Luck versus Skill

Forum Archive : Luck versus Skill

Does backgammon need less luck?

From:   Raccoon
Date:   24 January 2008
Subject:   Reducing luck: Bill Robertie weighs in
Forum:   GammOnLine

> A game that for a very large part depends on luck is not that attractive,
> and that applies to BG at the highest level.

From Inside Backgammon 4:6, Nov-Dec 1994:

    [In response to a suggestion for reducing luck in backgammon], I would
    say this: I agree that your suggestion would "reduce the luck" in
    backgammon. My question is simply, why would you want to do such a

    Backgammon has existed, in various forms, for almost two thousand years
    as a game of risk management. The skill of backgammon is a matter of
    evaluating the relative risk and reward of different plays leading to
    often very different types of positions. The doubling cube adds another
    layer of complexity onto the game as it forces the players to compare
    the strength of a position to concrete benchmarks, namely the doubling
    and taking points, which in turn may vary wildly in matches of various
    lengths. None of this is especially easy, and most of today's top
    players have spent anywhere from 10 to 20 years honing their skills.

    Backgammon's finely-tuned balance between luck and skill is precisely
    what makes it a popular and enduring game, and the best two-player
    gambling game ever devised. Eliminate some of the luck, and the wild
    swings become less wild, the game is less exciting, the poor players
    lose too quickly, and the game dies. Add more luck, and the big swings
    become too commonplace, the good players win too infrequently, and they
    drift away, and the game dies. Sorry, but ideas to "reduce the luck" in
    backgammon don't get any applause from this corner. --Bill Robertie
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Luck versus Skill

Are good players just luckier?  (Douglas Zare, Sept 2000) 
Are luck and skill related?  (Eskimo+, Feb 2003) 
Does backgammon need less luck?  (Raccoon, Jan 2008)  [GammOnLine forum]
How much of backgammon is luck?  (Wai Mun Yoon, Jan 1998) 
How much skill versus luck?  (Alexandre Sierra, Nov 2000) 
How much skill versus luck?  (JP White+, Aug 2000) 
How often to win with perfect play?  (Robert-Jan Veldhuizen, Nov 2000) 
Is backgammon gambling?  (Luc Palmans+, Oct 2010) 
Is backgammon gambling?  (Kevin D. McLeaster, Sept 1997) 
Is there really luck in backgammon?  (benf+, Jan 2012) 
Recognizing luck  (Walter Trice, Dec 2004) 
Strange result  (az-willie+, Mar 2003) 
The Bower Luck-O-Meter  (Gary Wong, Aug 1998) 
Why are stronger players luckier?  (Bob Sweeney+, Oct 2002) 

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