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Welcome! Motif is a Java applet that plays backgammon. If you have a web browser that supports Java (such as Netscape or Internet Explorer), then you can play backgammon against Motif right now.

If you don't know the rules of backgammon, it is a good idea to read them over before you start. Here they are:

After you have played enough games against Motif, it is inevitable you will encounter several sessions of bad luck. This has lead some players to wonder if the dice in the program are fair. Be assured that all dice rolls in Motif are fair and random and that over the long run the luck will even out.

I have gathered statistics on the first 100,000 games Motif played. Those curious about possible bias in Motif's dice may be interested in looking at:

Motif plays a reasonably good game and some people have written to ask about Motif's inner workings and how it learned to play. Here are a few notes on the program:

Please tell me what you think of Motif. If you are reporting a problem, it will help me if you can indicate what system you are running on (the type of computer and its operating system), and what web browser you are using. There is no built-in Help facility yet. But if you really get stuck, send me a mail message and I'll try to help out.

Some additional information on Motif is available at:

If you are interested in backgammon, there is lots of information on the game at my main backgammon page. You'll find complete rules, glossary of terms, annotated matches, articles on strategy, and selected postings from the newsgroup rec.games.backgammon.

    "One of the best applets of 1996"

Last Updated: September 2004