Durham/Chapel Hill Backgammon Club

Some useful links to help improve your backgammon skill:

Those in yellow are oriented towards newcomers and beginners.

  How to excel at backgammon  <==Ken's simple advice for the fastest way to improve
Introduction 3 minute video summarizing the rules of backgammon.

Backgammon for Newcomers and Beginners

Links to 27 short YouTube videos made by David Newman of the UK.  They do a fabulous job of teachings newcomers and beginners all the basics about backgammon, but even an advanced player can learn a lot by watching them.

eXtremeGammon (aka "XG")

Regarded by many world class players as the best software to improve your backgammon skills.  $ 60.00/license.  However, XG only runs on Windows.


Click here to see how Ken Larsen configures and uses eXtremeGammon.

Click here to see the progress that club member Mark Woodruff has made using XG.

Sparring against XG has the added benefit of speeding up one's pace of play.  Your improved skill will shorten your decision making process.  It also has a clock mode, so you can become comfortable playing with a clock. 

Free online play To make learning fun, play in an online league that will automatically copy your finished matches to your computer.  Then, you can use eXtremeGammon to analyze them to highlight your errors and track your performance rating (PR). 

We recommend World League Backgammon (WLGE).  It plays on the Safe Harbor site from which matches can be automatically downloaded [Just check "Matchlog" when you're on a SafeHarbor table.] to your computer for import and analysis by eXtremeGammon.  The average skill level is intermediate, but a lot can be learned from playing such people (if you use XG to analyze your matches) as they tend to get into unorthodox positions.  Almost every hour there is a tournament.  Most are 3/3 single elimination. 

Club members who currently play in WLGE are:
  Ken Larsen (Utsira)
  Will Ballard (Will)
  Sheldon Hayer (Marathon)
  Liza Elarbee (LizaEla).  Liza directs some of the tournaments.
  Sam Brown (Hourofpowr)

To enroll:
1. Sign up on WLGE using this web page:  http://www.myleague.com/wlge/free-signup
2. Sign up the same userid on SafeHarbor using this web page:  http://www.safeharborgames.net/downloads/newusers.php
3. After you receive confirmation that your enrollments have been accepted you can begin playing tournaments.  You can see the tournamament schedule and sign up for a tournament via the WLGE site, http://www.myleague.com/wlge/  Click on the Tournament folder.
4. Click on the SafeHarbor icon on your desktop.
5. Login to SafeHarbor.
6. Select the backgammon icon.
7. Go to the World League site on SafeHarbor.

Backgammon Galore!

Wealth of information on backgammon

United States Backgammon Federation

The U.S. Backgammon Federation (USBGF) is a not-for-profit organization devoted to advancing the awareness, participation, education and enjoyment of the skill-based game of backgammon.


Every month the USBGF hosts a free entry 128-person online single elimination tournament called the "Circuit".  It runs on Gridgammon.  [How to acquire and configure GridGammon] Early rounds are 11-points.  You have ten days to schedule each of your matches.

Kit Woolsey article on the 5 point match

Fabulous article that details the recommended doubling cube strategy for various scores during a 5 point match and contrasts them versus money play.

Stick Rice's web site

  • Very popular backgammon forum.  Many world class players post comments here.
  • Rollouts of first few rolls
Backgammon Tactics Click here to see a document that Ken Larsen has written on backgammon tactics.  [Note:  It's still under development.]
Backgammon Learning Center Web site of Chicago based instructor Phil Simborg and his associates.  He offers backgammon instruction that varies in cost from $ 30 (beginners) to $ 60/hour (advanced and open level players).


Ken Larsen's home page Home page of Durham/Chapel Hill Backgammon Club