
Does David's Backgammon cheat?  (Joseph B. Calderone, June 1998) 
Does GNU Backgammon cheat?  (Robert-Jan Veldhuizen, Nov 2002) 
Does Gammontool cheat?  (Jim Hurley, Sept 1991) 
Does Hyper-Gammon cheat?  (ZZyzx, June 1996) 
Does Jellyfish cheat?  (Fredrik Dahl, June 1997) 
Does MVP Backgammon cheat?  (Mark Betz, Oct 1996) 
Does MonteCarlo cheat?  (Matt Reklaitis, June 1998) 
Does Motif cheat?  (Rick Kiesau+, Mar 2004)  [Long message]
Does Motif cheat?  (Billie Patterson, Feb 2003) 
Does Motif cheat?  (Robert D. Johnson, Oct 1996) 
Does Snowie cheat?  (André Nicoulin, Sept 1998) 
Does TD-Gammon cheat?  (Gerry Tesauro, Feb 1997) 
Error rates with computer dice  (NoChinDeluxe+, Feb 2011) 
FIBS: Analysis of 10 million rolls  (Stephen Turner, Apr 1997)  [Recommended reading]
FIBS: Are the dice biased?  (Kit Woolsey, Oct 1996) 
FIBS: Entering from the bar  (Tom Keith+, Apr 1997) 
GamesGrid: Too many jokers?  (Gregg Cattanach, Sept 2001) 
GridGammon: Are the dice random?  (leobueno+, Sept 2011) 
Jellyfish: How to check the dice  (John Goodwin, May 1998)  [Recommended reading]
Jellyfish: Proof it doesn't cheat  (Gary Wong, July 1998) 
MSN Zone: Security flaw  (happyjuggler0, June 2004) 
Official complaint form  (Gary Wong, June 1998)  [Recommended reading]
Randomness testing  (Brett Meyer+, Dec 2010) 
Safe Harbor Games dice  (Michael Petch+, Aug 2011) 
Synopsis of "cheating" postings  (Ray Karmo, Feb 2002) 
Testing for bias  (Kit Woolsey, Jan 1995) 
The dice sure seem unfair!  (Michael Sullivan, Apr 2004) 
Too many repeated rolls?  (Stephen Turner, Mar 1994) 
Winning and losing streaks  (Daniel Murphy, Mar 1998) 

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