Backgammon: How are ratings calculated

Update!: Try out the new Windows version of Backgammon Pro. Click HERE to try it out!

Backgammon Pro uses the official ELO rating formula, that tries to represent, as best as possible, the real strength of a player. Everyone starts with a rating of 1000. When you win a match, your rating goes up. When you lose a match, your rating goes down. Over time, your rating will tell you, roughly, how strong a player you are. To update your rating, choose to play a “rated game”.

You can use your rating to see how well you play compared with other players on the same site. The following chart gives a rough idea of how you might interpret your rating.

It is more difficult to compare your rating with players from other sites. Not all sites use the same rating formula, and the overall strength of players on different sites varies.

What factors affect your rating?

  • Whether you win or lose. If you win a match, your rating goes up; if you lose, your rating goes down.
  • The length of the match. Winning a long match changes your rating more than winning a short match. The reason is that the outcome of a longer match is more likely due to skill and less likely the result of luck.
  • Rating difference. Winning a match against a higher rated player increases your rating more than winning against a lower rated player.
  • Number of matches played. New players will see their rating change in larger steps during an initial ramp-up period.

What are the strengths of the game levels?

  • Basic – 0, not rated, too low
  • Easy – 550, very weak player
  • Medium – 1150
  • Hard – 1500, average ranked player

When one reaches a level 1700 or higher, then it is more difficult to continue to improve, as at this ranking, every game won only gives a few points, and games lost impact negatively signficantly more. This is due to the nature of the international ELO rules when playing against lower rated players (note that the highest rated level in the game is 1500).

How is the level calculated from the ranking?

  • <1000
  • 1000-1200 Trainee
  • 1200-1400 Beginner
  • 1400-1500 Intermediate I
  • 1500-1600 Intermediate II
  • 1600-1700 Advanced I
  • 1700-1800 Advanced II
  • 1800-1900 Expert I
  • 1900-2000 Expert II
  • 2000-2100 Master
  • 2100+ Master II, Grand Master and International Grand master

Where to find more about the ELO rating?

Backgammon Pro development team

Note: part of this post was created from the content existing in the three links above.

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    • I have not seen this issue before. Are you using Backgammon version 2.0 (the latest), in Settings click the first button, and it should change (Level 1: Basic, Level 2: Easy, etc.), then go back.

      If the button does not change, it means you have a game in progress. Finish the game, then the level can be changed.


    • admin

      Hi, if the rating is not changing it is due to any of these 4 options:
      – you are playing money games. Money games don’t change rating (they change your coins). You’ll have to change to Match games
      – you are playing Level 1 (these games are not rated)
      – you are playing non-rated games
      – you are not playing backgammon, but rather Nackgammon or another variant
      – you are playing 2-player games

      All these 5 options can be changed in the settings page, so make sure you are playing Match, Level 2 or higher, Rated, Backgammon, 1-player.

      Let me know if this helps.

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