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Book Review: Backgammon for Winners by Bill Robertie. Kindle edition

Last updated on October 30, 2022

Backgammon for Winners, book cover.
Backgammon for Winners.

About the author

Bill Robertie is an American backgammon, chess and poker player. He is one of only three people to have won the World Backgammon Championship twice (1983 & 1987). He is also the author of seven books about backgammon. Most of his backgammon books are targeted at players of intermediate or advanced level. Backgammon for Winners is written for the beginner to intermediate level player.


We at Deluxe Backgammon like Backgammon for Beginners. It feels short at just 152 pages, but it actually covers everything that a novice needs to know to begin playing backgammon within the shortest possible time. There are ten quick to read chapters covering: the basics of play, setup, rules, opening moves, tactics and strategies.

Sample games

There are also three sample games with explanations behind each move. The sample games are useful to novices as the author illustrates how strategies and tactics need to adapt dynamically to changes in the game.

This is a guide that allows a novice to dive into the game quickly and begin to play. This is the level where the tuition stops, at the beginner stage. If you want to progress to an intermediate or advanced level, this is not the ideal book for you. The author has an easy to read style and explains all the terminology in a clear and concise manner. Beginners will not get overwhelmed with complex terms and backgammon jargon.


Finally, there is a glossary which is an excellent reference guide to the terms learnt in the book. This is a guide that allows a beginner to quickly understand the terminology and begin to play.


If you have read any other modern books on how to play backgammon you probably won’t gain much from this book. The brevity and clarity of the book is probably our favourite aspect. It really does introduce the novice into the game in the shortest possible time. If you are a novice and want something that is quick and practical to introduce yourself into the game then Backgammon for Winners is for you. Deluxe Backgammon highly recommends this book for beginners.

One Comment

  1. Jackie Jackie

    I wanted to get back into playing backgammon, but I hadn’t played in years. I figured I needed some sort of reminder on how to play, so I went looking for a book on backgammon and more or less at random picked Backgammon for Winners by Bill Robertie.

    It’s a fairly thin book with on 192 pages, which I liked. I didn’t need to spend hours reading about the 500 year history of the game. Robertie jumps right into the key concepts of backgammon, first outlining the rules and a bit of broad strategy as well as covering the best opening moves for each possible first roll of the dice. However, the bulk of the book is taken up with commentary on three different sample games. Robertie analyses each move of each game, giving detailed explanations for why something was a strong or poor move. Robertie suggests you set up a board and move the pieces yourself. However, theree were enough illustrations that setting up a board is not necessary.

    By the time you work through these three sample games you’ll understand backgammon notation, the different stages of a backgammon game, why control of certain key points is critical and you’ll even see examples of when the ‘rules of thumb’ should be broken. He does a good job of urging you to go back and reread a section if its covering difficult material. You will learn enough from Backgammon for Winners about the rules, strategy and tactics to quickly advance from beginner to intermediate. A really good book for those new to backgammon.

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