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Forum Archive : Computer Dice

Dice on backgammon servers

From:   Hank Youngerman
Date:   31 July 2001
Subject:   Re: Which back gammon servers are the safest.

> After trying out most backgammon servers, I invariably noticed, like most
> others, that some servers have less random dice throws, or else have their
> systems hacked.
> Can anyone give me a list of the most reliable servers where I can work on
> increasing my rating safely?

I have only played on a few servers (Gamesgrid, Yahoo, MSN Zone) so I
can't comment about others.

However, I will say this.  I have never, ever, nowhere, not even once,
seen a valid statistical analysis that showed the dice anywhere to be

Let me give an example of what happens.  A player rolls something


And then says "I rolled 6 doubles in a row; the odds on that are 1 in
1.7 million.

And they forget 2 things:

1) They didn't really roll 6 in a row.  It was 5 of 6, and the odds on
that are only about 1 in 45,000.
2) 1 in 45,000 will happen 1 time in - 45,000.  If you play several
games a day, and play a few days a week, you will have this happen
eventually, and more than once.  Even 1 in 1.7 million is once every
few months or years, depending on how much you play, not once in a

I have done some fairly careful analysis of the dice on the MSN Zone.
I get a lot of letters from people claiming to have seen weird things.
But I have NEVER gotten one with an actual log of the game
accompanying it to prove that it really happened.

I once got a log from a tournament director asking if what happened in
the match was possible.  The actual odds on the number of doubles in
that match was something like 1 in 80.

There are many reasons to choose a server - features, speed, cost,
quality of opposition, availability of tournaments and money play,
etc.  Randomness of the dice is not one of them.

My personal recomendations are the MSN Zone for a social atmosphere
and frequent tournaments with a variety of formats, and Gamesgrid for
quality of play.  However, Gamesgrid basically requires you to pay,
although the fee is modest ($80 a year I think, $60 if you register
with GammonVillage).  I'm sure there are other sites with good
features, but surely none with the variety and frequency (50-100 a
day) of tournaments that the Zone has.
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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