Backgammon for Blood

backgammon for blood

Backgammon for Blood

I had no idea that backgammon was a blood sport.

I have never played backgammon, so I can’t speak to the quality of this book.The title is kind of cool, so points for that. I did take a look at the beginning chapters and still didn’t quite “get it”.  I’m not very quick on picking up games.

As a weeding candidate, unless the rules have changed or the tone or vocabulary is dated, I wouldn’t necessarily toss this. Given that the book is over 40 years old, it’s not too bad.

Backgammon fans, care to weigh in on this?


back cover




  1. pg 6 – “I’ve tried it, and it just didn’t turn me on” implies something sliiiiightly different in this day and age.

  2. “Backgammon skills: Improved. Acquisition of blood: Diminished. Sun often rises while trying to teach targets backgammon.” — Dracula

    1. *sighs* I know this is a joke, I know I shouldn’t take this so seriously, but vampires do NOT die in sunlight. Not only is that not part of the folklore, but in the novel Dracula he is up and about in the daytime, just weaker. In fact, there’s a scene where Harker spots him in DAYTIME London stalking a woman in a very large hat. (Which, I might point out, since Lucy is the only vampire killed on British soil, that means there’s a vampire lady who likes big hats and cannot lie still out there. Take note, authors, who want to write Dracula books.)

      The, frankly stupid, idea they die in sunlight comes from the lame silent film, Nosferatu, and even then it’s NOT sunlight that kills Orlock, it’s the crow of a rooster.

      Sorry, but this is just something that annoys the crap out of me because if writers were to stop using that Hollywood-lore and go back to folklore they could write vampire horror novels that would be so much scarier.

      Anyway, back to Backgammon.

  3. One of the worst backgammon books ever written. Follow the waters advice and be bankrupted

  4. While it’s not one of the most highly regarded BG strategy books, it is mentioned in a few places for self-instuction. But it’s not included on the USBGF learning resources. As an avid BG player and Librarian who laments the inaccessibility of the “great works” of BG, I’d be OK with deaccessioning this one.
    FWIW, many competitive BG players do think of it (treat it) like war, which is what the game is supposed to represent. The bloodsport metaphor is common.

  5. I already knew how to play backgammon. In the late 70s and early 80s, most college kids did not have video games, so we played backgammon. Every year, our college had a backgammon tournament in which more than a quarter of the student body entered.

    My first year I did poorly.

    Over that summer, I bought this book, determined to improve my game. Most of the other students on campus had never seen the game played according to the book. I told no one about the book. I did much better that year in the tournament. I actually won it both my junior and senior year.

    I still play to this day, both socially and in tournaments. I still used the principles I learned in this book. I still have the original book I book in 1980!

  6. This book is terrible. The entire backgammon community knows it. Don’t follow its advice unless you are allergic to money. The only backgammon book of that era that is any good is Paul Magriel’s “Backgammon.”

  7. I confuse backgammon and mahjong. Someone tried to teach me how to play one of them once, but it didn’t take.

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