Bot for Backgammon

As bots have always been one of my interests I have been taking a few looks at other games where botting should be possible. One game that I took an extra look at is Backgammon. There are a few differences between backgammon and poker that makes a backgammon bot a lot easier to build than a poker bot. If you have followed this blog you will have noticed our struggle with the poker bot and it felt quite relaxing thinking about a backgammon bot.

The main reason backgammon is more suitable for botting is that the game is more or less deterministic. All variables are known except the dice that adds the little randomness there is. The thing with backgammon is that there is a right way of playing it. You can’t be smarter or better, the best you can do is playing the game right and hope that your opponent makes mistakes or that the dice are on your side. There is an optimal move in every given situation. If there hadn’t been dice involved it would have been the same game as tic tac toe, if you play it correctly noone can win.

This makes it perfect for a bot, a bot will never make mistakes. As long as the bot has the correct algorithm or,  as in the scenario I considered have all the situations in the database and knows how to handle them, it will play an optimal game.

After a lot of thinking about this I realized that it is so easy that there has to be one out on the net already. A few minutes of Google Jockeing and I found it. It’s names Snowie and even does cooperation with some gaming companies offering backgammon. Well, it was an interesting day thinking about it at least.

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