Does Playing Backgammon vs. the Computer Help?

Just like other board games, Backgammon now has versions that you can download off the Net. However, while playing against the computer can be fun, the question is, does using Backgammon software help one improve, skills wise?

There are certain benefits with playing Backgammon against the computer. For starters, it is always available. Depending on skill level that you choose, it can help you gain confidence as you are able to beat it regularly. Backgammon software can also help you analyze the games that you just played.

While playing against the computer does have its benefits, exclusively relying on it to hone your skills and prepare yourself for big moneys can pose some problems.

There are some fundamental differences between playing against a computer and a human Backgammon player, chief among these being the unpredictable behavior of a human opponent. The fact is that when you play Backgammon against the computer, it will always look for the best move with regards to the situation that it finds itself in.

People do not always do that. While you may have prepared for such a situation, you can never be certain that that is how your opponent will respond. They will not always make the best move, or the ones that you prepared on the Backgammon software on.

Very often, players, be it in money or match play, try out different game situation while playing the computer and try to apply it in a real game situation, but again the response that you will get will be quite different. This is especially evident when playing people with different skill levels.

However, if you want to compete in backgammon tournaments, you will have to play against human opponents. You cannot spend your time playing Backgammon against the computer and go into a tourney expecting to win.

At the same time, rarely will you find a good player who does not use software to help him improve his game. The fact that the computer opponents always make use of the best moves for that particular play makes them valuable aids in studying the game.

In the end, the best way may be to use both. Backgammon software will be useful in helping analyze the game that you just played, as well as calculating the odds and making notes on the alternative plays that you could have made. Playing against people, of course, will help you prepare for the big games ahead.

However, by learning to play against both human and machine, you will be able to get the best of both worlds.