HELLO, BACKGAMMON, WE MEET AGAIN

I love backgammon. I remember watching my parents play the game when I was younger, and I couldn’t wait for my dad to teach me. My sisters and I grew up playing the game. I’m sure I’ve shared this story more than once: after losing a game to me, Krissy was so upset about losing that she threw her dice container at my head. She’s such a good sport. As soon as I had my very first cell phone, I had no problem paying a few bucks for the backgammon. If I could play the game on my phone, it was well worth the money. I remember Krissy and I played the game on my phone during Becky’s wedding rehearsal. For some reason, Krissy and I weren’t needed at the time and so we hung out on church balconey, playing backgammon on my phone. Good times.

I was pretty bummed when I couldn’t play backgammon on my precious Treo. For as long as I had that phone, I tried my best to download that app. No such luck. My Pre was my first smart phone, and I didn’t want to corrupt it. For the first part of the year, I didn’t download any apps or games to my phone. When I finally downloaded the market store app or thingy, I stuck to downloading free games. One, I could not download the backgammon for free. I looked for a free app and found nothing. Absolutely nothing. Two, even when I tried to buy the game, I couldn’t remember the PIN for my phone. I can’t even remember the last time I used it.

Thanks to my brand new phone, I simply cannot live without it and am attached to it. Yes, I am a very sad person. One, I am addicted to Words with Friends. My sister, Becky, and I apparently have nothing better to do with our live except play three ongoing games of Words with Friends. I’ve played a couple of games with my other sister, Krissy, but her phone keeps losing our games. Two, I found a free backgammon game for my phone. And ever since I downloaded the game, I play the game (against the computer) every day. Every. Day. That’s how much I love the game.

But let me take a second and rant about how the computer is “not cheating.” After playing a few games against the computer on my phone, I reviewed the directions and other instructions. Per the disclaimer or whatever, the computer does not cheat and does not know future dice rolls. The computer simply chooses the best moves in order to win. The computer does not award itself with extra double rolls (double 6, double 4, etc.). If the computer was cheating, the company said it would be in big trouble with other companies or businesses who use the game. Yeah, I’m still not convinced.

I’m good at backgammon. I make a few errors here and there, but for the most part, I’m a very good player. I’m playing against the computer at the game’s highest level — 5. On more than one occasion, the computer and I are neck to neck during the last round, bearing off the pieces. Also on more than one occasion, I’m poised to win the game as I have four to five pieces left and the computer has about 10 or 11. Then the computer luckily rolls double 6 — my dice roll is 2 and 1 (honestly). The computer’s next roll is double 5 (true story) — and mine is 3 and 1. The computer’s last roll is double 4 (are you kidding me?). Computer wins the game that should’ve been MY victory.

Per the game disclaimer, because the computer chooses the best outcome from the roll of the dice, the doubles that are rolled LOOK like the computer is cheating but really the doubles were rolled by chance. If you make smart and strategic moves, then double rolls simply assist the player. I say shenanigans. Smart moves or not, double rolls usually help any player — usually. Double rolls usually will make any player happy. Anyway, thanks to the return of backgammon and Words with Friends, I’ve been logging a lot of hours on my new phone — probably more hours on my Treo and Pre combined. Yes, that’s a sad, sad fact. I’d love to share more details about my new phone, but I have a phone computer to beat in backgammon.

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