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From: Dave Yeo (1:396/4)
To: All
Date: Sun, 14.06.20 14:57
IBM Backgammon
From: Dave Yeo <dave.r.yeo@gmail.com>

I've been playing backgammon quite a bit. I'm finding it quite
frustrating as the computer seems to cheat. Keeping statistics I see
things like 40 times the computer jump on my single compared to 6 for
me, usually as soon as I have a single the computer rolls the right
number to hit my single or both if I have two singles, often with
doubles. The computer can leave a single for an average of 4 rolls
before I can roll to hit it whereas the other way it is 1.2 rolls, the
singles are usually in equivalent spots.
The average game the computer will roll 8 doubles while I'll roll 2
unless I have a man off. Then, eg if the computer has 4 and 6 blocked
I'll roll double 6s, then double 4s then double 5s as now 5s are also
blocked.
12 times in a row when I had 5 out of 6 home spots blocked the computer
will roll the one unblocked number, often also rolling the other number
that will hit my single. Whereas 10 out 12 times when the computer had 3
or less blocked I couldn't roll the correct number, often getting doubles.
If I'm way in the lead I often start rolling small doubles but if I'm
slightly less in the lead, in a surprising number of times the computer
will roll multiple large doubles and pull of a surprising come from
behind win if I don't double.
I seem to be very unlucky playing this game even when following the same
strategy as the computer or it cheats.
Meanwhile playing a win3.1 backgammon game on high, the computer wins
about 60% of the time and it seems random if a single gets hit and
roughly equal.
I find it really frustrating playing a game where the player hides the
dice before showing the roll and has amazing luck game after game.
Perhaps I'm just paranoid but I'm not such a bad player that when a
2,3,4 will hit a single and I roll double ones twice in a row (by then
all singles are covered) that it is a matter of skill.
Dave
--- NewsGate v1.0 gamma 2
* Origin: News Gate @ Net396 -Huntsville, AL - USA (1:396/4)

From: Martin Iturbide (1:396/4)
To: All
Date: Sun, 14.06.20 14:57
Re: IBM Backgammon
From: Martin Iturbide <martiniturbide@gmail.com>

This is a interesting topic.

To bad I don't play Backgammon to try it out.

Which game is? Is this one the one you think is cheating?

http://www.os2world.com/games/index.php/native-games/board/114-os-2-td-gamm=
on

Regards
Mart=EDn.
--- NewsGate v1.0 gamma 2
* Origin: News Gate @ Net396 -Huntsville, AL - USA (1:396/4)

From: Peter J. Seymour (1:396/4)
To: All
Date: Sun, 14.06.20 14:57
Re: IBM Backgammon
From: "Peter J. Seymour" <ng@pjsey.demon.co.uk>

On 29/10/2013 16:59, Martin Iturbide wrote:
> This is a interesting topic.
>
> To bad I don't play Backgammon to try it out.
>
> Which game is? Is this one the one you think is cheating?
>
> http://www.os2world.com/games/index.php/native-games/board/114-os-2-td-gammon
>
> Regards
> Mart?n.
>

Yes that is the game, but I believe there is at least a 1.1 version in
existence. I think it is on an IBM site but I don't remember where.
--- NewsGate v1.0 gamma 2
* Origin: News Gate @ Net396 -Huntsville, AL - USA (1:396/4)

From: Peter J. Seymour (1:396/4)
To: All
Date: Sun, 14.06.20 14:57
Re: IBM Backgammon
From: "Peter J. Seymour" <ng@pjsey.demon.co.uk>

On 29/10/2013 16:59, Martin Iturbide wrote:
> This is a interesting topic.
>
> To bad I don't play Backgammon to try it out.
>
> Which game is? Is this one the one you think is cheating?
>
> http://www.os2world.com/games/index.php/native-games/board/114-os-2-td-gammon
>
> Regards
> Mart?n.
>
I had a look around, but I can't locate where it might be available to
download.

It is interesting that there are several articles on the net extolling
the virtues of TD-Gammon. Apparently it uses a world-beating algorithm.
When I have a spare moment I will have to see if I can analyse the
apparent cheating more objectively.
--- NewsGate v1.0 gamma 2
* Origin: News Gate @ Net396 -Huntsville, AL - USA (1:396/4)

From: Martin Iturbide (1:396/4)
To: All
Date: Sun, 14.06.20 14:57
Re: IBM Backgammon
From: Martin Iturbide <martiniturbide@gmail.com>

It is very interesting.

I didn't know that that game had a Wikipedia article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TD-Gammon

I will put the OS2World Games site picture on that article to collaborate w=
ith the Wikipedia.

Let me know if you find version 1.1. I will upload it to hobbes and the gam=
es site.

Regards
Mart=EDn.
--- NewsGate v1.0 gamma 2
* Origin: News Gate @ Net396 -Huntsville, AL - USA (1:396/4)

From: Peter J. Seymour (1:396/4)
To: All
Date: Sun, 14.06.20 14:57
Re: IBM Backgammon
From: "Peter J. Seymour" <ng@pjsey.demon.co.uk>

On 29/10/2013 16:59, Martin Iturbide wrote:
> This is a interesting topic.
>
> To bad I don't play Backgammon to try it out.
>
> Which game is? Is this one the one you think is cheating?
>
> http://www.os2world.com/games/index.php/native-games/board/114-os-2-td-gammon
>
> Regards
> Mart?n.
>

I have been on an OS/2 system since my previous post (well, ECS 1.2R to
be precise). That has TD-Gammon 2.0 installed.

I see that the game has six levels of hardness. That puts my variable
faced dice hypothesis out of the window as it wouldn't support that many
levels.

So, back to the suspicion of the program cheating in the harder levels.
Is there any way to investigate this other than looking for anomalies in
the dice throw statistics?

--- NewsGate v1.0 gamma 2
* Origin: News Gate @ Net396 -Huntsville, AL - USA (1:396/4)

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