top of page

Is Greed Good?

Gammons vs safety


Problem 118 from "Classic Backgammon Revisited" by Jeremy Bagai

XG skin design by Rain


Who doesn’t like a gammon? This type of bear-off position comes along often - you can make the safe move to secure the win, or make a riskier move to increase your gammon chances. How to decide?

There’s a simple rule to follow. If your gammon chances are already very high OR already very low, then probably best to play safe. But when the gammon is still in the balance then it’s probably worth taking extra risks to get it.

That’s the case here - with the safest play of 5/3(2) you have around 53% gammon chances. If you make the correct (and only non-blunder) play of 1/off(4) that goes up to around 82%. As ever Bagai’s full commentary gives a lot more nuance and analysis. Enjoy!

bottom of page