Computer Apps

You can find computer applications which allow you to play against the computer, or against a real (?) person anywhere on the internet for money or just for fun. There are other apps which can help you to analyse your own performance and consequently improve your level of play. A quick search of the Google Play Store found 28 Backgammon-related apps for Android devices of varying shapes and sizes, some of which will be good and some less so.

My personal recommendation is to avoid apps which pitch you against some virtual player on the internet and usually involving some sort of money transaction.


The acknowledged top application is eXtreme Gammon. This app is available for Microsoft Windows PC's/laptops, and Apple iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Often simply referred to as XG there are 3 versions.

1. eXtreme Gammon v2. A Microsoft Windows application which plays Backgammon at a variety of levels from beginner to world-class (where it makes few or no mistakes). You can use this in tutorial mode or to analyse each and every move you make. You can also use this information to improve your own game. This Windows app is downloadable from the eXtreme Gammon website and you can get 14 days trial for free. For continued use you are required to purchase a single-user license which comes in at $59.95 which represents great value. If you join the UKBGF you can get 20% discount on purchase of a single license.

2. XG Mobile. As the name suggests, this cut-down version of XG allows you to use some of the features of eXtreme Gammon on your mobile device, iOS and Android tablets and smartphones. The basic download from the Apple Store or Google Play Store is a free version. It plays a very strong game which will beat most players on a regular basis.

3. XG Mobile Premium. An upgraded version of XG Mobile with many additional features and plays a stronger game (if required) than XG Mobile. $9.95. This represents superb value and is highly recommended.

Playing Online Backgammon:

The majority of apps available are geared towards playing backgammon against an online opponent. Some of these opponents will be real people, others will be computer "bots" normally playing money games with the sole purpose of winning backgammon matches and thus making money (from you!). Most of these apps I would suggest you should avoid. If you decide to play against an online opponent where money is directly at stake I would advise you adhere to responsible gambling guidelines. The following apps are my recommendations.

1. Gridgammon. An online client/server-based platform where you can compete against individuals across the world. This is a platform where, in order to join, you have to be recommended by an existing member. This helps to maintain a level of integrity and skill level amongst its users. Windows and Mac users are catered for at no cost for a guest account but you must download the client software in order to play. There are no mobile smartphone or tablet versions. If you wish to play on Gridgammon please speak to Jules for a recommendation.

2. Backgammon Studio Heroes. This is an online server-based platform (no client required) played through your web browser, which like Gridgammon enables you to play against others across the globe. You need to register in order to be able to login, but it's all free. As there is no client software involved you can play this through your mobile device's web browser.

3. Backgammon Galaxy. Another online server-based platform you can play through your web browser. Marc Olsen, the Danish author of many top books on Backgammon, is behind Backgammon Galaxy, and Mochy, the World No. 1 grandmaster, endorses this site. The online system is linked to eXtreme Gammon for an overview analysis of your matches. You can play top players across the world or simply watch matches in progress. You can join up as a Free member. Please note that at the time of writing (Nov2019) this site is still under development and some features are not functional.

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