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Backgammon NJ

By Jimmy Hu

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● GAME CENTER -- Play online, chat, invite friends, auto-match with random players
-- { Real-time } Play online in real-time
-- { Turn-based } Play online at your own pace
● iPhone 5 -- Supports full iPhone 5 screen

Play & learn backgammon at skill levels ranging from beginner to world-class!

Backgammon NJ is a full-featured game which uses an advanced, neural network-based, artificial intelligence. Play against a computer AI, another person in 2-player mode on one device, or online against friends & other players. Using Tutor Mode & Hints, Backgammon NJ can show you how to improve your game!

Discriminating players will appreciate how well the AI plays. It uses a neural network trained on millions of positions, a bearoff database, & a match equity table to achieve strong gameplay that will challenge even expert players.


"[I] know strong bg play when I see it. This app is the strongest iPhone bg app I've played with by far. It does not cheat period. ...Analyzing these matches with eXtreme Gammon confirms a world class level of play with normal luck factors. If you are losing, get over it. So would 99.9% of the other backgammon players in the world. It is just that good. Learn from it." -Richard Munitz, Giant of Backgammon, #21 world ranking in 2009

"Backgammon NJ plays at an extremely high level with an excellent interface, and I often use it to practice on my iPhone when I am traveling. I recommend it highly to my students and friends." -Phil Simborg, Professional Backgammon Teacher and Player,

"I've played over 500 games now; I've checked about 5% of these against World Class Desktop programs (GNU, BGBlitz); and I've actually used some of the competition. NJ has the best interface and has more useful functions than any other backgammon apps out there."

"For serious backgammon players, Backgammon NJ is the way to go.", May 2012


This game is best for people:

• Who recognize the strength of neural network backgammon bots
• Who want to improve their game by playing against a world-class level AI
• Who will use the in-depth, technical features included in the game to prove that it is honest (
• Who will play lower skill levels if those levels are more suited for their playing skill
• Who won't insist on only playing the higher skill levels & expect to win consistently
• If you don't fit all of the above, don't buy the app because you won't be happy


• Neural network-based AI
• 2 game types: Standard Backgammon or Nackgammon
• 4 skill levels: Easy, Medium, Hard, Expert
• Customizable board design & checker colors
• Mersenne Twister algorithm for random number generation
• Doubling cube
• Single games or match play up to 25 points
• Crawford rule for match play
• 1-player mode vs. computer (no internet req'd)
• 2-player mode on one device (no internet req'd)
• Game Center: Play real-time or turn-based online matches with friends & other players (requires internet)
• Chat with your online opponent
• Online Elo & Experience leaderboards
• Block list for auto-match
• User-friendly, tap-to-move interface
• Highlighted checker movement options
• Hint & Undo
• Learn with Status Meter & Tutor Mode
• Game & dice stats, including Elo rating & ER
• Match info: GnuBG ID, win chances, equity, top 10 moves, & cube decisions
• Email match files (.mat or .txt)
• Manual match recording mode with unlimited undo & speed mode option
• Options to reverse board direction, resign, use one-tap moves, auto bearoff, auto finish, use Jacoby rule, & much more

What's New in Version 4.0

- Updated for iOS 7
- [Game Center] Turn-based online matches: These matches are played at your own pace. You can do anything you want (answer a phone call, use other apps, etc.) for as much time as you want between moves. You can play multiple turn-based matches at the same time.
- [Game Center] Elo Experience leaderboards
- [Game Center] Elo Rating leaderboards will now display up-to-date ratings
- Option to prompt after error for Cube Tutor
- Option to double tap on status meter for match info, stats, or turn-based match list
- Option to tap left side of board for dice
- In record match speed mode, rolling the dice will dance with a random roll when a player is closed out on the bar.
- Removed Cancel button from Advanced Options menu. Tap outside the menu to close it.
- Minor bug fixes

Note: If you play real-time online matches on more than one device, we recommend that you play your first online match using this update on the device that you play on the most. This will help ensure that your real-time Elo rating is transferred correctly to the new leaderboard.

iPhone Screenshots

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iPhone Screenshot 5

Customer Reviews

Best BG app on App Store, does not cheat

To all the ignorant people out there claiming the app "cheats" go ahead and do an experiment. Get your OWN dice, roll for the computer on Expert, and manually enter them (the app allows you to do this). I guarantee your win/loss % will be the same. You will see that the AI will take whatever dice it gets and make the BEST move based on equity.

Another point: to all of those of you that say the program "plans out future moves based on known rolls", this assumes it knows EXACTLY how YOU will play each roll too! Obviously if two different people play the same game with the same rolls, not all moves will exactly be the same, and therefore the "cheating rolls" may or may not benefit the computer against different opponents who make different moves!

Anyways, I've played BG on this app for several years now and it's by far the best experience I've had, and the online play is great. Well done guys!

Decent game

Update: The last update results in extra and counterintuitive tapping to close a game and move to next one. Obviously not designed by someone thinking if end user. Otherwise, remains decent overall. Latest example of why I distrust the programming: By my last count, I've now gone 46 consecutive rolls that included a 1-3 after clearing computer pieces. Should be 75% including those. Smallish sample size, but it's ridiculous to think this is "random". Oh, and the example below from months ago? I've entered from bar on 1st roll when 1 slot open exactly twice since then. That's hundreds (thousands?) of rolls....

Well executed on all fronts save for this: I've now gone 27 straight series (to 15) without entering on 1st roll when computer has 5 slots covered. Computer manages to achieve this roughly 50% of the time in that stretch. About 30% should be average. Am I the outlier? Everyone else seems to be bought in to the great dice feature of this game. I want to be, it plays great. But when I could bet my house that a roll won't happen with full confidence I won't lose it, something is wrong.

Sometimes it cheats on Hard, but that's ok

I play on Hard level as I hadn't played Backgammon in a few years. Statistically, it cheats the moment you make an error (take a risk that could place you at an advantage since odds are they couldn't possibly role the exact dice they will when you took the risk and simultaneously, once the game knocks you out, they seem to suddenly have every perfect role to fill up their slots. I noticed it seems to happen once you accept their doubles challenge or be forced to resign and lose a point. Still, I take the challenge, ignore my statistics and play on because it improves my game. When I play against live players online, unless they get many doubles die, I usually win, so I would say the game is good at improving your skills in real life.

Backgammon NJ
View In iTunes
  • $4.99
  • Category: Games
  • Updated: Oct 10, 2013
  • Version: 4.0
  • Size: 11.0 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Jimmy Hu

Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

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