Last updated on June 12, 2021
About the author
The author, Simon Hill, had done his fair share of losing at backgammon before going on to play at an international level, as a member of the UK team at the 2015 European Championships in Budapest. He used his experiences to write this book, Backgammon for Losers. Originally, he was going to call this it “Backgammon for Life” until his young son referred to it as “Backgammon for Losers”. The name resonated and the new title stuck. It is now in its 3rd updated edition. The book is packed with examples, photos and anecdotes. This easy-reading guide combines professional experience with humour to offer the ‘loser’ an accessible guide to winning at backgammon.
I read the Kindle edition and when I finished I thought finally, here is a book that is absolutely perfect for beginner and intermediate players. Most backgammon books are simply far too complex, overwritten and dry to be beneficial for the absolute beginner. Experienced players will learn a few shortcuts and new theories, but for the most part, this is a book for the novice.
It’s an amusing read with the author supplying many interesting anecdotes about backgammon and its many characters. There are also some great quotes, amusing photographs, playing tips, and rules of thumb. If there is one minor complaint it is that actual playing tips don’t really start until chapter 5. Up until this point, it is a series of amusing anecdotes from the author. For a reader keen to get started on improving their game this might prove frustrating. Perhaps the author could have worked these anecdotes into the practical chapters. Once we hit the key material, the book is brilliant, practical and amusing.
There are twenty chapters with a total of 266 pages. As expected there are dedicated chapters covering the rules, opening moves, middle and end game strategies, tactical play, doubling and probability. It covers everything a beginner should need to learn the basics of backgammon.
In short, it’s a great book and an enjoyable read. Here at Deluxe Backgammon, we recommend it highly for new players wanting an amusing, yet practical, introduction to the game.
Please read some of our other backgammon book reviews.