BG Buddy Manual




Match Window


Score Entry

Turn Ended Buttons

BG Buddy Clock

BG Buddy Dice

Talking Dice

Match Photos

Statistics Window

My Saved Matches & extra Stats

Single Match Info Window

Tweet Match Scores

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Settings are accessed via the Match Window Settings icon  .

All settings are remembered between matches.

As the owner of BG Buddy enter your name in ‘My Name’. BG Buddy will use this name to search and list your previous matches and show win percentages against specific opponents or at certain events, the score sheets, and any match photos taken. (see Saved Matches)

Simulator Screen Shot 22 Jul 2017, 12.25.58.png

As the owner of BG Buddy, always enter your name as Player 1 which will appear on the lefthand side of the match screen. Use the Swap Icon   if you want Your Name to appear on the right hand side of the device while playing a match.
Any matches saved in which ‘Player 1 name’ does not match ‘My Name’ will be listed under ‘Other Matches’ in the Saved Matches window. This allows other players to use your device.

Enter Player 2 name, match length, checker colours and direction, the event and tournament, and any clock or dice settings.

Some settings can also be entered in the match window.


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Match Window

At it’s most basic BG Buddy displays opponent names, scores, the event, direction of play and checker colours. There are 2 modes: Match Play, where you play to achieve a specific number of games before your opponent, and Money Games where there is no points target. In money games you can choose whether the Jacoby Rule or Beavers are used in the match.IMG_5591.PNG

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end-Icon.png  Save finished or unfinished matches or delete a match.

  Scores for each game including gammons/cubes. Also go here to undo a score entry mistake

  Swap player sides

  Automatically tweet match and game results as they happen

  Toggle beep when using clock or dice

  Tournament Director clock adjustments

  Take match position photos

Simulator Screen Shot 22 Jul 2017, 12.30.41.png  Simplify match window

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Score Entry

To enter the score tap on a player’s score. BG Buddy asks you to add the cube value and the gammon value and then displays the correct number of points.

The default is no cube/single so if you’ve won a single point you just need to tap Add Points


This information allows the Score Card Window to display the match score details including cubes and gammons.


Here you will also find the Undo Entry Button where you can delete the last score entry in case of a mistake.

The Scorecard is saved with each match in My Saved Matches.

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 End of Turn Buttons

 When using a clock, backgammon is played with one pair of dice and a player’s turn is over when they tap their clock. If you wish to use one pair of dice without using a clock you can use the Turn Ended Buttons. The red area indicates the active player. Tapping in the red area will end your turn and pass  play to your opponent.


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BG Buddy Clock

BG Buddy has a fully adjustable tournament style clock. For each move you have a period of free time (Grace Time) before your main clock begins to count down.IMG_5586.PNG The standard amount of time (Bank Time) for a match is 2 minutes per point with 12 free seconds per move (Grace Time). You can change the default Grace Time for each player in the Settings window and also choose between four common clock presets: Standard, Speedgammon 0.4, Speedgammon 0.5 and Consultation Doubles.

Players can also have different bank times. Adjust individual player times in the Tournament Director window. bg-buddy-adjust-clock-times.jpg

The clock must be paused before scores can be entered.

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BG Buddy Dice

Screenshot 2017-04-22 15.31.21.pngChoose between 3 dice colours

settingsIcon.jpg BG Buddy offers 2 different random dice generators.

  1.  ‘arc4random_uniform(6)’ which produces equal weighted dice rolls for the numbers 1 – 6. These are indestiguishable from truly random numbers. Developer guarantee: No one can predict or obtain the sequence of numbers in advance, not even me.
  2. ‘Mersenne Twister’ which also produces equal weighted dice rolls but uses a ‘seed’ to generate them. BG Buddy can generate the seed or allow both players to secretly enter a 4 digit number. These numbers are joined together to create an 8 digit number that is then joined to another number based on the date and time to create a very long seed.  Either way the secret seed is revealed at end of the match offering the ability to confirm that the dice have not been tampered with.

Check the Statistics window to see the average pip value and the percentage of rolls which are doubles. Be aware that until the dice have rolled thousands of times the data may vary greatly from the expected values.

Statistical Analysis of dice: All dice rolls are saved for each match and can be exported to a text file from the Single Match Info window. A text file containing the rolls for the entire lifetime of BG Buddy can be exported from the Statistics Window.

Tap ‘Roll Dice’ to roll and tap on the dice to pick them up after your move. Hold your finger on the cube to offer it.BG-Buddy-Backgammon-Dice.jpgThe image below shows BG Buddy with both dice and clock enabled. There is no need for clock buttons as tapping on your dice picks them up and passes the roll to the opponent whose clock begins to countdown.BG Buddy Dice and Clock.jpgYou may wish to reduce the free seconds when using BG Buddy dice as there is no time wasted picking up the dice, shaking dice or re-rolling cocked/floored dice. In fact BG Buddy dice reduce the time taken for a match by a significant amount.

If you like speedgammon, try it with BG Buddy dice for speedgammon on steroids!

BG Buddy has two presets for the most common speedgammon settings.

Either 0.4 or 0.5 minutes per point with 10 seconds per move grace time.

Tapping the TD (Tournament Director) button allows you to enter different clock and grace times for each player. Times can also be adjusted for each player at any time in the match if required for any reason by the Tournament Director.

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Talking Dice

 With Talking Dice, BG Buddy will describe matches allowing a visually impaired person to be fully aware of the dice, clock, score, cubevalue and player on roll. If you use Apple’s Voiceover feature on your device turn it on to access the menu where various match settings can be made. Voiceover should be off while the match is in play.

Talking Dice adds a couple of new gestures. These are based on the 4 quadrants of the screen. (Because of these extra gestures, changing Checker Colour, Name and Event cannot be done from the match window. Got to the Settings Window  to change these settings)

The first new gesture is the swipe from the side of the screen. A sideswipe in the player on roll’s top quadrant will offer the cube.

The Exclusive Swipe to Cube switches in Settings force the cube to be offered only by swiping and not by tapping on the cubes as a sighted player would do. This removes the possibility of an accidental cube being offered when a player is just trying to listen to the time left on their clock.

A sideswipe in either bottom quadrant will pause/resume the clock. The clock must be paused before a score can be entered.


The next new gesture is the  tap and hold, again using the 4 quadrants. A tap and hold in a top quadrant will give information dependant on whose turn it is.

For the player on roll you may hear ‘Player 1 is on roll’ or a repeat of the dice already thrown i.e. ‘5 2’. When using the clock, the time left will also be heard. For example ‘5 2, 19:36’

If a player is not on roll a long tap in their quadrant will repeat the previous roll ‘Last roll, 3 2’ along with the time left if using the clock.

A tap and hold in either bottom quadrant will give a description of the game at this point, for example ‘The score is 0 2 to 11. Player 2 owns a 2 cube. Player 1 has rolled 4 3’

Short taps in a top quadrant will either Roll Dice, Pick Up Dice, Take the Cube or Pass the Cube.  (Take is always on the player’s side of the device, Pass is always on the opponent’s side of the device)

Short taps in a bottom quadrant will enter the score window for that particular player.

If you are in a money game and the Beaver Rule is in play, the beaver button will appear in the bottom quadrant directly below the take button.

Score entry with talking dice again uses the 4 quadrants.

The cube value is known by BG Buddy so all that needs to be entered is the gammon value.

The top left and right quadrants toggle between Single, Gammon and Backgammon.

Cancel score entry is bottom left and Enter Score is bottom right.talking-dice-score-window.jpg

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Match Photos

  Position photos can easily be taken for post match analysis and are a great way to improve your game.

BG Buddy photos take up much less memory on your device than normal iOS photos.

Photos can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Message, email etc, either immediately or after the match. Photos are saved for each match in My Saved Matches.

The etiquette is to ask permission from your opponent to take match photos. You should  state your intended play before  you take the photo.

If you are using the clock, you should not pause the clock take photos.

To quote the relevant USBGF rule:

1.7.2 Position or Match Recording
While a match is in progress and in order to record individual positions or an entire match, a player shall have the right to use position cards, a camera (in any form), a video camera, or any similar recording aids unless the player’s opponent expresses a reasonable objection to the player doing so. The Tournament Director shall adjudicate all such disputes, and additionally shall have discretion to prohibit the use of such recording aids at any time. In matches played without use of a game clock, a position may be recorded only after the completion of the recording player’s turn. In matches played with a game clock, a position may be recorded only during the player’s own time or in between games. The players may not stop the clock for purposes of recording a position. No such recorded positions may be computer-analyzed or discussed with other players until after the match has concluded.

BG-Buddy-Cube-DecisionOnce you’ve entered your intended play tap the camera icon and take your photo
BG_Buddy_take_a_Photo.jpgBG Buddy will automatically add your checker colour, play direction and move decision information to the photo and return you to the match window.

BG Buddy Cube Photo

When sharing you can also select ‘Cube Action?’ to test your friends/followers on any positions that you found interesting. ‘Cube Action’ is only available before the cube is offered to take into account both of these questions:

1) Is it a correct cube?

2) Is it a take or pass.

BG Buddy Photo with Cube Action Text

All photos are saved in My Saved Matches where cube decisions can be marked right or wrong along with the correct cube decision.

BG Buddy Cube Analysis

You can also take a photo of you opponents decisions. To do this select your opponent’s checker but take the photo from your perspective.

In this photo we are about to take a photo of a take decision for player 2
BG_Buddy_Opponent_Photo.jpgBG Buddy will invert the photo and add the correct checker colour, direction and decision data.
BG Buddy Photo for Opponent

This image shows how to take a photo for the roll 5 2. Choose Pre Move and 5 2 for the dice BG_Buddy_Move_Photo.jpgThen press the question mark to enter the cube position/valueBG_Buddy_Who_Owns_The_Cube.jpgAfter a Pre Move photo BG Buddy will offer you the option to take a Post Move photo to record the move you made.

When using BG Buddy Dice, BG Buddy knows all of the dice/cube information and you will only need to enter your cube decision – Cube/No Cube/Take/Pass …BG_Buddy_Cube_Or_No_Cube.jpg… or Pre/Post Move for a dice moveBG_Buddy_Pre_or_Post_move.jpg

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Statistics Window

Your total win percentage broken down by period appears here and shows how your game is improving over time. In the image below  you see that ‘4-6 months’ has been selected and that from 13 wins and 9 losses in that period, the win percentage is 59.09%.

The percentage on the right of 53.84% is the percentage for all matches up to and including the selected period. (13+12+3 wins and 9+10+5 losses = 28 wins and 24 losses = 53.84% over the last 6 months)BG_Buddy_Stats.jpgBG Buddy dice statistics are displayed in this window too, as discussed here

Note: The dice stats above are running totals for the entire lifetime of BG Buddy and take into account all dice ever thrown. If you wish to do statistical analysis on the dice rolls you have the option to export a text file containing all of the dice rolls from ALL SAVED MATCHES. Therefore, if you abort a match halfway through without saving, or delete a saved match, the dice thrown for those matches will NOT be included in the exported text file as they are not part of a saved match. You can therefore disregard any differences between your analysis and the above stats.

Your analysis will be based on the dice from all COMPLETED matches. The stats in the image above are computed from all dice ever thrown in BG Buddy’s lifetime.

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My Saved Matches (with extra Stats)

All of your previous matches are saved here. Each match contains match photos, the score card and other match data – names, event etc.

Green and red markers indicate whether you won or lost a match.

At the top of the window is your win percentage for all matches.
Sort your matches by date, event or opponent.BG_Buddy_Sorted_By_Date.jpg

If you sort by event and have played more than one match at a particular event (or regular backgammon meeting) those matches will be grouped together under one entry.

Here, tapping on ‘UKBGF UK Open’ reveals all the matches played at that event along with your win percentage for that event.BG_Buddy_Event.jpgSorting by opponent name is similar. Having played an opponent more than once, those matches will be grouped together under one entry. Tapping on that entry will reveal all your matches against that person along with your win percentage against them.

Selecting a single match will take you to the Single Match Info window which holds your match photos. From here tap Scorecard to see the match score history.

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Single Match Info Window

This scrolling window holds all of your match photos. Once you’ve analysed a position tap the analysis buttons to record the correct play and whether you played it correctly.BG_Buddy_Analysis_1.jpg

BG_Buddy_Photo_Analysis.jpgFrom here tap Scorecard to see the match score history.

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Simplify Match Screen

Simulator Screen Shot 22 Jul 2017, 12.30.41.png  If you wish you may use the simplify button to hide some of the elements on the match screen. Before you do this please make sure you have added the player names and the event correctly so that BG Buddy can list your saved matches correctly.


 Tweet Match Scores

BG Buddy can tweet your match and game results automatically:

Screenshot 2017-07-22 17.12.17.png

Screenshot 2017-07-22 17.12.45.png

Hashtags are automatically added to the end of tweets, space permitting, so list your hashtags in order of importance.

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The Backgammon Board in the photos is by Geoffrey Parker
Main photo by David Startin