GamesGrid backgammon frequently-asked questions

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 My rating says "Guest." How do I get a real rating? 
Ratings are reserved for members only. If you would like to become a member, talk with MembershipDesk or support online, or send e-mail to . Membership options are described on the Membership page.

 How are ratings calculated? What do they mean? 
The ratings system is designed to yield stable ratings that accurately reflect the relative abilities of the players.

Each player begins with a rating of 1500. Ratings are increased or decreased when a player wins or loses rated matches. The ratings change for each match is based on the length of the match and the ratings difference between the players. The longer the match, the more ratings points are risked.

Since the higher-rated player is more likely to win a match, especially as the match length increases, a lower-rated player gets favorable odds when playing a higher-rated player. For example, suppose a player rated 1550 challenges a player rated 1850 to a 7-point match. The player rated 1550 stands to gain 7.7 rating points if he wins, and lose only 2.9 rating points if the higher-rated player wins. Conversely, The player rated 1850 stands to gain only 2.9 rating points if she wins, but lose 7.7 rating points if the lower-rated player wins.

These numbers reflect the match winning chances (MWC) for each player, based on the difference in rating and length of the match. (In the example, the lower-rated player has approximately 27% MWC, and the higher-rated player 73% MWC). The win/lose numbers are shown in the invitation dialogue.

There is an initial adjustment period of 500 games (called "the ramp"). During this period, your rating will change more rapidly, in order to more quickly adjust to an appropriate level. Using the same example as above, if the lower-rated player had only 5 experience points, he would stand to gain 30.8 rating points if he wins, and lose 11.5 rating points if he loses. (The risks for the higher-rated player remain the same, assuming more than 500 experience points.) As your experience approaches 500 games, the rate of change decreases to the standard rate.

 Do I get more ratings change if I win by more points? 
The amount of ratings change is based on the length of the match and the difference in ratings between the players. There is no bonus for winning more points than are necessary to win the match. For example, in a 7 point match, winning 1024-0 has the same ratings impact as winning 7-6. In particular, there is no benefit to winning a gammon if a simple win gives you the match. You win the match either way, and allow your opponent to save time and face.

For this reason, experienced players will offer a simple resignation in a hopeless position, when the current cube value is sufficient to give their opponent the match. Their opponent should accept it, and record the win, even if a gammon is possible. While they are within their rights to play the game out, there is no ratings benefit to wasting the time. They should accept their match victory graciously, and move on to the next match.

 Why do some players start higher than 1500? 
GamesGrid offers players who have proven their backgammon skill in other venues the opportunity to start above 1500. This helps those players get matches at a competitive level. Also, it is fairer to their opponents, who would give up substantial equity by playing a high-rated player at 1500 just because they are new to GamesGrid.

In order to start at a higher rating, a nickname must be a newly created on GamesGrid (no experience points) with a minimum membership commitment of 6 months. Transfer of membership from another GamesGrid nickname for this purpose is not permitted.

We currently recognize the following equivalencies for players from other backgammon sites:

FIBS: rating-50
Netgammon: rating-450
VOG: rating-400
Winners of major international tournaments may start at 1800. The maximum rating transferred is 1800, with a minimum membership investment of six months from date of transfer.

The equivalencies may change from time to time, and we reserve the right to modify the formulae at any time in order to maintain the fairness of the rating system.

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The GamesGrid name and GGotter logo are licensed from, and property of, GGraccoon, LLC.

last modified: 2005-04-27