Backgammon Books

  Starting Out In Backgammon

  AUTHOR: Paul Lamford
  YEAR: 2001
  PUBLISHER: Everyman Publishers plc
  CITY: London
  ISBN: 1-85744-282-2
  BINDING: Softcover
  PAGES: 128
  SIZE: 24 cm high, 18 cm wide

     "This is a must for beginners at backgammon. Paul's writing style is clear and easy to read, making the most complicated concepts manageable. Each chapter is peppered with warnings and tips, highlighting the most important points. The exercises at the end of each section ensure that you have understood and remembered what you have learnt. My copy is well worn, but my game has changed beyond recognition and I keep going back to it."—Cassie, August 2001


     "Paul Lamford is a multi-skilled and highly rated British player of strategy games and a former British Champion of both Backgammon and Bridge. Starting Out is targeted squarely at the novice/beginner readership, though casual players would find the book an efficient and effective introduction to the formal game.
      The prose is easy to read, the contents logically structured, the illustrations are well presented and feature the modern standard notation. Each chapter is peppered with handy 'Tips', and 'Warnings' and 'Notes' which boldly summarize the salient points in clear memorable sound bites. Each instructional chapter ends with a small quiz for the readers to test their understanding of some of the issues discussed, although the main chapters would be enhanced by additional reference problems to augment the scant quiz sections.
      Virgin players and newcomers to formal backgammon are assured a rewarding read from Lamford's new book."—Mark Driver, GammonVillage, June 2001


     The ideal reader for this book is someone who has already played a lot of backgammon and has a feel for basic checker play. Lamford packs an exceptional amount of useful information into a slim volume. He tells you things that experts know but that you won't learn from any moderate amount of over-the-board experience. It is a beginner's book in the sense that he distills the information into maxims and rules of thumb that are fairly easy to remember. One often wishes for more examples or a more extended discussion. But the information is there, it was just so concise that you didn't get it the first time."—Reader from the United States, Customer Review at, March 2003


     "This thin book is packed with useful information. Neural net software has significantly changed the way backgammon is played over the last 15 years, and this book incorporates those lessons in an excellent introduction to the game. Furthermore, it is the best introduction to the doubling cube that I have encountered. Doubling decisions are kept in mind in every chapter of the book, and common reference positions are provided that show exactly when to double and when to take or drop. Finally, the book has reviews of neural net backgammon software and online gaming sites."—lee Hachadoorian, Customer Review at, April 2002

1.  The Basics
2.  Early Strategy
3.  Opening Moves and Replies
4.  The Doubling Cube
5.  The Race
6.  The Bear-Off
7.  Priming Games
8.  The Blitz
9.  Holding Games
10.  Backgames
11.  Technical Themes
12.  Computers and the Internet
Solutions to Exercises
Probability Tables
  COVER: Learn Backgammon from scratch or brush up on the basics. Hints and tips make key advice easy to remember. An ideal first Backgammon book for players of all ages.
      Backgammon is the ultimate race game and has been enjoyed around the world for over five thousand years. Although the play is highly skilful, the fact that the moves rely on the fall of the dice introduces a large element of luck. In the long run the better player will always win, but the beauty of the game is that even a novice can win the odd game against a world champion.
      In this user-friend introduction to the game, ex-British champion Paul Lamford provides newcomers to the game with a thorough grounding in the essentials of play.

Paul Lamford was the 1993 British Backgammon champion and is currently rated number one in the UK. He is the author of 100 Backgammon Puzzles and is a frequent writer of articles for the leading backgammon magazine, Inside Backgammon.

   100 Backgammon Puzzles
A Champion's Guide to Testing Your Skills
and Improving Your Game

Paul Lamford
1999: The Lyons Press, New York
   Improve Your Backgammon
Paul Lamford, Simon Gasquoine
2002: Everyman Publishers plc, London

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