what kind of motivation should Tom Keith have to let Motif cheat?
Here in r.g.b. every fortnight one claims that x, y, or z cheats,
especially bots. But till now, no one has ever come with an evidence.
Even GNU-BG, where you can look at the source, is sometimes called to
be a cheater.
I have made a lot bot-to-bot comparisons and bots of equal strength
have sometimes very strange results (e.g. laying in front with 0,4
points per game on 1000 cubeless games. If that happens to one on the
loosing side, he/she stops playing BG alltogether probably). So BG is
very much influenced by luck.
Further it is related to human perception. Everytime Motif rolls a
joker your impression is reinforced, but if *you* roll a joker this
didn't make the same impression (you will often not regard this as
joker). And when Motif plays stronger than you (and AFAIK Motif plays
pretty well) there are more perceived lucky rolls on Motifs side......
ALternatives for you are
- Fibs to play against Humans
- or BGBLitz, GNU-BG if you want to play against bots.
You've just been unlucky. The dice in Motif are random and fair.
This is a common complaint of all backgammon programs.
As far as I know, no major backgammon game cheats with its dice.
If you would like to try out other backgammon programs and
other sites, here are some lists:
Author of Motif Backgammon
"Rick Kiesau" <rki...@webtv.net> wrote in message
You need to arrange the game so 6-1 plays crappy instead of being a joker...
I can't comment on your direct experience, but I do know that one tends to
forget one's own good luck or the opponent's bad luck, but to remember one's
own bad luck or the opponent's good luck. Human nature.
Couldn't all of the cheating business be resolved by recording a few
thousand games and doing a statistical distribution on the dice rolls?
Yes and no. In the case of Motif, I recorded 100,000 games and
published statistics of the most commonly proposed ways the dice
might be biased. See http://www.bkgm.com/motif/stats.html
This reduced the number of complaints I got, but didn't eliminate them.
People would now write to say that it's not the *total* number of doubles
that mattered but the *timing* of the doubles. (Players presumably get
their doubles when on the bar and can't use them.)
I can do an analysis to test that theory, but then somebody else would
come along with a more sophisticated theory. It's a never-ending cycle.
There is no way to test every possible way the dice might be biased.
>> Couldn't all of the cheating business be resolved by recording a few
>> thousand games and doing a statistical distribution on the dice rolls?
>Yes and no. In the case of Motif, I recorded 100,000 games and
>published statistics of the most commonly proposed ways the dice
>might be biased. See http://www.bkgm.com/motif/stats.html
I went and looked at your stats and they are exactly what would be
expected from unbiased dice, but that of course is no surprise. I'll just
refer again to my previous post about psychology. When you get your double
sixers with a man on the bar and the opposing 6-point made, you tend to
remember it. When it happens to your opponent, no big deal. And on an on.
You are right. You could now do additional statistical tests for groupings,
etc. I would offer a double on the idea that it will be statistically just
about normal, and you could offer a redouble on the idea that this still
won't be good enough for everyone.
Assuming that Motif is very strong, on the order of gnubg or snowie,
etc. -- unless you are a quite advanced player, this is just what it
feels like to play a world class player. They will consistently
>>..been playing Motif for 4 months..
If you "enjoyed" playing Motif then you probably would also enjoy
playing on www.fibs.com. There are plenty of bots there and even a
stronger version of Motif is sometimes present. There are also regular
people playing there with skill levels to match your experience.
> You are right. You could now do additional statistical tests for groupings,
> etc. I would offer a double on the idea that it will be statistically just
> about normal, and you could offer a redouble on the idea that this still
> won't be good enough for everyone.
Those are both such huge drops that they might by play-ons.
>I can do an analysis to test that theory, but then somebody else would
>come along with a more sophisticated theory. It's a never-ending cycle.
>There is no way to test every possible way the dice might be biased.
Of course there is, and you don't even need to play games to do it.
Use a double-blind. The random number generator runs as a totally
separate process, and provides a "die roll" to the main process whenever
asked, say, through a registered Windows message. Since the processes
are separate, the question of the main process interfering with the
output of the RNG becomes moot. In fact, you can publish the interface
of how the RNG should respond, thus allowing others to distribute their
OWN RNG programs which respond to your program's requests -- eliminating
the possibility of any backdoors. Random.org works this way, I believe?
Now, make 1,000,000 requests to the random number generator. Record the
number of times each result comes up (be sure to distinguish between 1/3
and 3/1 for easy viewing). All the numbers should approximate 1/36, and
should get closer and closer as you increase the number of requests
made. By the time you hit 1,000,000 the variance away from 1/36 should
be ridiculously small. By the time you hit 1,000,000,000,000... you get
This wouldn't silence the fools who'd say "it just rolls the dice in
advance and then predicts the rest!" ... but THIS modification would.
Have the RNG display a window as part of its process detailing the last
10 die-roll requests, the number rolled, and the exact time of each
roll. This would prevent the main program from rolling the dice in
advance, as the window could be easily checked.
I'm sure you wouldn't ever convince 100% of the people, but really,
nothing will ever convince Murat; he'll always think everything and
everyone that beats him must cheat somehow.
a host is a host from coast to coast
and no one will talk to a host that's close
unless the host that isn't close
is busy, hung, or dead
I hate it when that happens. It does though. I've done it to others about as
often as I've had it done to me. I suggest you just blow it off and try not
to end up in that situation as often. Dice are dice... fickle and sometimes
downright demon possessed! Ever thought about a career as a bar dancer?
A "simple" solution would be to do luck analysis of the 100,000 games.
The average luck should essentially by zero (i.e., 0.000 +/- 0.005 for
You have such an engaging way of expressing yourself! It all seems to
boil down to a simple rule:
IF Murat loses THEN dice are rigged;
ELSE no problem.
How do you do against a certain bot when you manually roll the dice?
Should I speak "Anatolian" for you...?? :))
But that's all you do here, dahlink...
Despite some of the abuse, this is an excellent suggestion (provided,
of course, that payment can be guaranteed). Those that are unhappy
about dice rolls can pretend they're in a casino, and give themselves
fair odds on any roll or set of rolls that they predict. Avoid
self-deception about the prediction by writing it down in advance (and
specify your stake in advance, too). With non-randomness, you could
make a nice profit that way. My opinion is that all of the well-known
programs use genuine random numbers.
Unfortunately, my opinion is that Motif is much weaker than myself,
and that I am much weaker than Jellyfish. Sorry to bring this up, but
others have referred to Motif as being a strong player ("just what
you'd expect from playing a strong player"), and I wanted to register
my disagreement. However, Motif does have some very impressive
features which, in some contexts, matter at least as much as strength.
For example, in contrast to my freeware JF, Motif lets you play the
dice in any order without additional clicking if you play the lower
I stopped playing Motif a few months ago, so I apologise if it has
What about this amazing sequence which happened to me yesterday
playing online: I opened with 62, followed by the truly unbelievable
sequence 21, 63, 65 and 54. The odds that a game starts with this
sequence is less than 1 to 50,000,000. The dice must clearly be biased
for this sequence to occur!!!
This looks to be 1 in 18^5 or 1 in 1,889,568. (I think you did it as
one in 36^5 which would not be correct.) Again, low odds but it can
But generalize this. These rolls could be anything at all, and, if there
were no doubles, the odds against ANY five roll opening sequence is
exactly the same. Probability is not selective. It doesn't care about
"good" or "bad" rolls. The human mind, however, is most selective.
Whoops ***blush***, actually it's 1,574,640 (15*18^4), since the first
roll can't be a double.
> Again, low odds but it can happen.
> But generalize this. These rolls could be anything at all, and, if there
> were no doubles, the odds against ANY five roll opening sequence is
> exactly the same. Probability is not selective. It doesn't care about
> "good" or "bad" rolls. The human mind, however, is most selective.
Yup, that's was my point :-) This is exactly why we need some unbiased
estimate of the luck, not yet another personal anecdote: "I'm been
playing for so long, and something similar has never happened before
blah blah blah".
These "hords (sic) of morons" then have the audacity to say "Here's the
source code to gnubg. Show us where it is doing this."
Just "repeting" (sic) something doesn't make it true, except in the
feeble minds of dimwits like Murat...
Let me see if I understand this: Are you saying that you don't play better
than the bots, but are successful against them because you outcheat them, so
to speak. That is, you can predict how they are going to roll
in an attempt to cheat you and you exploit that?
> To further bolster my point, I will dare claim that not only will I
> beat the rigged piece of gnudung more than 50+X% at its highest
> settings, but I will beat it against the clock on a 2.4mhz Celeron
> with 512mb as well...
> Did my answers help any...??
>Have any ancestry from "Anatolia" by chance...?
No idea....should it bother me if I had ?
Hi Rick. I realize this last post was a statement not a question, but
in case you are still interested in other's opinions or for others who
may be in your situation:
One of the posters here seemed to call you "ignorant". This doesn't
have to be a put-down... it isn't the same as "stupid" for instance.
It just means that you don't have some knowledge that others do have.
In this case the knowledge that motif does not cheat.
It is however understandable that you feel this way. As others
mentioned, many, many posts get made about various backgammon programs
or servers cheating with the dice. It is just part of the nature of
probability that some people will receive patterns of dice that seem
very un-random. So your feelings are not at all unusual and are very
Still, to progress as a successful backgammon player you will need to
get over these irrational thoughts. You don't have to play motif if
you don't want to, but wherever you play online or against programs or
in real life, the dice will occasionally seem very un-random. If that
is going to put you on tilt, your play may suffer.
So let us help you... there are many people here who will respond to
polite questions... the author of motif even responded to you despite
your insulting him by suggesting he would mess with your mind in some
way. In one post you mentioned not knowing how to statistically test
the dice... that is understandable as unless you've studied statistics
you probably wouldn't. But many people here do... so if you ask
politely they may help.
I'll start. To begin with you need to rationally decide exactly how
you think motif cheats. Does it roll too many doubles? Does it roll
too many 1,6's to escape a prime? Does it give you 6,6 from the bar
when it has just a 1pt board too often? You have some experience with
the program now and have some strong feelings that it cheats, but to
progress you need to decide HOW it cheats. Come up with a good thesis
and write it down. An example would be "When I'm on the bar against a
3pt board I dance at least 2/3 of the time" If this were true then
the dice would be clearly unfair since you should only dance 1/4 of
Ok, then you need to examine and clarify your statement. For example,
do you mean only when you have 1 checker on the bar not 2 or more? Do
you mean only a 3pt board, not a 2 or 1 pt board? Does any other
aspect of the position matter? Do you really mean at least 1/2 the
time or maybe 40%? Clarify exactly what you mean before you proceed.
Ok, then re-write your statement exactly... something like "When I'm
on the bar with one checker against a 3pt board, I dance at least 40%
of the time" Ok, this is a little less serious as you might expect to
dance 40% of the time occasionally, but still if that's true, the dice
would be improper since you "should" only dance 25% of the time.
Ok, only at this point should you begin to gather evidence. It is
very important that you first identify the problem, then state a
thesis, and then gather evidence. So... play some games! Every time
you are on the bar against a 3pt board, see if you dance or not. Do
this for say 1000 examples. If you dance less than 250 times, I think
you should be able to see that your thesis was off. If you dance more
than 400, then you have some good evidence that maybe you are on to
something and the dice may be somewhat un-random. If it is somewhere
in the middle, then you probably can't reject the notion that the dice
are random, but neither can you reject your idea that you may dance a
little too much.
Statistics can help to give stronger meaning to exactly the numbers
you find, and I'm sure someone here could help you at that point. But
it is most important that you follow these first steps clearly...
First state exactly what you think is wrong and then clarify exactly
what you mean, and then gather evidence. Analyzing that evidence may
be difficult, but it isn't impossible and likely will be self-evident
"RobAdams" <georgeha...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
Thanks for the response. I don't have enough computer knowledge to
gather data or keep track of the games I play. While I am playing, I
always wish someone was sitting there who knew something about the game,
so I could show them what is going on, because it is quite amazing on an
on-going and consistent basis, and even if I had kept track of all the
rolls that have come up in the last five months of playing Motif, it
wouldn't illustrate my point because it is the the context of the rolls.
For example; very often I will get almost no doubles during a game, but
when I am trapped behind a prime, waiting to get out, I will more often
than not get two or three doubles in a row (usually threes, fours and
fives) thereby ruining my prime. So, just by examining stats, you could
say I got some doubles, but they were at the most inopportune time.
This happens more often than not. I know it's hard to believe until you
see it, but it happens all the time. Motif will also, get a 63 if it's
the only roll he can use to jump my prime. That should only happen 1
out of 21 rolls, but if he needs it, he'll get it at least 1 out of 3
times. I can honestly predict what Motif is going to roll when he is in
danger on a consistent basis. I sit there after having guessed the roll
wishing someone had seen it, all the time. I play at a coffee shop in
Hollywood a lot, and these things just don't happen on anything close to
the scale of Motif. Not even close. I'm not some BG newbie. I have
been playing for 24 years, and I know there are mind-blowing streaks in
the game, but if someone has one for five months straight, they're
I didn't mean to offend Tom, and the site is free, and it's very well
put together, but something is wrong with the dice. I have tried to
play on other sites, and I am embarassed to say I can't figure out how
to set it up. I would like to play with live players. If you have any
advice of other sites, I would apprecitate it. Maybe you and I can play