An Introduction to Backgammon Equity

Sooner or later, Backgammon players will run into references to game and match equities in online guides, and it is something that one has to understand in order to progress beyond the beginner's level. It is not easy, but something that with perseverance can help you win more games.

With a sound knowledge of game equity, you will be able to make better decisions concerning the doubling cube, moving checkers or whether or not to accept a settlement from your opponent.

One of the difficulties with Backgammon equities is that players use the term to describe different situations and ideas. There are basically two types in Backgammon, game equity and match equity. Unfortunately, a lot of Internet guides do not make a distinction between the two.

Equity is usually defined as the value of a business or property, and in Backgammon, the property refers to the game, and the value is the game's worth to you and your opponent. It is usually expressed in numbers like .40, while its worth to your opponent is expressed in the negative (-40).

For example, if you are playing Backgammon for $1 a point, and your game equity is .75 then you must accept a settlement for nothing less than 75 cents, which refers to the strength of your current position. Of course, you can decline the offer, and proceed to play, although if the tide swings, then your game equity might fall to .60 or lower.

The process of determining a Backgammon game equity involves the addition of all point systems in the game, i.e., 1 point for a normal game, 2 points for a gammon and 3 points for a backgammon. In addition, the values of the doubling cube are to be considered as well.

For instance, suppose you have a 60% chance of winning the Backgammon game, 10% winning a gammon, and a 30% chance of losing. You add 60 + 20 (because a gammon is worth twice, ten becomes twenty) and minus 30. So 6- + 10 * 2 - 30 = 60. Because 60 is your game equity, then you should accept a settlement for 60 cents.

If you are playing for $15 and your game equity is at .15 and the doubling cube is at 4, the equation is 5 * .15 * 4 = 30. Of course, the Backgammon equity changes with the movement of the checkers.

Match equity in Backgammon refers to your chances of winning the match. In a race to 5 with a 2-0 lead, your match equity is .66, and at 3-0 it is .75.

This is just an example of the ways Backgammon game and match equity are used, and the more you play the game, the more you will find ways to understand and utilize them. By including these elements in your Backgammon strategies, you will get an edge over your opponents.