Online Backgammon

Information about online backgammon for newbies

Playing Backgammon Online

About the game Backgammon and playing online in general.

Playing Backgammon

Backgammon is a very old board game for two players. You move your playing pieces accross a board with 24 points according to a roll of dice, your opponent moves in opposite direction. Winner is the player that first removes all of his pieces from the board. Backgammon is a play of skill and luck.

You can find a variety of good articles about Backgammon in Wikipedia, Hardy's Backgammon Forum and Backgammon Galore. Additional links can be found on open directory project .

Playing Backgammon Online

Besides playing a face to face game with a board between the two players, you can play online via an internet connection.

When playing online, you utilize a client application on your PC or mobile device instead of a board. Besides playing backgammon, you will are able to chat with other players and interact in different ways with the online community. You'll find tourneys to participate in or you may even join leagues with good players, to measure your skills. Insofar online backgammon on a server resembles a social net.

To play backgammon online, you need to know the address of a backgammon server, you have to have a client compatible with this server, and a computer or mobile device with an internet connection to run the client on. The connection doesn't have to be broadband but it should be stable enough to play a game of backgammon without disruptions.

You'll want to play online backgammon, when you don't have an opponent of appropriate skill in your surroundings. You'll want to play online backgammon, once you have gotten the hang of it. You will find friends from all over the world, you will find other players to learn from and you will find so called bots to just play a quick game in your spare time.

TigerGammon, a backgammon server

What is this TigerGammon alltogether?

TigerGammon - a server for online Backgammon

TigerGammon is an internet server that allows to play online Backgammon. You can play on TigerGammon using a variety of different clients. You will find human players from all over the world playing on TigerGammon. And you also will find bots so that you'll always be able to find an opponent on your favorite level of skill.

Human players? Bots?

We've mentioned bots several times, already. What are they?

Human players, sure, they are just humans like you. They play online backgammon on TigerGammon, sometimes just biding their time in shouts, maybe waiting for a friend, maybe on the phone or somewhere in the house without having logged out. Human players may not be ready to play backgammon with you.

Bots are computer programs that know how to play backgammon. Amazing? It works pretty good, and depending on their configuration they can rival the best human players.

They play backgammon games just like human players. They don't chat very humanlike; as a matter of fact they are polite, but not smart. But don't underestimate their play. Depending on their skill it may be hard to beat them. Very often people think they'd be cheating. That is not true. They simply play to well. In this case you better chose one with lesser skills.

The good thing with bots is that they don't act like humans. They don't complain when you take a minute for each move. They are completely indifferent to your way of playing. They don't complain about the dice, they play quickly and in a focused way. You'll like them if you don't care for chatting.

I'd like to play on TigerGammon: how do I start?

Further down this page you will find information about the different clients and about how to get started playing backgammon on TigerGammon.

In a few steps you are ready to play online on TigerGammon.

The first thing is to find a suitable client. That is a question of plattform and preferences. There are clients for Windows, for Mac, for all plattforms, and for Android or IOS.

You should read a quick guide to handling the client.

You should know a little bit about the community you are joining.

If you don't know how to play backgammon, well, you'll learn it quickly. You may refer to other sources to learn the fundamentals or achieve higher degrees.

What are the clients?

How to get them, how to use them!

A short introduction

There are several different clients, depending mainly on your operating system. Information in this and the next section is meant to help you with your choice.

Some of the clients carry the name ....fibs.... since they were first designed for the First Internet Backgammon Server FIBS created by Andreas Schneider. Since TigerGammon offers the same interface they work here as well. If there are any problems they are recorded on issues with clients .

The clients listed are not distributed or being maintained by TigerGammon. If there are any bugs when playing on TigerGammon they are most likely bugs of your client. TigerGammon cannot do anything about them. Apart from that android client the others are not being developed any more and you should not expect any support.

There is another deficit of these clients in that they do not support new features of TigerGammon. These are features like NackGammon, HyperGammon and soon TimeControl. A new client is in the making which works on HTML5, runs in the browser, and will support all these features of TigerGammon. There will be more information on that, soon.

If you are using an iPhone or tablet you may want to checkout (search for) BGOnline_v2.4.1 or PadGammon. There is a nice Android App on Google Play called BackGammonMobile.

On the PC you will have to chose between JavaFIBS and 3DFibs. The first is written in Java and therefore basically works on all machines. For Mac you may try CocoaFibs, but there maybe issues on TigerGammon.

Client Download

On the last section we had a short introduction on the clients. Hier now is the listing along with the download links of some of these clients and some additional information.

All plattforms

JavaFibs version 1.012 recommended

This client is supported best by TigerGammon. Therefore it is recommended that you use this client for your play on TigerGammon.

On the homepage of JavaFibs you'll find some Instructions. There is also a small FAQ section.

JavaFibs requires a Java-Installation of at least version 1.6.0_20 or newer; most likely Java will be installed correctly on your PC, already, so don't get worried.

There is no development going on here any more, maybe some minor adjustments.

Windows

3DFibs version 4.0.79

This client is somewhat popular, too, and is also supported by TigerGammon. There is no more development on this client.

A more recent version of 3DFibs was being distributed until beginning of 2014. It was called FibZilla and is still available on the given link. It is a flaw, though, that you can't store the address of TigerGammon ti-ga.com in FibZilla. In addition there is a bug that displays wrong ratings for some of the players. Therefore it is not recommended using FibZilla for your play on TigerGammon.

There is no more development on FibZilla either.

Android

BackgammonMobile

That's a client for Android SmartPhones. You'll find it on GooglePlay. It is still being developed. If there are bugs, they will hopefully be gone in the next release. The maybe most serious flaw of the current version is the fact that you can only play 1ptr, that are matches of length 1.

Handling the client

Here is just a short introduction into the handling of the clients. This is done using JavaFibs as an example. 3DFibs is quite similar in its features. The mobile clients have less features are therefore more straightforward to operate.

For detailed instructions please see the manuals of your choice of clients.

Players list

Before you can play a game of backgammon you need to find an opponent. To find an opponent you need information about who is online, who is ready to play, who matches your playing skill, and much more. The players list serves exactly that purpose and is your center of information in between backgammon matches, besides ...

Shout and chat

Communication with other players is important, too, in the time between matches. Communication is possible in several ways:

  • shout something, which everyone will hear,
  • or chat with an individual player.

There are other ways of communication, too, when you play matches or watch a match played by others. But that is advanced stuff.

Invite players

You have found another user that you want to play a match of backgammon with. Your client will give you some kind of context menu at your right click. There are also symbols in a tool bar to let you invite others. And of course you may receive an invitation by another player, yourself.

In international backgammon, there are mainly two ways to play:

  • Moneygames
  • Matches of up to <n> points

In a Moneygame you play several games in sequence and you count the points you gained so far. You'll play a moneygame by chosing matchlength unlimited.
In an n-point match you agree on a number of points to reach, then you play as many games as neccessary, so that the winner reaches or surpasses that limit.

Play backgammon

You have invited another player, you have accepted an invitation, and now you are playing a game of backgammon. A board will become active, and you'll be enrolled in sequences of roll the dice, and move the checkers.

In general your client will allow you to configure whether to play clockwise or counterclockwise. In either case you'll be playing to a home on the lower side. It is like you look down on a board in face to face play.

When it is your turn and you may double, you'll have to decide whether to double or roll the dice. Usually it is a double click on the cube to double, or a click on the symbol of unrolled dice to roll.

You'll accept a double by double clicking the cube. To resign you'll double click the resign symbol.

To move the checkers you'll left click a checker to move the high pips (dice) and a right click to move the low pips. The client may have a configuration to show the landing point of the checker in advance.

Throughout the game you may resign by clicking a white flag icon in the toolbar. You'll have to add information about whether you want to resign normal (1 point), gammon (2 points), or backgammon (3 points). Accept or reject a resign by double clicking the appropriate symbol.

Players Information

Player information comprises these details:

name

Yes - the nickname of the player. You'll use this name to address the player in many ways.

status

The status maybe playing, ready, or online. Online is another way to say not ready.
In addition a player maybe Watching or Away.

experience

It shows, how many matches the player has finished. He gained like 7 points for a finished match of 7 points.

rating

The rating gives a hint on the playing skills of the player. Starting at 1500 and changing in big steps as long as experience is below 400, the rating shows a skilled player (>1800), an intermediate player (1400...1800) and a beginners level (1200...1400). But you may not judge all from the rating. Play your opponent and you'll see how well he is playing.

idle

When a player is logged in, but doesn't give any commands, a clock measures her idle time. Idle time may be shown as 4:27 (4 minutes 27) or just in minutes, like 523 (minutes).

gender, country, email

Gender, country and email are given by the players with little rules applied. That information may be wrong. Use your brains.

host

The host shows information about the players connection.

client

You see what client your opponent utilizes.

Ok! Let's go!

Having read a lot of instructions, it is easy playing online backgammon on TigerGammon.

Or are client and registration still missing?
Then it is only few steps to online play. Just follow the short instructions for experienced players.