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Haborrat

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Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
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is ther a sever that plays an honest game. have played on yahoo, msn & lycos.
dice are not right
love to play but want to play a person not the computer. (a computer can't win
if it doesn't controll the dice)


JP White

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Oct 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/11/99
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Haborrat wrote:

The thread you start is a recurrent theme in this newsgroup. Two camps are firmly
divided on the honesty of the computer when playing backgammon.

A poor tradesman often blames his tools. Likewise, getting thrashed at backgammon
often looks like the dice are against you. Your superior opponent (computer or
otherwise) is able to ensure that more of the possible future rolls are favorable
by placing his/her checkers strategically. This often reduces the effectiveness of
your future rolls.

This makes things look as if the dice go your opponents way and at the same time
punish/taunt you. It is however all a psychological trick we play on ourselves.
Cast such thoughts aside, or you will be consumed by them.

If you wish to play a person on the internet, then many of the internet backgammon
servers have many hundreds of people playing simultaneously. I'd suggest
http://www.gamesgrid.com or http://www.fibs.com Both require the download of a
software 'client'. (However I must warn you that the computer throws the dice even
in a 'person to person' game)

--
JP White
Mailto:jp.w...@nashville.com

Chris Ternel

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Oct 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/12/99
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Try www.funcom.com


habo...@aol.com (Haborrat) wrote:

>is ther a sever that plays an honest game. have played on yahoo, msn & lycos.
>dice are not right
> love to play but want to play a person not the computer. (a computer can't win
>if it doesn't controll the dice)

Chris E. Ternel
D.B.F.ApS - BgShop
Gersonsvej 25
DK-2900 Hellerup
Denmark
www.bgshop.com - for all your backgammon needs!
tel. +45 39 40 17 85
fax. +45 39 40 01 44

Murat Kalinyaprak

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Oct 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/13/99
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JP White wrote in news:3802A90D...@nashville.com...

> A poor tradesman often blames his tools. Likewise,
> getting thrashed at backgammon often looks like the

> dice are against you. Your superior opponent....

This may be generally true enough but there are also
good players who make negative remarks about certain
bot's/server's dice and for some reason they are all
conveniently ignored...

Personally, I had met many a highly rated player on
FIBS who believed that the dice was rigged. I hadn't
gotten to be among the highest rated players (yet:),
but the 1870's I had reached wasn't all that shabby
and I had no doubt that FIBS dice was rigged either.

There is so much pressure put on people by cliches
like "good players don't complain about dice", etc.
(and from the reaction they receive in newsgroups)
that they don't dare relate their opinions publicly
although they don't mind doing so in private while
chatting during games on servers. After all, isn't
that why anybody can even joke about psychological
experiments...? :)

MK


Ian Hirst

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Oct 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/13/99
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Perhaps its time to invent a new game based on backgammon, where each player
chooses the dice throw he wants.

Ian

Haborrat <habo...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:19991011194213...@ng-xb1.aol.com...

EdmondT

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Oct 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/13/99
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>Perhaps its time to invent a new game based on backgammon, where each player
>chooses the dice throw he wants.
>
>Ian
>

This would not be a new invention. In fact, its an very old Persian variant of
BG, which is very interesting.

Edm...@aol.com

JP White

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Oct 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/13/99
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Murat Kalinyaprak wrote:

> JP White wrote in news:3802A90D...@nashville.com...
>
> > A poor tradesman often blames his tools. Likewise,
> > getting thrashed at backgammon often looks like the
> > dice are against you. Your superior opponent....
>
> This may be generally true enough but there are also
> good players who make negative remarks about certain
> bot's/server's dice and for some reason they are all
> conveniently ignored...
>

Ignored? Lambasted is more like it.

>
> Personally, I had met many a highly rated player on
> FIBS who believed that the dice was rigged. I hadn't
> gotten to be among the highest rated players (yet:),
> but the 1870's I had reached wasn't all that shabby
> and I had no doubt that FIBS dice was rigged either.
>

I think it would be true to say that there will always be people who
think that a) the dice are good or b) the dice are rigged, at all levels
of play. I don't see why a good player should be any different to the
rest of the human population. Some of us are more trusting than others,
some are more paranoid than others. That's life.

>
> There is so much pressure put on people by cliches
> like "good players don't complain about dice", etc.
> (and from the reaction they receive in newsgroups)
> that they don't dare relate their opinions publicly
> although they don't mind doing so in private while
> chatting during games on servers.

I think it only natural that a person is more open in an informal
discussion vs making a 'public statement of opinion'.

> After all, isn't
> that why anybody can even joke about psychological
> experiments...? :)
>
> MK

Didn't understand you last remark. Sorry.

BTW. Welcome back to RGB! I would like to see you add comments to a wide
variety of subjects whilst you are back in the writing mood!

AlphaBit Phalpha

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Oct 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/14/99
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Stay tuned if your looking for a new one:)

EdmondT <edm...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:19991013155031...@ng-fg1.aol.com...

Ian Hirst

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Oct 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/14/99
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That's the last time I'll make a smart Alec comment!
Ian

AlphaBit Phalpha <AlphaBit...@bigfoot.com> wrote in message
news:D1jN3.12935$a9.359581@sandstorm...

Daniel Hollis

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Oct 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/14/99
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Murat Kalinyaprak <mu...@compuplus.net> wrote:
>This may be generally true enough but there are also
>good players who make negative remarks about certain
>bot's/server's dice and for some reason they are all
>conveniently ignored...

That could be because if the dice are fair, then it doesn't matter the skill of the player
on FIBS. We can certainly explain that a bad player thinks dice are rigged because he doesn't
understand the importance of flexibility, etc. Just because good players understand
backgammon doesn't mean they can automatically judge fair dice. Do you think that because you
play backgammon well that you can indentify loaded dice? How many rolls does it take you?

I have at times doubted FIBS dice. I "always" seem to get hit in the outfield on an
indirect shot after hitting loose on a running checker. It's often a 9 or a 10 that does it.
I really should expect to be hit roughly 10% of the time in this situation. 10% of the time
is really quite often, when I think about it, so this must just be psychological.

I think that perhaps it's that you can play much more easily online. You can have a 5 pt
match after work or during lunch. Often, especially with a 5 pt board and an opponent on the
bar or some such thing, play goes quickly since moves are forced. Pip counts are
instantaneous. People play quickly and casually since the interface is already slow, and
there are no real stakes. The net result is that you're playing a lot more backgammon than it
looks like.

My new hypothesis on why so many people, even those that know how to play, think the dice
are fixed is because they are playing more games than they realize. Thus, jokers will
consequently happen more often than seems fair.

Dan


Rodrigo Andrade

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Oct 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/15/99
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Glad to know the recent earthquakes in Turkey didn't wipe you off. Welcome
back.

--
RODRIGO

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Descending from heaven
The angel sworn to bring him down
The hunter the thunder
The wrath of heavens coming down

-Iced Earth

Daniel Hollis

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Oct 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/18/99
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In article <f2oO3.5521$PV2....@news.rdc1.tn.home.com>, MikeC
<bbrec...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Since 2 things are known,
>firstly, people cheat at games of chance when
>they can, and
>secondly, people hack computer programs when
>they can....it would seem foolish to assume that
>there is no dice manipulation in the online bg
>environment.

Now we're going one step further: the dice aren't simply biased, now
there's someone controlling the bias!

The key phrase here is "when they can" You say "dice manipulation" as if
there's some equivilent of a dice mechanic online. As if some "hacker"
can use some magical skill, hit some keys, and suddenly he gets to choose
his next roll.

What you're saying is that I have to either assume

- the system operators have cheat functions. That's not what people are
accusing servers of doing. They're saying that /in general matches/ the
dice aren't fair.

- someone has breached the security on the server, got a copy of the
source to the server, implemented cheat functions, recompiled the server,
and put the hacked binary back. To do this without anyone noticing would
have to include restart the executable, effectively booting everyone
online off.

Considering how much easier it is to play with multiple accounts or drop
lost games, I think it's safe to assume the servers are intact.

Dan


MikeC

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Oct 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/20/99
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----- Original Message -----
from: Daniel Hollis <hol...@math.umn.edu>

> The key phrase here is "when they can" You
say "dice manipulation" as
if
> there's some equivilent of a dice mechanic
online. As if some "hacker"
> can use some magical skill, hit some keys, and
suddenly he gets to choose
> his next roll.

I guess "dice manipulation" is not the best term
to use. Maybe "outcome
manipulation" would be more accurate.

Be that as it may, the ability of someone to
"hack" into a program or site
in some way on the internet is widely accepted
as fact.

And, the notion that many people will cheat at


games of chance "when they
can"

is also generally accepted as fact. Not only
will many people cheat at
games of chance and all forms of gambling, they
will also cheat at sports,
cheat on their taxes, cheat on their wife, cheat
on exams, cheat, cheat,
cheat, ad infinitum.

Therefore, it seems to me that it would be
rational to assume that someone
is cheating at backgammon on the internet. And,
furthermore, highly
irrational to assume otherwise.

The standard police evaluation would be, "who
has the motive and the means?"

And the means is where the "when they can" part
comes in. And, while I
don't have the means to cheat at online
backgammon. There are a few people
that do have the means to. I'm sure, at the
very least, that some of the
people that wrote the programs and maintain the
sites can. Therefore, it
seems rational to assume that some of them are
cheating. And highly
irrational to assume otherwise.

Also, I will state in advance, that if I knew
how they did it, I'd do it
myself.

And, if I knew how to do it myself, I would
challenge anyone that said
cheating was going on immediately. But that's
just me. :-)

Mike C
bbrec...@hotmail.com

Daniel Hollis

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Oct 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/20/99
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In article <7teP3.7521$PV2.1...@news.rdc1.tn.home.com>,

MikeC <bbrec...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Be that as it may, the ability of someone to
>"hack" into a program or site
>in some way on the internet is widely accepted
>as fact.

The ability to crack /any/ given system? I wouldn't go that far. But
even if you assume that someone's going to break into a server like fibs,
he can't /seamlessly/ swap one executable for another and still keep all
the outstanding connections. Maybe fibs burps happen often enough so that
Patty doesn't check to see what happened, I dunno. But I'm just saying
that someone who does this is sure to leave a mark.

>Therefore, it seems to me that it would be
>rational to assume that someone
>is cheating at backgammon on the internet. And,
>furthermore, highly
>irrational to assume otherwise.

Yup, I agree with you here. There are a whole lot of people who are
playing with multiple accounts and dropping games. There are those people
who are manipulating the ratings system as the rules allow.

Given how easy and non-criminal these other options are, why would
anyone crack into an online server in order to cheat at backgammon?

> I'm sure, at the very least, that some of the
>people that wrote the programs and maintain the
>sites can. Therefore, it seems rational to
>assume that some of them are cheating.

Well, system operators certainly do have the opportunity. Some new
server written by some kid is under my suspicion.

You're basically saying that "all the sites are fair" is an unlikely
event since some given site might be cheating, and there are so many
sites. Now, correct me if I'm misunderstanding you, but you seem to be
implicitly saying that any given online server is run by cheaters with
some non-zero probability, because cheating servers can exist.

First, there really aren't that many online servers with lots of users,
and I don't care about the others.

Second, whether or not a site is rigged is not a random event (the sysop
doesn't flip a coin and on heads, decide to bias the dice, and on tails,
make them fair). You can assign a probability to your assumption being
correct, but this probability is just based on how you personally feel
about the dice -- but it's not a function of whether or not you actually
are correct. Your guess of whether or not a site cheats is either true or
false all the time.

So, if you're saying that you think there's some programmer with an
inflated ego who wants to make a cheating server for his own kicks,
that's fine with me. But if you're saying because this is possible,
that there's some chance that reputable servers are cheating, that's
not the case. You have to look at the reputable servers individually and
make your own judgement.

And the server that I play on doesn't seem to have biased dice on
purpose. I don't think any for-profit server does either. Here's why:
Anyone who's operating a for-profit server has little motive to rig the
dice, and lots to lose. He has no reason to make the dice biased in
general; that doesn't help his rating. And if anyone found out, it would
damage the reputation of the server. Besides, he can cheat to improve his
rating in a much more direct manner without skewing the dice.

Dan


Michael Strato

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Oct 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/20/99
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MikeC <bbrec...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:7teP3.7521$PV2.1...@news.rdc1.tn.home.com...

> Also, I will state in advance, that if I knew
> how they did it, I'd do it
> myself.
>
> And, if I knew how to do it myself, I would
> challenge anyone that said
> cheating was going on immediately. But that's
> just me. :-)
>
> Mike C

Hi Mike,

Just one question, what would you get out of cheating, if you knew how to?


Michael
^____^

MikeC

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Oct 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/21/99
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Daniel Hollis <hol...@math.umn.edu> wrote in
message news:7ula06$rb2$1...@news1.tc.umn.edu...

> The ability to crack /any/ given system? I
wouldn't go that far

Published reports show that major government and
private sector
servers have been hacked successfully. So I
would imagine any of the
bg servers would be easier to hack than that.

> Given how easy and non-criminal these other
options are, why would
> anyone crack into an online server in order to
cheat at backgammon?

I would not consider multiple accounts or
"dropping" to be the same type of cheating.
Multiple accounts allow people to play under
different aliases, is all.
Dropping does not get you a win. It just gets
you out of a loss on some servers.
It is, as you point out, very easy to both
these. Both these are a nuisance at best to
other players and are not in the same league as
hacking the system.

Then you get into the general question of "why?"
. Which is another way of saying
what is their motive. Why do people cheat?
Answer, they just do. People cheat at
everything
from the Olympic Games on down. Different
motivations for different people.

Anyhow Daniel, cheating at backgammon online
has been and will be a constant
topic here.

And, everytime someone posts that he/she thinks
cheating is going on, the response will
always be a variation on the following: "It is
irrational to suspect cheating in online
backgammon"

When, in fact, the truth is just the opposite.
"It is rational to suspect cheating in online
backgammon"
And "It is irrational to NOT suspect cheating in
online backgammon"

And also, the response will bring up the same
two questions, "What is their motive?" and
"What are the means by which they do this?"

In summation, all I am saying is here is the
simplified answer to those 2 questions.

1. The motive is that some people cheat.

2. The means is known only to the cheaters.

Mike C
bbrec...@hotmail.com

Daniel Hollis

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Oct 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/22/99
to
In article <vbtP3.7758$PV2.1...@news.rdc1.tn.home.com>,

MikeC <bbrec...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>And, everytime someone posts that he/she thinks
>cheating is going on, the response will
>always be a variation on the following: "It is
>irrational to suspect cheating in online
>backgammon"
>
>When, in fact, the truth is just the opposite.
>"It is rational to suspect cheating in online
>backgammon"
>And "It is irrational to NOT suspect cheating in
>online backgammon"

And people do cheat, yes. They play with multiple accounts to throw
games to themselves. And since everyone's going to win some games, if
you drop the ones you're going to lose, you will never lose a game, and
your rating will increase as high as you like. The net result is more
ratings points in either case.

Anyway, we're getting off the original topic here.

What started all of this is the idea that people are claiming the dice
aren't fair. It's probably rational to /consider the possibility/ that
someone is cheating or the dice are biased. I started this out by
saying that I've had suspicions myself about trends in the dice. I do,
however, think it is irrational to assume that someone has cracked the
server solely because you lost a game to bad dice. I also think that
it's irrational to conclude that the dice are biased in general because
you're rolled badly. And I haven't concluded (ie become convinced) that
the dice are biased because I have suspicion.

Yet this is what we keep seeing. People aren't posting here to ask,
"I keep getting bad dice, and I suspect that the dice aren't fair - does
anyone else agree, how would I test my suspicion?". We instead see
people who are already conviced the dice are unfair.

So maybe we've been talking about two slightly different things.
People who post with their minds made up don't get addressed because 1)
no amount of logic will enlighten someone who's already abandoned logic
in favor of a hunch, and 2) these people are only looking for some other
victim of bad dice for "proof" of their suspicions.

Dan


MikeC

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Oct 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/22/99
to

Daniel Hollis <hol...@math.umn.edu> wrote in
message news:7uq0kn$9ir$1...@news1.tc.umn.edu...

>
> And people do cheat, yes. They play with
multiple accounts to throw
> games to themselves. And since everyone's
going to win some games, if
> you drop the ones you're going to lose, you
will never lose a game, and
> your rating will increase as high as you like.
The net result is more
> ratings points in either case.

As one who just had a game dropped on him, by a
player with the lovely name of "lilac",
I can say dropping is a nuisance at best. Lilac
will not be able to drop on me again.
And if lilac uses a different screen name I
wrote down the IP address. Now, that is on
FIBS.
Also, on FIBS if you use your multiple accounts
to lose to yourself it is easy to see because
of the IP address. No matter what the name of
the player is the IP address will be the same.
And, I imagine if someone complains to Patti she
would have a record and
might take some action.

On the Zone you can drop, but if you drop too
many games your rating is reset.

All of the pay servers have a way to deal with
droppers. So dropping I would classify
as anti-social behavior. Not effective as
cheating as you describe. Most people only
pay for one account on pay servers also. And
I'm sure they would keep you from
playing yourself if you did pay for 2 accounts.

>Daniel then wrote:
> I do, however, think it is irrational to
assume that someone has cracked the
> server solely because you lost a game to bad
dice>

Someone once said, "Just because you're
paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to
get you". But seriously folks, the discussions
about someone hacking the dice
invariably bring up a response like this.
Comparing backgammon online to backgammon
in the real world. And, true, the best player
can lose to the worst player if the dice
come up in an unusual way. But if Lucille Ball
were still around she would tell you
that people cheat in the real world too. And
people "drop" in the real world too.
I've got one guy that owes me $100 and won't
pay. Now, just just like a cyber dropper,
I won't play him again, but I won't get my $100
either.

So, to take this cyber bg vs. real world bg
comparison even further, what I am saying
is it is irrational to think that the same
thing that goes on in the real world doesn't
happen online.

And, just like in the real world, a lot of
people don't have the means
by which to cheat online, but a few people do.
And, of those that have the means to cheat,
I'm sure some are.

Plus, just as it's easier to "drop" online than
it is in the real world
(because in the real world there is physical
contact), it is also easier to "cheat" online.
If you have the means to hack the system, as a
few people do.

So, let's forget the idea that no one is
cheating at online backgammon. Because,
just as people cheat in the real world of
backgammon, there are people cheating here, too.

There is a long list of people who can "drop"
online. But there is a short list of people
that can "cheat" online.

So, let's all get together and figure out who it
is and kick their cheating butts.

Mike C
bbrec...@hotmail.com


JP White

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Oct 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/22/99
to
MikeC wrote:

> Daniel Hollis <hol...@math.umn.edu> wrote in
> message news:7uq0kn$9ir$1...@news1.tc.umn.edu...
>
>

<snip>

> >
> No matter what the name of
> the player is the IP address will be the same.
>

Is this true for dialup accounts that have their IP addresses allocated
at connection time?

MikeC

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Oct 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/23/99
to

JP White <jp.w...@nashville.com> wrote in
message news:38111819...@nashville.com...

> Is this true for dialup accounts that have
their IP addresses allocated
> at connection time?

Explain this, please.


JP White

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Oct 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/23/99
to
MikeC wrote:

As I understand it, when you dial-up the internet via an ISP, the ISP
will allocate you an IP address from a 'pool' of addresses. Each time
you dial in, your IP address will most likely be different as you'll be
allocated another upon connection. Most likely only the last few digits
will change each time you connect. This is how my ISP works and I don't
think they are alone by any means.

For those folks with cable or DSL modems I believe that they are
allocated fixed IP addresses.

Mark Sproson

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Oct 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/26/99
to
Folks,

I just played a number of games this morning on FIBS, and I think the
dice are
rigged. Numerous times the game was almost over when Bingo! I got the
throw I
badly needed, got unstuck, hit a couple of blots, closed my home board
and
ran all the way home. I think someone's hacked into the code that rolls
the
dice and skewed them - and it's someone that likes me!

Obviously, someone has hacked into the dice-code and re-written it so
that it
gives favourable numbers at crucial moments. The only thing I'm not sure
of is
how it decides who it's in favour of. Obviously it's not just choosing
at
random because I just keep winning! So, it must keep a list of people it
likes
and doesn't like. I wonder what happens if two people it likes are
playing
each other? Perhaps it has a rating system and the person it likes more
gets
the good rolls! Of course, it must also take account of how good a
player you
are - I'm not so good, so there are plenty of 'good' rolls that I'd
completely
fail to see the use of, so it must save up some really obvious ones for
me, you
know, double sixes so I can run home as quickly as possible. But these
guys
up in the 1800s and 1900s, apparently they play these things called
'back
games' where you want to hold back as long as possible and the last
thing you
want is a big throw that's going to force you to move your runners out.
So
it must be pretty smart to find just the right throw to give one of
these guys
the advantage.

Obviously, the code to do all this is going to be pretty small and
easily
missed - boy, these hackers sure are clever these days - but there
should be
one giveaway - there must be of list of players who get the good throws,
and I should be on there! Now that shouldn't be hard to find, should it?

Sproz

MikeC

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Oct 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/27/99
to

Mark Sproson <ma...@wimbolt.demon.co.uk> wrote in
message
news:3815A90D...@wimbolt.demon.co.uk...

> Folks,
>
> I just played a number of games this morning
on FIBS, and I think the
> dice are
> rigged. I think someone's hacked into the code

that rolls
> the
> dice and skewed them - and it's someone that
likes me!
>

Maybe the hacker doesn't like you. Maybe the
hacker just hates your
opponent. And you are receiving the benefit.
:-)

Be that as it may, this is the first time I've
seen someone post
that hacking helped them in online backgammon.

Refreshing change in the dialogue for sure.

Mike C
bbrec...@hotmail.com

Mark Sproson

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Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to

MikeC wrote:
>
> Mark Sproson <ma...@wimbolt.demon.co.uk> wrote in
> message
> news:3815A90D...@wimbolt.demon.co.uk...
> > Folks,
> >
> > I just played a number of games this morning
> on FIBS, and I think the
> > dice are
> > rigged. I think someone's hacked into the code
> that rolls
> > the
> > dice and skewed them - and it's someone that
> likes me!
> >
>
> Maybe the hacker doesn't like you. Maybe the
> hacker just hates your
> opponent. And you are receiving the benefit.
> :-)

Well (extracts tongue from cheek), that was actually
my point. People often claim here that the dice on
some server are biased to their disadvantage, so that
their opponent gets way too many indirect hits or they
dance for too many times when coming off the bar,
repeatedly over a long series of matches.
I can think of three possible ways this would happen.

a) there is a rather elaborate piece of hacked code which
knows enough backgammon to give good throws (which it
can only do with some fairly detailed analysis of the
current board state), and makes an arbitrary decision
about which players it is going to help this way.

b) some players can 'control' or 'predict' what dice they
and their opponents are given.

c) someone has skewed the probability of the dice-thrower
so that is more likely to give certain numbers at
certain stages of the game, and anyone who has this
knowledge can make use of it when deciding what to play.

Now a) would require one hell of a piece of code. If I had
the backgammon skill to be able to design such a program,
I don't think I'd need any help on FIBS, and I certainly
wouldn't want it - I'd want to win on my own merit. And if
I had the coding skill too, I'd write the next Jellyfish
and try to make a few bucks.

b) on the other hand would, I guess, not be impossible. But
in this case, claiming that you keep losing because of bad
dice amounts to claiming that most of your opponents have
this knowledge and are using it to cheat.

If case c) is true, two players unaware of the hack would
not be affected - they'd never know anything was wrong
without careful and lengthy statistical analysis of their
games. But if one player knew that, say, 6s came up more
in the early stages, less in the later, he/she could make
use of this. Once again, though, this means that an awful
lot of people are cheating. Who's told them all about the
hack? Why hasn't anyone who wants a fair game been told
and exposed the fact?

In short, either there is a mega-hacker out there with a
VERY strange idea of a joke, or most players are cheats.
Me, I prefer to assume that the dice are basically fair,
and keep my board in such a state that fluky throws aren't
going to cost me the entire game. If only it were that easy!

Sproz

MikeC

unread,
Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to

Mark Sproson <ma...@wimbolt.demon.co.uk> wrote in
message
news:381788F8...@wimbolt.demon.co.uk...

>
> In short, either there is a mega-hacker out
there with a
> VERY strange idea of a joke, or most players
are cheats.
> Me, I prefer to assume that the dice are
basically fair,
> and keep my board in such a state that fluky
throws aren't
> going to cost me the entire game. If only it
were that easy!

To repeat previous points, only the cheaters
know how to cheat.

There are people that write bots that play
backgammon, people that know how to hack
programs and sites, etc. In a world of people
with the means/skills/ability
to commit this crime, it is rational to expect
that someone either:

a) can hack the site

b) is hacking the site

Furthermore, it is irrational to propose, as you
seem to be now, that the site
is not being hacked just because you can't
figure out how to do it.

But, as you pointed out previously, the games
you played recently
appeared to be hacked in your favor. And, for
every game that
someone loses to hacking there is someone that
wins because of it.

Most people wouldn't point that out, but you
did. I think that's
pretty cool. Even if you may not have really
meant it. :-)

Mike C
bbrec...@hotmail.com

Daniel Murphy

unread,
Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to
On Thu, 28 Oct 1999 06:50:47 GMT, "MikeC" <bbrec...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>To repeat previous points, only the cheaters
>know how to cheat.
>
>There are people that write bots that play
>backgammon, people that know how to hack
>programs and sites, etc. In a world of people
>with the means/skills/ability
>to commit this crime, it is rational to expect
>that someone either:
>
>a) can hack the site
>
>b) is hacking the site
>
>Furthermore, it is irrational to propose, as you
>seem to be now, that the site
>is not being hacked just because you can't
>figure out how to do it.

Mike, your argument is:

SOME people cheat;
SOME people can hack SOME programs;
SOME programs get HACKED;
therefore someONE *is* cheating by hacking ONE *specific* backgammon
program.

Compare:

SOME people steal;
SOME people can crack safes;
SOME safes get cracked;
therefore someone is cracking the safe at the First National Bank of
Peoria as we speak.

Surely it's clear that while there's nothing wrong with either
argument's premises, the conclusions simply doesn't follow logically
from them.


________________________________________________
Daniel Murphy www.cityraccoon.com/
Humlebæk Backgammon Klub www.hbgk.dk/
Raccoon on FIBS www.fibs.com/
Raccoon on GamesGrid too

MikeC

unread,
Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to

Daniel Murphy <rac...@cityraccoon.com> wrote in
message
news:3817fc85...@news.businessnet.dk...

> SOME people steal;
> SOME people can crack safes;
> SOME safes get cracked;
> therefore someone is cracking the safe at the
First National Bank of
> Peoria as we speak.
>
> Surely it's clear that while there's nothing
wrong with either
> argument's premises, the conclusions simply
doesn't follow logically
> from them.

Well, I was rewording a discussion earlier in
the thread. Thought it was clear.
But maybe not.

SOME people hack
SOME people can hack websites
SOME websites get hacked
therefore someone is hacking my game against
Daniel Murphy on
NETGAMMON right now :-)

Seriously folks, I never discussed a specific
point of hacking a game at a specific site
at a specific time. I was replying to a post
that suspected hacking though.

But I did say, or try to say at least, that it
is rational to assume that
there is SOME online backgammon hacking going
on. Only those
doing the hacking know the specifics. Just like
only the safe cracker
knows when the First National Bank of Peoria is
going to be hit.

And to extend that thought, it is also
irrational to assume otherwise.
And it is, of course, also irrational to


assume that there is no

bank safe cracking going on either. :-)

Hope that follows more logically.

Mike C
bbrec...@hotmail.com


Mark Sproson

unread,
Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to

MikeC wrote:
>
>
> And to extend that thought, it is also
> irrational to assume otherwise.
> And it is, of course, also irrational to
> assume that there is no
> bank safe cracking going on either. :-)
>
> Hope that follows more logically.
>
> Mike C
> bbrec...@hotmail.com

I'm not sure if irrational is quite the word, but I guess I
would agree that it's at least foolish to assert that back-
gammon servers never get hacked. But, as Daniel tried to point
out, this is NOT the conclusion that most people draw. Most
arguments go like this;

SOME people can hack
MANY of my games seem to go against me in unlucky ways
therefore...
SOMEONE has hacked the server I use, to my personal detriment.

Now the rational thing to do is to look at this conclusion and
its implications and see whether they fit in with how we perceive
the world. I can see two basic interpretations of the conclusion
above;
1) There is a widespread conspiracy of cheating on backgammon
servers. Well, I have a hard time swallowing conspiracy theories
about JFK or Rosicrucians, but Backgammon??? Come on!
2) A few hackers have an evil master-plan, to prevent online
players the world over getting a fair game of backgammon. OK,
you're right, I don't actually know how to hack into a server,
but I DO know that it's kidsplay compared to the six-months
plus of cutting edge coding someone would have to put in to
make happen the things that many people claim. Hardly a very
big bang for their buck, is it? Most hackers think it's really
cool to put swastikas on their Replubican Party candidate's
home page.

I think it is irrational to believe in either of these scenarios.
I'm not saying that either is impossible, merely outlandishly
improbable. I think it's MUCH more likely that people who make
these claims are just having runs of bad luck, whatever that
really means. I'd been raging against 'impossible' series of
'real' dice throws for years before I discovered online games.

Sproz


Ed Zell

unread,
Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to
>Compare:

>
>SOME people steal;
>SOME people can crack safes;
>SOME safes get cracked;
>therefore someone is cracking the safe at the First National Bank of
>Peoria as we speak.

Uh oh, that is the bank where the Peoria BG Club stores it
cash supply. I better get down quickly and make a withdrawal
for the tournament tonight.

And, yes, Backgammon DOES play in Peoria!

http://home.att.net/~edzell/gammon.htm


Ed Zell
Director, Peoria Backgammon Club

MikeC

unread,
Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to

Mark Sproson <ma...@wimbolt.demon.co.uk> wrote in
message
news:38185DA6...@wimbolt.demon.co.uk...


> arguments go like this;
>
> SOME people can hack
> MANY of my games seem to go against me in
unlucky ways
> therefore...
> SOMEONE has hacked the server I use, to my
personal detriment.

Actually, the post I was responding to was
making the refreshing claim
that someone had hacked the server he uses to
his personal benefit.

>people who make these claims are just having
runs of bad luck, whatever that
> really means. I'd been raging against
'impossible' series of
> 'real' dice throws for years before I
discovered online games.

And in this and other snipped comments you make
the case that is prevalent
on this newsgroup. Which is, that there is no
hacking going on at all in the
online backgammon environment. Because:
a. you don't know how to do it.
b. it must be really hard to do.
c. the person who is doing the complaining
doesn't know how to do it either.

I'll go back to your previous safe cracking
analogy. I'll go out on a limb here and say
that
it's probably easier to hack a backgammon
website than it is to crack the safe at
the Bank in Peoria.

Why? Because everyone accepts the fact that
safe cracking is going on. No one
denies that the safe can be cracked. There is a
long history of bank theft to support this.
Forget the fact that I don't know how to crack
the safe and you don't know how to crack the
safe. Someone does know how and will do it if
they can.

But for some reason, persons on this newsgroup
want to make the case that you are making.
That people are mistaking "bad luck/bad play"
for hacking/cheating. And are being irrational
in doing so.

Since this topic will never go away, I am trying
to put this in it's true context.
I have played a lot of money games in the real
world and know that people cheat at backgammon.
Lucille Ball is a famous case of this.
Moreover, I know that people cheat at
everything.
Gambling, politics, sex, basketball, taxes, you
name it. And I also know that people will cheat
at online backgammon if they can. And I know
that a few people can. Therefore, it is only
rational to assume that someone is. It is also
irrational to assume otherwise.

Mike C
bbrec...@hotmail.com


JP White

unread,
Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to
MikeC wrote:

> Mark Sproson <ma...@wimbolt.demon.co.uk> wrote in
> message
> news:38185DA6...@wimbolt.demon.co.uk...
>

<snip>

>
> Since this topic will never go away, I am trying
> to put this in it's true context.
> I have played a lot of money games in the real
> world and know that people cheat at backgammon.
> Lucille Ball is a famous case of this.
> Moreover, I know that people cheat at
> everything.
> Gambling, politics, sex, basketball, taxes, you
> name it. And I also know that people will cheat
> at online backgammon if they can. And I know
> that a few people can. Therefore, it is only
> rational to assume that someone is. It is also
> irrational to assume otherwise.
>
> Mike C
> bbrec...@hotmail.com

I agree that it is irrational to assume no one will cheat.

However just because people cheat does not mean they are hackers.

More likely a cheat will resort to dropping or playing 'with himself'
via aliases.
Other less blatant forms of cheating such as angling go on daily.

These forms of cheating are easy to do if you're so inclined, but
hacking takes a special skill and knowledge. I cannot comprehend why a
hacker would be interested in a backgammon server when many high profile
government and large corporations' computers are out there to be hacked.
The hacker wants a challenge and seeks recognition from peers in the
hacking community. A backgammon server doesn't fit the bill.

I assert that the likelihood of a backgammon server being hacked is low.
I can't say it hasn't ever happened nor that it will never happen. One
may come to the conclusion by reading this newsgroup, that backgammon
servers are under attack from hackers day and night. Quite irrational.
Cheats find the 'easy' way to cheat, cheating is after all the easy way
out (versus getting better at backgammon via study and experience, or
learning how to hack a computer system).

Me

unread,
Oct 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/28/99
to
Very well put...I couldn't agree more.

MikeC <bbrec...@hotmail.com> wrote in message

news:%_0S3.633$Ur4....@news.rdc1.tn.home.com...


>
> Mark Sproson <ma...@wimbolt.demon.co.uk> wrote in
> message
> news:38185DA6...@wimbolt.demon.co.uk...
>
>

Mark Sproson

unread,
Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to

MikeC wrote:
>
> Actually, the post I was responding to was
> making the refreshing claim
> that someone had hacked the server he uses to
> his personal benefit.

Yes, that was me, joking. Doesn't make any difference to the
argument.

> And in this and other snipped comments you make
> the case that is prevalent
> on this newsgroup. Which is, that there is no
> hacking going on at all in the
> online backgammon environment. Because:
> a. you don't know how to do it.
> b. it must be really hard to do.
> c. the person who is doing the complaining
> doesn't know how to do it either.

No, this is not the point I am making. There may be hacking going on.
The typical hacker (i.e. doesn't care a damn about backgammon)
would hack in, change the welcome message to "This server has
been assimilated. Resistance is futile." and have a good laugh.

But hacking with the specific intent of changing the outcome of
the games is a very different thing. I'm not guessing, I *do*
know roughly how one would go about this and it *is* really hard.
But why would anyone do this? It can't be "to win more games"
because they're supposedly rigging everybody's dice. So, just for
kicks? Someone who is that good at backgammon, programming and
statistical analysis is prepared to put in all that work just for
the thrill of watching us argue about it on r.g.b?

People crack safes because other people put very valuable things
in safes. Of course it's easier to hack a server than to crack
a safe, but what's the point? If you're so sure that hacking is
a *rational* certainty, what is the rationale behind it?

And one final question. Who do you think is doing this?

1) Lots of players on the systems, including, for instance, me.
2) One or two players who by now will have managed to cheat their
way to the very top ratings.
3) The adminstrators of the server.
4) Some kids taking a break from putting potatoes up exhausts.

Right, I think I've said my piece. I bow out of this thread.

Sproz

MikeC

unread,
Oct 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/29/99
to

JP White <jp.w...@nashville.com> wrote in
message news:3818EA0A...@nashville.com...

>
> I assert that the likelihood of a backgammon
server being hacked is low.
> I can't say it hasn't ever happened nor that
it will never happen. One
> may come to the conclusion by reading this
newsgroup, that backgammon
> servers are under attack from hackers day and
night. Quite irrational.
> Cheats find the 'easy' way to cheat, cheating
is after all the easy way
> out (versus getting better at backgammon via
study and experience, or
> learning how to hack a computer system).

If you know how to do something it is "easy".
If you don't know how to do it
it is "hard".

Making my own webpage used to be "hard" to me.
Now it is "easy".

So I agree with you that cheats find the "easy"
way to cheat.
Hacking a backgammon server is "hard" for most
people.
But there are a few people to which it is
"easy".
And of these few people to which it is "easy" it
is rational
to assume that someone is cheating this way.

Everybody on the internet doesn't have the same
limitations
that you and I do. If we try to cheat, everyone
can spot it
right off.

Mike C
bbrec...@hotmail.com


Murat Kalinyaprak

unread,
Oct 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/30/99
to
Mark Sproson wrote news:3818D989...@wimbolt.demon.co.uk...

> The typical hacker (i.e. doesn't care a damn about backgammon)
> would hack in, change the welcome message to "This server has
> been assimilated. Resistance is futile." and have a good laugh.

This is one possibility and sounds like it is your
current assumption of "typical"...

> But hacking with the specific intent of changing the outcome of
> the games is a very different thing. I'm not guessing, I *do*
> know roughly how one would go about this and it *is* really hard.
> But why would anyone do this? It can't be "to win more games"
> because they're supposedly rigging everybody's dice. So, just for
> kicks? Someone who is that good at backgammon, programming and
> statistical analysis is prepared to put in all that work just for
> the thrill of watching us argue about it on r.g.b?

May very well be. Why not...? The world seems to be
full of people disturbed to various degrees and in
various ways. Why people create computer viruses?
Why some of them create viruses that jump at your
face with a loud message and some others silently
destroy your data? Why do all kinds of people do all
kinds of unimaginable weird/evil things and should
people who play backgammon be assumed to be different
than the general crowd for some reason?

Yes, if they get cought, any cheating server's or
software developer's reputation, etc. may be ruined.
But haven't we seen thousands of exemples throughout
history about much more prominent people than mere
bg server/software developers who risked and ruined
their reputations, for various/silly reasons? In fact,
people do things knowingly facing much more severe
consequences than just losing one's reputation, such
as being fined, imprisoned or even executed...

> People crack safes because other people put very valuable things
> in safes. Of course it's easier to hack a server than to crack
> a safe, but what's the point? If you're so sure that hacking is
> a *rational* certainty, what is the rationale behind it?

Maybe along the lines of "shit attracts flies"...?
Who knows...? And what do you think is the use of
people like you asking questions expecting assumed
answers that the bg world is different the real
world out there...?

MK


MikeC

unread,
Oct 31, 1999, 2:00:00 AM10/31/99
to

Murat Kalinyaprak <mu...@compuplus.net> wrote in
message news:7vfokb$gq...@taisp3.in-tch.com...
>

> Who knows...? And what do you think is the use
of
> people like you asking questions expecting
assumed
> answers that the bg world is different the
real
> world out there...?

So true. Why waste time wondering why someone
commits a crime?
What is their motive? Some people cheat at
backgammon. They
cheat in the real world and they cheat in cyber
world too.

I think time discussing this subject would
better spent
talking about who has the means to commit this
crime.

It would have to be a short list. A lot of
people want to
hack the backgammon program but only a few
people can.
Who are these people? Who has the programming
background and the
knowledge of the game?

Let's gather up the usual suspects. :-)

Mike C
bbrec...@hotmail.com

Mark Sproson

unread,
Nov 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/1/99
to
Murat Kalinyaprak wrote:
>
> > People crack safes because other people put very valuable things
> > in safes. Of course it's easier to hack a server than to crack
> > a safe, but what's the point? If you're so sure that hacking is
> > a *rational* certainty, what is the rationale behind it?
>
> Maybe along the lines of "shit attracts flies"...?
> Who knows...? And what do you think is the use of
> people like you asking questions expecting assumed
> answers that the bg world is different the real
> world out there...?
>
> MK

OK, I said I was bowing out, I know, but...

Here is the point of me asking these questions. When people say,
"Someone is cheating on FIBS", but doesn't want to point a finger
at any particular person, then all those who, like me, play at
FIBS, are being indirectly accused. Now, if anyone is going to
accuse me of cheating, even indirectly, I expect them to be able
to tell me something about how they think I might have done it,
and why.

I've been posing some questions about means and motive recently.
Most of the answers I have got have been "the fact that we don't
know doesn't mean someone won't do it". Which, as I have proposed
before, is true, but nowhere near proof. I would like to see if
anyone has any concrete, definite answers to the following
questions. If they have, then we might actually be able to start
finding out who is carrying out the supposed frauds on BG servers.
If there is cheating of the 'hacking' nature going on and we can
uncover the fact and stop it, I will be as delighted as anyone.

1) "For every loser there is a winner". Has anyone ever claimed,
apart from myself last week, jokingly) that they feel they have
had a run of good throws which is SO unlikely as to make them
suspect that the throws are deliberately rigged?

2) "Do cheats prosper?" Can anyone name a player in, say, the top
10% of their particular server's rankings, whose play does not seem
strong enough for someone at the top of the game?

3) "My dice are rigged". According to most claims, the dice in all
or most games are rigged in favour of one person over the other.
How does this allow any one cheat to work their way up the rankings,
when other people are also winning more than they should?

4) "Genius Hacker". Is there anyone reading this posting who feels,
or knows someone that feels, that writing software to produce
evaluations of Backgammon positions to, say, intermediate level,
would be 'easy'?

5) "Kilroy was here". Is anyone prepared to state, anonymously,
that they have hacked into any backgammon server for whatever
reason, and give evidence that they have done so which is verifiable
by the administrators of that server?

6) "Count 'em!" There are a number of bots which play on various
servers. Has anyone written, or would anyone cooperate with me in
writing, a bot to gather statistics on events in online games -
for example, frequency of consecutive pairs of dice throws, number
of consecutive dances against a four- or five-point board?


OK, now I've tried to write these in an unbiased way, though no
doubt failed as I hold fairly strong views on one side of the
argument. But nevertheless I believe that unless we start asking
and answering this sort of question, the question of online cheating
will linger around forever at the "yes they do, no they don't"
level. Anyone disagree with that?


Sproz

Donald Kahn

unread,
Nov 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/1/99
to

Yes, I disagree. Although I have high respect for your sincerity, and
every point you raise is very sensible, I don't think it is at all
necessary to pursue this matter.

Those who believe the dice are "rigged" on FIBS or any other server
are barking mad, and should be ignored.

dk

David Montgomery

unread,
Nov 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/1/99
to
In article <381D9983...@wimbolt.demon.co.uk>,

Mark Sproson <ma...@wimbolt.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>4) "Genius Hacker". Is there anyone reading this posting who feels,
>or knows someone that feels, that writing software to produce
>evaluations of Backgammon positions to, say, intermediate level,
>would be 'easy'?

For a programmer with a little mathematical sophistication,
I would say this is easy. Monolithic featureless nets can
evaluate positions at an intermediate level.

The fact that so many people have written bots of this level
and stronger shows it isn't too hard. For me, getting the
bot connected and able to play on FIBS is more work than creating
an intermediate evaluator.


--
David Montgomery Beltway Backgammon Club
davidmo...@netzero.net Washington DC area BG Tournaments
monty on FIBS and GG www.cs.umd.edu/~monty/bbc.htm


Mark Sproson

unread,
Nov 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/1/99
to

Donald Kahn wrote:

> >OK, now I've tried to write these in an unbiased way, though no
> >doubt failed as I hold fairly strong views on one side of the
> >argument. But nevertheless I believe that unless we start asking
> >and answering this sort of question, the question of online cheating
> >will linger around forever at the "yes they do, no they don't"
> >level. Anyone disagree with that?
> >
> >
> >Sproz
>
> Yes, I disagree. Although I have high respect for your sincerity, and
> every point you raise is very sensible, I don't think it is at all
> necessary to pursue this matter.
>
> Those who believe the dice are "rigged" on FIBS or any other server
> are barking mad, and should be ignored.
>
> dk

Well, to the extent that even if we do ask and answer these questions
the debate will still rage on forever in its basest form, I'm inclined
to take your point. I still feel we should point out to these people
that when they unthinkingly accuse "hackers" they are actually calling
every one of us into suspicion.

But, at the end, you're probably right, I'm just up for an argument I
will
soon tire of making. Vive la différence, I suppose.

Sproz

Mark Sproson

unread,
Nov 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/1/99
to

Thanks - is it right to conclude, then, that there is a standard
topology
for such a net which would provide acceptable results? How long would
you expect such a net to take to learn the game to intermediate level?

Sproz

David Montgomery

unread,
Nov 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/1/99
to
In article <381E2735...@wimbolt.demon.co.uk>,

You can get acceptable results with what is almost certainly the
most typical neural net setup... input layer, one hidden layer with
some standard variety of sigmoidal units, one output layer with 0-1
sigmoidal outputs.

There are a lot of questions that might come up, but you can just
copy what Tesauro described in his papers. Now there is even a
publicly available pre-release version of GNU backgammon, developed
by Gary Wong, at http://www.gnu.org/software/gnubg/, that a programmer
could study if he were unclear on some details. This program seems
to play 1ptrs at near an 1800 level.

Dew Process

unread,
Nov 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/6/99
to
If the dice are skewed, and increasingly I think that they are, I doubt that
it's because the software has been hacked.
As a programmer, I think it's much more likely that some effort may have
been made to improve the chances of poorer players and therefore the
popularity of the game server in some kinds of situations in which those
poorer players are apt to find themselves. It's not difficult to level the
playing field using table lookups to alter the odds of being able to come
off the bar against a 4- or 5-pt table for instance. And any clever
programmer would probably try to hide something like that by also writing
the algorithm to ensure that all players receive a relatively equal number
of doubles over the course of x games, which is all that the naysayers use
to refute any suggestion that the dice are skewed.

MikeC wrote in message ...


>
>Murat Kalinyaprak <mu...@compuplus.net> wrote in
>message news:7vfokb$gq...@taisp3.in-tch.com...
>>
>

MikeC

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Nov 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/9/99
to

Dew Process <gre...@home.com> wrote in message
news:ub%U3.33574$it.7...@news2.rdc1.on.home.co
m...

> If the dice are skewed, and increasingly I
think that they are, I doubt that
> it's because the software has been hacked.
> As a programmer, I think it's much more likely
that some effort may have
> been made to improve the chances of poorer
players and therefore the
> popularity of the game server in some kinds of
situations in which those
> poorer players are apt to find themselves.
It's not difficult to level the
> playing field using table lookups to alter the
odds of being able to come
> off the bar against a 4- or 5-pt table for
instance.

Interesting analysis. This doesn't exactly fit
with my experience with cheating
in the real world though. People who can cheat
are more into doing it for their
own benefit than that of poorer players. :-)

I believe this came up before, however, as
explanation for the play on the pay servers
(like Netgammon and Games Grid). The supposition
was that the servers were skewed to allow the
weaker players to win more. The idea was, I
believe, that it would keep them paying those
subscription dollars. It also was suggested that
it kept people online more, because a good
player would keep playing till he got his rating
back up.

The other type of cheating that your scenario
would fit would be the "bot" theory I have
heard.
That certain bot programmers cheat to make their
bots look like they are better players
than they really are. Generating more income
from sales of software and whatever ego boost it
provides.

But, this is not the type of cheating we were
discussing here. The cheating that I think is
prevalent
would be like in the real world of gambling.
Like playing with a marked deck in poker for
example.
Kinda like in the old movies, when the villian
hits a button under the roulette table to cheat
the good guy. :-)

Mike C
bbrec...@hotmail.com

David C. Oshel

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
to
In article <QCQV3.7406$Ur4.1...@news.rdc1.tn.home.com>, MikeC
<bbrec...@hotmail.com> wrote:

[..... whack whack whack .......]

> The other type of cheating that your scenario
> would fit would be the "bot" theory I have
> heard.
> That certain bot programmers cheat to make their
> bots look like they are better players
> than they really are. Generating more income
> from sales of software and whatever ego boost it
> provides.

Uhhhhh.... Presumably by prestidigating dice? Or by essaying illegal
moves in the hopes that opponent won't notice (a la "Geri's Game")?

This is just Luser's Usual Lament: "I lost, so my opponent was
cheating."

Frankly, I prefer playing against the worldclass robots. The level of
play is better, the volume of whining is lower, and the occasional
class sneers and DFE's after dropping a point or two are blissfully
absent.

MikeC

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99