WHY I NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT THE DICE
by Phil Simborg
(I wrote this article over 15 years ago, and I am proud to say it has been posted at live tournaments and copied on many backgammon websites.)
Here is why I NEVER complain about the rolls, or luck:
1) It’s rude. It suggests your opponent is only winning because he is lucky and implies that he is not skillful. It is just very bad form and insulting.
2) Nobody cares. Everyone is tired of hearing it. Everyone only sees their own bad rolls and forgets their great ones.
3) It’s often NOT TRUE that you are unlucky. Everyone rolls the same. If you think you are rolling more than your share of bad rolls, you’re probably playing badly and not realizing it…because the worse you play, the more bad rolls there are and the more good rolls you give your opponent. This also applies to complaining about the on-line servers. No machine cares or knows who is rolling or what the position is. The dice are random, and every study done on every server so far has proven that. The dice are just plain goofy everywhere…it’s the nature of statistics that sometimes you will get a bunch of doubles in a row, or dance 5 times on a 2 point board.
4) If you concentrate on your bad rolls, YOU WILL PLAY WORSE. Complaining focuses your mind and energy on the wrong things. You think about how bad you are rolling, or how good your opponents roll, instead of what you really should be concentrating on: what is the right decision? And if you start thinking about your bad luck, you might start changing your plays assuming you are going to roll bad, or that your opponent might roll a joker, instead of considering what really matters: the odds. Whenever you start trying to “guess” what the rolls are going to be, instead of playing the odds, you will play worse.
5) Complaining makes the game less enjoyable. For you. The more you make an issue of your bad luck, the more you will remember the bad luck and the less fun you will have playing. Even if you win.
Bottom line, I NEVER complain about a roll, or bad luck. Ever. And I am sure my opponents appreciate it, and I am sure I play better and am happier as a result. And when someone tells me how lucky I was, I give them my standard reply: “Yes, I got a very lucky draw in this event.”