My fascination for backgammon started when I was a student in Aarhus, Denmark.
I used to go to a local cafè with a friend and drink a glass of wine and play board games until it got dark.
My problem with most board games is that I become too competitive. I always want to win – regardless of who my opponent is.
So even though it started off as a cozy thing between friends, it rapidly developed into a competition that none of us really wanted to lose.
And this is where this article becomes relevant. I went home, ordered a lot of “how to become good at Backgammon” books from Amazon. And I read them all over a period of two months.
Many of them were quite boring and poorly written – they didn’t teach me anything. But some of them were quite good and learned me basic and advanced strategies.
In this article, I will recommend the backgammon books that taught me how to take my game to the next level.
In a hurry? Here’s my top 3 recommended backgammon books for beginners on Amazon
So..why are these books helpful?
When I reviewed some of the books that have helped me to progress about chess, I was questioned on my choice of words.
I wrote that they were brilliant.
I’m gonna be a bit more careful this time.
These backgammon books that you can find in the table above are not brilliant, but they are great. These are books that are great to help you progress to become a better backgammon player.
However, the books are quite different – and I will explain how each book has helped me to almost become “unbeatable” at backgammon in the section below. 😉
Why are these backgammon books recommended for beginners?
1. Backgammon for Dummies: for the absolute beginner
Are you not sure how to set up a backgammon board? Are you afraid that you don’t know all the rules of the game?
In that case, this book might be for you.
It’s a book that will teach you the absolute basics of the game. And it’s done in a very good and educational way.
Frankly, I would have to say that this book wasn’t really for me. I had played quite a lot of backgammon already before reading it.
That being said, I am 100 % sure “Backgammon for Dummies” is a great asset for anyone who just started playing backgammon – or are just curious about the game.
Key elements that make this book great:
- Great tables and illustrations of the game
- Written in a beginner-friendly way without “pro backgammon expressions”
- Suitable for absolute beginners that are curious about backgammon
PS! It was written in the description on Amazon that “Backgammon for dummies” is, quote: “…suitable for both beginners and experienced players..”. I have to frankly say that I disagree with that.
If you’re an advanced player, you should rather look into one of the other books I’ve recommended.
2. Backgammon from basics to badass: Perfect strategy book for mediocre players
This is the book that taught me the most about how I should make an overall strategy for the backgammon game.
The first couple of times you play backgammon, many beginners will think that it’s all about luck.
This book will prove that winning a game of backgammon is all about choosing the right strategy. 🙂
“Backgammon from basics to badass” is a book that’s well-written, easy to understand and that will teach you basic and more advanced strategies to win the game.
How and why did this book improve my backgammon skills?
- It starts with the basics but moves on to more advanced techniques and strategies quickly
- You don’t have to be a backgammon player to understand the book
- It’s written by one of Denmarks’ best players ever: Marc Brockmann Olsen
- Once you read the reviews on Amazon, you start to understand why this book is probably the best book on the topic that can be found 🙂
3. 501 Essential Backgammon Problems: Taking your game to the next level!
This is the best backgammon book out there to go from a decent player to a semi-skilled player.
The book teaches you extremely important concepts such as:
- Back play
- Holding games
- Breaking anchor
- One man back
- …and a lot more!
I almost struggle to explain how much important strategy this book taught me.
Why do you need this backgammon book?
- It’s the perfect formula to take your game to the next level
- High-quality, educational pictures and illustrations
- Teaches you everything you need to know about backgammon strategy
- It’s thick (value for money) 😉
Good vs Bad Backgammon books: the differences
After reading 20 of these books, I started to see a pattern.
The books I felt that I learned something from had many of the same elements. And that’s what I am going to show you now.
Good backgammon books have:
- Written by an expert in the field
- Includes plenty of illustrations and pictures
- Is written in a way that is both suitable for absolute beginners, but also backgammon professionals
- The author doesn’t pretend to be more knowledgable than what he/she really is*
*= One of the books I read was embarrasing to read. The author had filled the book with an extremely advanced English – combined with advanced “Backgammon terms”.
When I googled the author, it turned out that he was only a hobby player with an interest for the game. That was probably the worst book I have ever read. I learned nothing.
Bad backgammon books are usually recognized by:
- “Wall of text”
- A lot of poor reviews on Amazon
- No pictures, illustrations, images at all
- Some author that believes he/she knows more than he/she actually does
In other words: poorly written backgammon books for beginners are quite easy to spot.
Additional resources to improve your game
Books is, for me, the absolute most efficient way to become better at backgammon and other board games.
However, there are a couple of other online resources that you can use.
Youtube: Professional games
Before I start to tell you about this, I just have to admit: yes. I am a nerd.
But sometimes, it’s actually fun to watch professional people play backgammon games on Youtube. A guy named Mochy is one of the best players in the world.
He is kind enough to upload all of his games on his Youtube channel. Unfortunately, there are no commentators on his games. However, it’s quite fun if you know some of the basic strategies in backgammon:
Play online at 247backgammon.org
There are loads of websites out there where you can play backgammon for free. Most of them are bad.
247backgammon.org is, by far, my favorite website to play backgammon online.
- Free to play
- Instant play (no registration needed)
- A fast and user-friendly website
- You can adjust the level of the opponent (easy-medium-hard-expert)
This is a very common misconception about backgammon.
Because a dice (or…two dices) is a so important element in the game, people believe it’s all about luck. That’s absolutely not true.
Bkgm.com wrote a brilliant article about this. According to this article, a world champion would win against a beginner level player 93 % of the times.
To reach the world champion level demands a lot of studying.
However, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to become a “medium plus” backgammon player. If you pick up a couple of the books I have recommended in this article, you are on your way.
Chess is significantly harder to become good at. The number of different variations in chess is almost endless.
In backgammon, you might have a bit of luck with the dice. Also, the strategies are quite easy to understand – and it doesn’t necessarily demand a very high IQ to play basic strategies.
I have written an article called “Buyer’s guide: Best Wooden Backgammon set“.