Backgammon Books

  Backgammon Boot Camp

  AUTHOR: Walter Trice
  YEAR: 2004
  PUBLISHER: The Fortuitous Press
  CITY: San Francisco
  ISBN: 0-943292-32-8
  BINDING: Softcover
  PAGES: 339
  SIZE: 25 cm high, 18 cm wide
  NOTE: Chapters 1-57 were originally published online at, in somewhat altered form.

The website has PDF versions of the introduction and a sample chapter.

     "Boot Camp is an excellent book. It covers a lot of ground and explanations are made simple. The book is mostly for beginners and intermediates, but even more experienced players will find a lot of useful information, I am sure. I enjoyed reading it."—Dmitriy Obukhov, 2+2 Backgammon Forum, July 2013


     "This is not a serious book for improving from an intermediate to an advanced player. It is mainly a sort of chat with an expert on the same famous topics, written a bit too rapidly and disconnected. Lines and lines of text and a lesson every 20 pages, almost all well-known to an intermediate player, mixed with calculations that can't be useful to anyone.
      Pages 113 to 146 are just on races and pip counting and the immortal "4-checkers position" (2 for white and 2 for black), and all possible combinations — well-known stuff. Pages 225 to 255 are all on prime-vs-prime with minimal variations and tons of rollouts and similar cases in where even an expert will have some confusion because it's too hard to squeeze out a lesson to remember. Pages 1 to 60 deal with odds and basic definitions always written en passant that should be standard after one reads Backgammon by Paul Magriel.
      The really juicy part is about back games. That is well done and complete, full of good examples and interesting variations. But that's only 47 pages, not worth $50 in my opinion."—Fllecha, 2+2 Backgammon Forum, June 2013


     "I rank Backgammon Boot Camp as one of the top 3 backgammon books ever written, along with Magriel's Backgammon and Woolsey/Heinrich's New Ideas in Backgammon".
      I read it when it came out in 2004, and thought I learned a lot from it, although I was already an experienced player at that point. It covers a lot of ground, is clearly written, and is funny and entertaining in many places. Walter was a master of the art of making difficult topics clear, an underrated quality in games writers."—Bill Robertie, 2+2 Backgammon Forum, June 2013


     "Backgammon Boot Camp is an excellent new book from Walter Trice edited by Jeremy Bagai. The book assumes a basic level of playing knowledge but then goes on to cover a multitude of topics from duplication to match play and there are hundreds of reference positions. The section on racing theory will lead me to update my own reference article on this topic. I would recommend Backgammon Boot Camp to anyone who seriously want to improve their playing strength."—Chris Bray, in Second Wind


Basic Training
1. Backgammon Is Not War, It's ... Roller Derby!
2. Primes And the Closeout
3. Blitz!
4. Anchors
5. The Defensive Ace Point
6. High Anchors And Holding Games
7. The Opening Roll
8. Blots, Shots, And Odds
9. To Hit Or Not To Hit?
10. Moving On Up

Advanced Training
11. Game Plan
12. Premature Burial
13. Staying Connected
14. Bringing It Home
15. Gaining Time
16. Duplication
17. Diversification

Cubes And Races
18. And You Didn't Hedge? (An Introduction To Equity)
19. Let's Go Visit Mr. More!
20. Two-Roll Bear Off Positions
21. Racing Off The Ace
22. From Pipcount To Cube Action
23. Pips And Rolls
24. Adjusted Pip Count Methods

Cubes And Contact
25. End-Contact Positions
26. One-Checker Closeouts
27. Two-Checker Closeouts
28. 33 Opening Blitz Doubles
29. The Cube And The Ace Point

30. Basic Backgame
31. Backgame Tactics
32. Proto-Backgame Tactics
33. Backgame Bear-In
34. Forward Or Backward
35. Backgame Cube Action
36. Backgame Cube Action II
37. Backgame Cube Action III
38. Please Don't Eat The Checkers!

39. Prime-Vs.-Prime
40. Escape Or Crash?
41. Prime And Variations
42. Prime Time
43. Build Or Split?

Attacking Play
44. Middlegame Attacking Play
45. Attacking Doubles
46. Attacking Doubles II
47. Attacking Doubles III
48. Attacking Priorities

Match Play
49. Match Play Basics
50. The Mysterious Two-Point Match
51. Racing Cubes In the 3-Point Match
52. Gammons And The 3-Point Match
53. Four Points To Go
54. How To Win Four Points

55. Staying Alert
56. How To Be A Winner
57. Final Exam

  COVER: Walter Trice breaks backgammon down and puts it back together.
      In a series of articles first appearing online at, Trice covers every aspect of the game—from the most fundamental to the most advanced. No other book covers this range of essential material. Regardless of your level of play, Backgammon Boot Camp will transform you into a lean, mean, point-winning machine.

  QUOTES: "What am I doing even reading Boot Camp, much less learning something in every article? I'm supposed to be an advanced player! Thank you, Walter, but couldn't you change the title to Useful Things That Players Who Are Really Quite Good May Have Temporarily Forgotten?"—Paul "Dorbel" Money, on GammonVillage

Walter Trice is well-known in the world of backgammon as an author, analyst, theoretician, and player. He is the co-author, with Jake Jacobs, Can a Fish Taste Twice as Good?, and the creator of Bearoff Quizmaster, the first commercially available program to solve the problem of bear-off cube action. He has been ranked among the top ten players on the American Backgammon Tour for a decade.

   Can a Fish Taste Twice as Good?
Doubling in an Unequal Backgammon Match
Jake Jacobs, Walter Trice
1996: ToBak Press, Chicago

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