In chess, such cheating can be readily detected because there are
major stylistic differences -- one chess player was investigated (and
confessed) when he had an easy fork winning a queen but chose a
complicated mate in seven instead.
Are there any such giveaways in backgammon that distinguish a strong
player from a computer-cheating player? Obviously, if someone is
incomparably stronger online than in person, there are grounds for
Part of my concern is that I have met some unethical behaviour while
playing for money (in person) though nothing particularly outrageous.
For example, I once redoubled someone, he passed, and I wrote down and
said 2. He said "No, it's just one -- I dropped it." You would have
had to be there but, from his tone and manner, I am absolutely sure
that this was a cheating attempt and he always knew he had lost 2. He
never apologised when I corrected him. This sort of thing went on all
the time while I was the least experienced member of the club.
Major stylistic differences can be seen between chess players and computers,
but just because someone sees an easy fork to win the queen, doesn't
necessarily mean that they won't see a complex mate in 7 either. I would ALWAYS
go for the mate first, if I saw it. Now if the person saw the mate in 7 in
about 5 seconds then you can be pretty sure that person is using an engine to
With backgammon I would think it's different. It has to be pretty hard to cheat
using a bot while playing online unless you're using seperate computers. Shame
that such things have to be thought about. <sigh>
Thanks, Jeff. I agree with your comments. In this particular
instance, the mate in 7 had so many variations etc. that a
non-grandmaster (and non-computer) would be most unlikely to spot it.
Since the player confessed to cheating, there is no debate about that
instance. There was other evidence against him, too. It's debatable
whether it's good practical technique to go for a complex mate in 7
(compared to a queen-winning fork) even if you see it. What a player
"sees" is not necessarily correct. One has to compare the risk that
you've calculated the "mate" inaccurately versus the risk that you
will somehow mess up a game with a huge material advantage. I would
respect either decision -- it depends on so many personal factors.
It is "a shame that such things have to be thought about." I do so
because I've experienced cheating in over-the-board money play. The
guy who I mentioned KNEW 100% that he'd lost 2 (after he'd dropped a
redouble), and tried to con me that he'd lost just 1. However, this
form of cheating seems less heinous than loaded dice. I could defend
myself against the "no, just 1" simply by being confident and paying
attention -- it's harder to defend yourself against loaded dice.
> It is "a shame that such things have to be thought about." I do so
> because I've experienced cheating in over-the-board money play. The
> guy who I mentioned KNEW 100% that he'd lost 2 (after he'd dropped a
> redouble), and tried to con me that he'd lost just 1. However, this
> form of cheating seems less heinous than loaded dice. I could defend
> myself against the "no, just 1" simply by being confident and paying
> attention -- it's harder to defend yourself against loaded dice.
> Paul Epstein
Loaded dice in backgammon are probably extremely rare mainly because rolling
big numbers is not necessarily a good thing in BG. (i.e. dancing with 66,
large numbers are much less flexible). Only if a cheater could slip the
loaded dice in the game during the bearoff and then back out could it really
Actually, I'd be very unlikely to play BG for money over the `net.
Not just for bot cheating, but for having whole teams of people
on the other end. Most especially in cases where there were tight
time limits on moves.
Yes, but switching between loaded and ordinary dice is not difficult
for a professional cheat.
> Loaded dice in backgammon are probably extremely rare mainly because rolling
> big numbers is not necessarily a good thing in BG. (i.e. dancing with 66,
> large numbers are much less flexible). Only if a cheater could slip the
> loaded dice in the game during the bearoff and then back out could it really
> be effective.
But if you were using starting seeds that gives one of the players 10
pips more over an average of let's say 30 rolls. Straight races and
pretty even hit games would then be in favour of one player. This could
even be set to happen within statistical margins making it virtually
impossible to detect.
//Remove tämä all the way to and including soomee to mail directly.
//Ascended:W,V (genopolywish),P(ill ath), T,K,H,S,B,C,P,W
(naked),Ro,Ra,A,W,almost pacifist A
Hee hee! You remindend me of an old story.
An old-time BG hustler was quietly sleeping one off in the gutter.
And this whelp of a boy comes up to him and starts pestering him
to teach him the ways of being a BG hustler.
So the oldster tells him to take a hike. But the boy persists.
So the oldster says "Fine. Watch this." And he throws the dice
behind his back, they bounce off the wall, land on a fire hydrant,
wobble a bit, and stay there, on edge. "And I sleep in the gutter!
Now go away!"
Yes, but there are worse equity losses than that type of cheating --
at least the rolls of you and your opponent have not been interfered
with. I think there are cheats everywhere you go, and it's a big
equity drain if you don't know the player beforehand. Since a major
source of equity loss is people simply not paying, the safest activity
might be over-the-board tournament backgammon.