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Backgammon betting levels ?

Started by PlayHunter, January 25, 2012, 02:43:42 AM

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I was wondering about betting levels in real money backgammon:

- What bets you have to make in order to be considered a Low Roller, Medium Roller or High Roller ?

For example, I am intersted to know something like: amounts between 1$->20$ per game/match is considered to be low rolling, 21$ to 100$ per game/match is considered to be medium rolling and anything bigger is considered to be high rolling. That was only my opinion, how about yours ?


Anything $ 25 per point and higher makes you a serious player.

If you're a budding money player I'd worry less about what level roller you're perceived as than determining your comfort and confidence levels. I've played for stakes ranging from $ 1 per point to $ 100 per point, but I always felt my comfort level was in the $ 10 - $ 20 per point range.

Another approach is to figure you'll need a bankroll that equates to 100 points at the agreed on stake. For instance, at $ 10 per point your bankroll should be $ 1000.

Good luck to you.

Robert J Ebbeler


Whatever you choose to play - be very sure to be clear, up front, whether you are playing 'per match/game', or per 'point'...they can be very different!!
Never give up on the things that make you smile


Thank you for sharing your experience Nihilist ! And you are also very right Diane.

For example I set my bet limits to play an amount of 5% (and this is usually between 5-10$) of my cashier balance per point or match game.

Usually I like to play 5 pointers match games, or moneygames. If I choose to play moneygames, then the stakes would be 0.75-6% of balance.

I think the main difference between moneygames and match games is that moneygames have a higer variance effect over your balance, and this is mainly because the stake will vary in a relatively wide range of 1 to 8 units. For example I like to play 5% of my balance no matter if I play in a 5 point match game or in a 9 point one.

As an aside, I saw people playing 250-2000$ (at Play65) per moneygame, but I also saw people playing 200-300$ per 15-21 match point. In my opinion both categories are High Rollers, even the differences betwen the two are HUGE. (refering at money and time spent on it)


I've been much more a money ( per point ) player than a match player. What I could never stand is that, in match play, one bad game can put you in a huge hole that, in my experience, is easier to overcome in a money session.

Also, the cube action in money play tends to be more straightforward than in match play since match score, Crawford game, etc, complicate your DOUBLE/TAKE/PASS actions.

Robert J Ebbeler


Bob is incorrect.  He talks about bankroll when he means (or should mean) money available in your pocket.  This is vastly different than bankroll.  I've had sessions where I've lost 100 points to weaker players.  If that was my "bankroll" I'd have been wiped out.

I have run random walk simulation models and found that even if you are a 55% favorite over a head's up opponent you should still expect to lose 1/6 of the time after a 100-game session.

Realistically, your bankroll needs to be much larger than 100 playing units, lest you risk your bankroll.

Bob gets his 100 units from the Kelly Criterion (  In that article you can read that betting less than the 1% of your bankroll is probably a good idea.  The 1% maximizes return but is not practical for real world situations.


From my misspent youth in the poolhalls and craps games of Detroit almost 50 years ago, the term BANKROLL, or BR, referred to what you had in your pocket available to gamble with. In later years, we came to refer to your pocket money as WHIP-OUT, as in " when in doubt, whip it out." Perhaps the vernacular where you grew up was different.

QuoteBob gets his 100 units from the Kelly Criterion

Incorrect, I've never heard of the Kelly Criterion, although one of my Detroit hangouts was a place called KELLY CUE. I'm not sure exactly where I picked the 100 units up. Probably it was the conventional wisdom of the thugs I hung out with back in the day. Probably the most notorious was a guy known as Cornbread Red. Great snooker and nine-ball player whose office was a dump called Woodward Recreation, or The Pit. Google him for his own interesting story.

Robert J Ebbeler


Thank's for sharing the experience! You can easily set up higher limit!