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Human vs AI in Backgammon

The gambling industry as a whole has embarked on a new adventure, and that is to go online. But before online casinos became such big hits, the gambling games first transferred from hardware to software one by one. Such is the case of the gambling game backgammon.

Transferring this gambling game into computer was no easy feat. Thus, the first few attempts were not instant success. For example, one of the challenges for computer game programmers was to create a formidable software opponent for human gambling players. When Hans Berliner tried to do just that, he ended up with one that any gambling player can easily defeat. So he had to make adjustments, and his hard work prove not to be a waste after all.

Later on, his creation, the newly improved BKG 9.8 went on to defeat the greatest backgammon player at that time, who is Luigi Villa. But there were skeptics, mostly fans of Luigi and those who are anti-artificial intelligence. They believed that the BKG 9.8 just won over Luigi due to luck.

That was during the 1970's. In 1980's, IBM went on developing more intelligent computer programs that would defeat the best of backgammon players. What made this possible was the training the computer program had to go through. It played against itself over a long period of time, studying patterns and tactics.

The result was a computer program who understands the game of backgammon as much as good gambling players do. Of course, this was very advantageous for gambling players who wanted to practice more. Practicing with an incompetent computer program is very useless since a gambling player's skills will not be pushed to the limits.

Not long after that, other software companies also started going towards that way. Because of that, several other computer programs were available for gambling players to practice on such as Snowie, BGBlitz, Jellyfish, and GNU Backgammon. These computer programs became better and better because of the same training that was used by the IBM.

At present, it is not still clear whether the humans or the computer programs are better in the world of backgammon. There had been several tournaments showcasing this battle of humans against computer, but the answer is still vague. But one thing is for sure, gambling players benefit from using computer programs as their opponents because these are free. The more intelligent the computer program is, the better for the practicing gambling player.

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