Top Backgammon Books - Part 1 - Backgammon Blog

Top Backgammon Books - Part 1

Top Backgammon Books - Part 1

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Backgammon, a game of skill and strategy dating back centuries, has captivated players across generations. The journey to mastery demands practice, but the study of backgammon books can greatly expedite your progress. To aid you on this journey, we've curated a list of the finest backgammon books that offer insights and techniques to elevate your gameplay.

As you embark on your backgammon journey, here's a selection of top-notch books that players of all levels should consider delving into:

1: Backgammon – Paul Magriel (1976) (2004)

Backgammon - Paul Magriel Book

Dubbed the "backgammon bible," Magriel's work stands as a must-have for enthusiasts. This book comprehensively outlines the game, employing lucid language and illustrative diagrams. Suitable for novices and seasoned players alike, it serves as an enduring reference.

2: Advanced Backgammon, Volumes 1 and 2 – Bill Robertie (1991)

Advanced Backgammon, Volumes 1 and 2 - Bill Robertie Book

Bill Robertie, a former world champion, imparts his expertise in two volumes. Covering positional and technical play, these volumes cater to experienced players seeking to refine their tactics.

3: Backgammon in 10 Minutes - Brian Byfield & Gray Joliffe (2013)

Backgammon in 10 Minutes - Brian Byfield & Gray Joliffe Book

Here’s a perfect book for introducing a friend or family member, young or old, to the game of backgammon. This book covers everything they will need to know to get playing, and presents the basics by means of simple diagrams paired enlivened by delightful cartoon drawings by popular illustrator Gray Joliffe. The book also introduces basic concepts like priming and duplication, and even explains the Jacoby Rule and beavering in its brief treatment of the doubling cube. For the vast majority of people out there who aren’t already gaming aficionados, this is the gentlest, most inviting intro you could ask for.

4: 52 Great Backgammon Tips - Patti Beadles & Kit Woolsey (2007)

52 Great Backgammon Tips - Patti Beadles & Kit Woolsey Book

This is a terrifically fun primer that offers up pithy, memorable backgammon advice in 52 readily digestible servings. While the writing is light and engaging, the advice is rock-solid. Each chapter is vividly titled (“Learn to Count Shots,” “Rip Checkers Off,” “Double Volatile Positions”), making it a natural for browsing, but the material is presented in a careful sequence of increasing sophistication, so any player in the Beginner-Intermediate zone can skim over earlier, more obvious material if they like, and dig in when they discover new ideas. And even more experienced players can enjoy this book, if only to hear their intuitive perceptions of proper play made explicit.

5: Backgammon To Win - Chris Bray (2018)

Backgammon To Win - Chris Bray Book

The popular “. . . for Dummies” instructional series tapped respected British backgammon author Chris Bray, to lay out the game in an appealing, accessible way for the beginning player, and this is Bray’s more traditional presentation of that material. This fine introductory text covers a broad range of topics germane to playing backgammon at tournaments, in local chouettes and “money games” as well as online, so this isn’t just a book about how to play the checkers and when to deploy the doubling cube: it’s a practical guide to entering the whole wide world of backgammon beyond your kitchen table.

6: 501 Essential Backgammon Problems – Bill Robertie (2004)

501 Essential Backgammon Problems - Bill Robertie

Ideal for beginners to experts, this book presents 501 scenarios to deepen your understanding. From intricate positions to common scenarios, this resource offers a comprehensive learning experience.

7: New Ideas In Backgammon – Kit Woolsey & Hal Heinrich (1996)

New Ideas In Backgammon – Kit Woolsey & Hal Heinric

With a focus on intermediate to advanced players, this book deciphers over 100 complex positions. The authors offer detailed solutions in an approachable conversational style, enhancing your strategic mindset.

8: Vision Laughs at Counting – Danny Kleinman (1980)

Vision Laughs at Counting – Danny Kleinman

Kleinman's distinctive approach delves into mathematical analyses and psychological insights. For those intrigued by technical analyses and intricate strategies, this book provides a treasure trove of information.

9: Classic Backgammon Revisited – Jeremy Paul Bagai (2001)

Classic Backgammon Revisited – Jeremy Paul Bagai

Bagai rejuvenates classic problems with insights from the "Snowie" program. This essential read utilizes modern technology to refine and enhance traditional knowledge.

10: Backgammon Boot Camp – Walter Trice (2004)

Backgammon Boot Camp – Walter Trice

For a modern introduction to the game, this book is considered a new classic. Walter Trice not only guides beginners but also delves into the influence of computer bots on the contemporary backgammon landscape.

11: Modern Backgammon – Bill Robertie (2001)

Modern Backgammon – Bill Robertie Book

Geared towards advanced players, this book dissects modern backgammon and unveils four pivotal principles for strategic success.

12: Improve Your Backgammon – Paul Lamford (2003)

Improve Your Backgammon – Paul Lamford Book

Designed for intermediates, this resource dissects challenging positions, highlighting top players' strategies. It's a must-read for those looking to refine their advanced skills.

13: The Backgammon Encyclopedia Volume 1; Cube Reference Positions – Kit Woolsey (2002)

Backgammon Encyclopedia Volume 1 - Kit Woolsey Book

This is a book of 210 reference positions rolled out by the computer program, Snowie. The idea is that by having equities for standard positions you have something to compare with when trying to figure similar positions. Each position is accompanied by commentary explaining what features of the position make it stronger or weaker than other similar positions.

14: The Backgammon Encyclopedia Volume 2; More Cube Reference Positions – Kit Woolsey (2017)

Backgammon Encyclopedia Volume 1 - Kit Woolsey Book

Volume 1 examined relatively standard position types such as holding games and anchor games. Volume 2 looks at middle-game positions that are less clear. Many of these might fall into more than one category, or no category at all. Woolsey starts by looking at a prototype position and then makes modifications to see what effect the modifications have on the equity and cube decisions.