There is a wide variety of servers available to play backgammon on, and naturally there are pros and cons with most of them. They largely fall into two camps; those which you need to download and install software on your machine to use (GridGammon, FIBS), and those which run inside your browser (Galaxy, Heroes, DailyGammon). See below for more detail about technical requirements.
For money sites, cash up front is usually required to start an account. Only play with money you can comfortably afford to lose.
Mac, up to Mojave
|Yes||No||Yes||Saved to |
|Backgammon Galaxy||All||No||Mandatory||Yes |
|Backgammon Studio Heroes||All||No||Optional||Yes||Emailed |
|Backgammon Hub||All||No||Optional||PR only||Downloadable||Yes|
|Yes||No||Yes||Saved to |
Our recommended sites:
Backgammon Studio Heroes
Heroes is the site adopted by UKBGF and WBIF as the standard one for their tournaments. Being browser-based it offers the greatest degree of compatibility with devices, has a highly customisable display, and the ability to create private rooms means it’s the best for organising tournaments on. Match files are emailed to players for analysis – and in WBIF tournaments, the results are automatically reported to the TD.
Also browser-based but with somewhat fewer options. Galaxy’s ratings system differs from the rest in that you only score ratings points if you both win a match, and play at a lower error rate than your opponent.
A new browser-based platform built for tournament directors by Alfie Kirkpatrick of the Kensal Rise Backgammon Club. Please contact Alfie for help to get your tournament up and running.
Play is not live so you can make your moves whenever convenient.
GridGammon runs on all versions of Windows, and MacOS up to Mojave, although the two versions are very different and not all functionality is present in the Mac version. Mac Catalina does not support the Mac GridGammon application natively, but you can use Parallels Desktop or Wine to create a virtual environment inside which Gridgammon will run.
Please note that we cannot open a GridGammon account for you but we will vouch for members who wish to open an account. You need to email GridGammon support – click here for details of how to do this. This slows the joining process but tends to result in opponents being reliable.
FIBS (First Internet Backgammon Server)
FIBS does not supply its own client application; instead, a number have been developed over the years by various enthusiasts. These are of somewhat variable quality; the best is probably JavaFIBS. Alternatively you can use
telnet directly, or write your own client if you really want!
SafeHarbor Games – www.safeharborgames.net/
Play backgammon and other games for free using downloadable software for MS Windows or Mac OS X. Not a great user interface. Peculiar in that some rooms have dice that deliberately roll fewer doubles than would be expected, ostensibly to counter the inevitable few who believe the dice are rigged when someone rolls doubles to out-race them.
Backgammon Ace – http://pr.heroz.jp/backgammon
A fun free App for mobiles and tablets
GammonSpace – https://www.gammonspace.com/ Money site
A new money site which runs on PC, Mac, tablets and phones. Appears to be few users so far (May 2020).
BoardGameArena – boardgamearena.com
BoardGameArena has a wide variety of games, including a lot of niche ones. Sadly the backgammon game is disappointing; only cubeless games, no match play, and a rather clunky user interface.
These tend to be limited in functionality, and usually have lots of meaningless in-game purchases or adverts.
Money Gaming – www.moneygaming.com/games/skill.shtml Money site
Used to be a reputable site offering regular added money tournaments and cash games with a low rake – appears not to be available any more (2015)
PartyGammon – Money site
Appears to have closed down, although sister PartyPoker remains active and popular.