Backgammon Books

  Phillip Martyn on Backgammon

  AUTHOR: Phillip Martyn
  YEAR: 1976
  PUBLISHER: Stanley Paul & Co Ltd
  CITY: London
  ISBN: 0-09-127970-4
  BINDING: Hardcover
  PAGES: 188
  SIZE: 24 cm high, 16 cm wide
  NOTE: Written with the assistance of Stuart Wheeler. Forward by Jackie Stewart.

     "This is the book that I learnt backgammon from and I thought it the best of the half-dozen or so in my local library for the clear presentation and range of information. The others in that library include books by Clay, deJong and Magreil (the short version)."—Steve Brorens, November 1996


     "My recollection is that the technical content is nothing extraordinary, even for 70's standards (Magriel is much better), but that the sections on cube handling, gambling strategy, and general backgammon "psychology" make it a really interesting marker of the "state" of the game as played by "serious" players back then. By today's standards, the advice is pretty vague and impressionistic."—Albert Steg, November 1996


1.  A Simple Game
2.  A Bit More Action
3.  Strategy
4.  Some Simple Arithmetic
5.  The Opening Move
6.  The Reply to the Opening Move
7.  The Running Game
8.  The Blitz
9.  The Blood Bath
10.  The Back Game
11.  Final Throws
12.  Doubling
13.  The Vital One
14.  Chouettes
15.  Robbery
16.  Tournaments
  COVER: Backgammon is a game of flair, psychology, nerve, self-discipline and stamina, and it has suddenly taken off as one of the world's most popular table games.
      If any one factor is responsible for this revival of international interest it is doubling—a procedure which can lead to a rapid escalation in the stakes, and an innovation which has added a whole new dimension to the excitement of a game which was already a good one.
      As with bridge, stakes vary greatly, depending on the company, but the incentive to win is always greater when there is money at risk.
      Understandably, therefore, there is an increasing need for up to date information on a game in which strategies and techniques of play have rapidly become significantly more sophisticated. This book, written by Phillip Martyn, Britain's best known player and a full time professional, will fill that gap for years to come. The author's approach is both straightforward and prctical and his book takes the reader impressively through all stages of the game. Moreover he gives the clearest advice yet on the all important question of when and when not to double. It is a common misconception that backgammon is a highly mathematical game and that if you had a big enough computer it could tell you every move to make. But there are many situations where an understanding of mathematical probabilities will give the player an advantage and here again Phillip Martyn gives expert guidance.
      There are also chapters on chouettes—backgammon can equally well be played by more than two people—tournament play and even running a tournament, as well as an invaluable glossary of backgammon terms.
      Fundamental instructions and ideas are covered for the player with little or no knowledge, before the book progresses to topics that will be of fascination to players at the most advanced level. Throughout, Phillip Martyn admirably succeeds in impressing upon the player the need for thinking out the problems and tactics that make for intelligent play.
      Like members of the World Professional Tennis Circuit, leading backgammon players fly from country to country and capital to capital, competing against all-comers for staggering sums of money. Phillip Martyn has maintained a top position in this glamorous but ruthless chool for many years. Also a tournament organizer and a widely experienced teacher of the game, his qualifications for writing an instructional book on backgammon are unrivalled.

    Recommended Reading
  Where to Buy Books
    Picture Gallery
  List of Books by Author

Copyright © 1996-2016 by Tom Keith

Return to : Backgammon Galore : Books