Why does the computer seem to always get the right rolls when
it needs them?
The computer uses an advanced neural network to calculate the
value of each board. This neural network has been trained by
playing over 300,000 games and contains tens of thousands of
connections that allow it to figure out the best move by looking
at all the resulting boards after making each possible move for a
given roll. What we are trying to say is that the computer is a
strong player, which makes it look like it gets the right rolls
when it needs them.
Why does the computer seem to always expose pieces and I don't
The computer understands the probabilities of being hit by a
particular roll and plays accordingly. If you play against expert
backgammon players you will notice similar risk taking strategies
employed by them.
Why is the Game Center button always grayed out?
You must go to the Game Center app and login with your account
or create an account - for iOS 7 this must be done in the
Settings app. Once you are logged in, go back to Backgammon Tutor
and the Game Center button will now be enabled.
What is the difference between Local Network and Game Center
Local matches are played with people in your vicinity using
either Bluetooth connections (up to 30 feet) or WiFi. If you are
using WiFi, both players must be connected to the same router.
Game Center matches are with people on the Internet - both
players must be logged into Game Center and must be configured
for Game Center Multi-Player. You can find detailed instructions
on this Backgammon Tutor Game Center Tips
How do I play games with other people on the Internet?
Please follow the instructions on the Backgammon
Tutor Game Center Tips page to configure your device for Game
Center play and then select the Game Center button on the main
menu that becomes enabled once you are logged into Game Center.
Once the Find Players screen is displayed, you can tap Auto-Match
to look for a match.
Why can't I invite my friend to a match?
It is likely due to your device or your friend's device not being
properly configured for Multi-Player Game Center games. Please
follow the instructions on the Backgammon
RT Game Center Tips page to configure both devices.
How does the Random dice rolling algorithm work?
First we use the native random number generator that is built
into iOS called arc4random(). We take the time since the last
time your rolled the dice in seconds, multiply it by 113, take
the modulus of 37. With the result we get from this, we generate
that many random numbers and we ignore them. We then generate the
next number with a value between 1 and 6 and keep it as the first
die. We then generate a random number between 0 and 40, and use
it to generate that many random numbers that we ignore. Finally
we generate another number between 1 and 6 and keep it for the
How does the Balanced dice rolling algorithm work?
The Balanced algorithm is built on top of the Random algorithm
but tries to reduce the cluster of duplicate rolls to give a more
balanced distribution. This should reduce the perception that too
many doubles are being rolled by one opponent versus the other in
any given match.
How many doubles should I be getting?
There are 36 possible rolls with 2 dice. From those 6 are
doubles. Therefore, you should on average be seeing 1 double
every 6 rolls or 16.7% of the time. Having said that,
realistically this can only be obseved when you have a large
sample of rolls (meaning thousands). A related statistic is that
3 times out of 100 you should see two doubles in a row, which
means about once every 2 games.
BGRT has several modes of play:
- Computer: Allows you to play games against the computer
which at the Advanced level uses a neural network.
- Pass the Device: Enables two players to play
face-to-face using one device. This is a lot of fun when your
friend forgot their device and you would like to have some fun
together, or when you find yourself with a friend who does not
have Backgammon Tutor.
- Local WiFi Network: If you and your friend are both
connected to the same local network you can start a Local Network
game and play a match using the two devices. This is a great way
to play and leverage your WiFi network.
- Bluetooth Connection: Bluetooth has a range of about 30
feet. If you are in a car with a friend, or in the same room, you
can use both your devices to play a match. Please make sure to
enable Bluetooth on both devices and start a Local Network game.
- Game Center: This mode allows you to play with your
friends no matter where they are, as long as you are both
connected to the Internet using an iOS device capable of running
Game Center games. You can also play against people you don't
know and make new friends by using the Auto-Match feature. The
Game Center mode also supports leader boards and achievements
that you can brag about to your friends. To properly configure
Game Center, follow the instructions on this page: Game Center Tips
If you are not familiar with the Backgammon rules, you can visit
Backgammon page. BGRT implements the Crawford rule.
If you are an experienced backgammon player, you should change
the following settings for faster play:
- Turn on One-Tap-Moves. In this mode, the pieces move
just by tapping them once and they move the number of positions
given by the left-most unused die. Tap the dice to swap
- Increase the Animation Speed to move the pieces faster
on the board.
- Turn on Auto-Play Forced Moves to let the computer make
the moves for you when there is only one possible choice of
- Turn off the Display Match Options Dialog if you always
play the same number of point matches. You can set the Default
Match Length and the Default Doubling Allowed
- Change the Computer Level to Expert. This mode
employs a neural network algorithm, which plays significantly
better than the Intermediate algorithm.