The Ten Best Backgammon Lessons I Ever Had
By Phil Simborg
backgammon lessons 6 – 7:
6. Jack Jacobs. Over the years, Jake has probably taught me more and insulted me more than anyone I know. But his insults are so intelligent and fun, and he was usually right, so I never got made at him. One thing Jake convinced me that has been a great lesson, is do not play down to your opponent. If you are playing someone who plays poorly, or takes cubes when they shouldn’t, etc., generally speaking, you are best off making what is mathematically and statistically the right plays and decisions instead of adjusting your game too much based on the opponent’s style. For example, even a player who takes cubes late in the game when they shouldn’t can also make the mistake of dropping a cube they should take…so double when you should double.
7. Nack Ballard. After a while I graduated from FIBS and started playing where most of the best players in the world played: Gamesgrid. I soon found that the best player there, and the best player in the world according to most people, was Nack Ballard. I really wanted to play him, but he would only play for money. So I did, and I got killed. Out of pity, Nack made me a deal. We played 3 point matches for $100 a match, but at the end of every game he would give me advice and help about anything I did wrong. I paid well for my lessons, but I learned a lot. The best lesson I learned from Nack is: MAKE THE 5 POINT. Almost any time you can, almost regardless of the other choices, making the 5 point is usually right. Back when he was teaching me this, the computer programs did not agree…now, they have gotten better and they do agree with Nack.