Quite frankly, the answer to this question is yes ! Over the last 10 years, the standard of play in backgammon has improved tremendously, largely due to the availability of software programs such as Snowie, BGblitz, GNU-backgammon and Jellyfish.
Owning one of these programs is imperative if you are serious about raising your own standard of play. This will allow you to help analyze games , and understand the probabilities and mathematics behind the game.
You do have to take it reasonably seriously though. You have to not just play, but you also have to think about what the program is doing and why. Often cube decisions and checker plays have a lot to do with the match score. If you do not understand, for example, why the program will play very aggressively for a gammon in some situations and not seem to care about gammons in others, or why the programs doubling decisions are very different depending on match score, then you will not get the most value of of using the software.
If you like to play online for money, these programs will help you judge your actual ability. Take their ratings very seriously. If you are able to play with a Snowie error rate in 5 point matches or longer of under 5.0, you will be able to compete with the strongest players online. If you are in the 5-10 range, you will probably be ok, but I would not suggest playing for high stakes against strong players. If your Snowie error rate is over 10, we recommend you to stick to free play until your skill level improves.
Only recently I started using Snowie to analyze all my games. If you play backgammon at one of the leading backgammon servers such as ???? you will be able to export your games and analyze them later. As there are always thousands of players online I have no problem fnding a game and I analyze every game I play. This has resulted in my standard of play improving remarkably over the last 6 months and I am positive that if you take the same approach yours will too.
‘Hope to see you online !’