Backgammon Advanced Strategies: Using the Doubling Cube

I know that for the better part of a year I’ve concentrated on beginner’s strategies, but I’ve received enough emails to know that there are advanced players reading this posting every week and they’ve said to me  — what about u?

So here goes. Advanced strategies using the doubling cube.

Beginners, bear with us.

Although, the Doubling Cube is unknown to most of the backgammon casual players, it is an essential tool in advanced backgammon strategies and in money matches and tournaments.??

This cube is designated for raising the stakes of the match and its introduction to the backgammon world is one of the main reasons for the rise of popularity of backgammon.??

The cube has 6 faces and the numbers written on it- 2, 4, 8,16,32,64.??

At the beginning of the match, the doubling cube is placed beside the board or on the Bar between the players.??Any player, who feels at any stage of the match, that he is leading sufficiently in the match, before throwing his dice, may suggest to double the stakes by placing the doubling cube with the number 2 facing up.??

You get it?

For example player A decided to raise the stakes.??Player B, his opponent, the player the offer is given to, after reviewing his situation, has two options:??He may refuse the offer and thus lose the game and one unit.??He may agree to double the stakes, and in this case the match continues with higher stakes.??

Player B, who agreed to the offer, is now the owner of the doubling cube, meaning only him (player B) has the option to double the stakes again at any stage of the game.??If player B decides to do so, he has to do it on his turn before throwing his dice.??Now he takes the dice and places it so that the number 4 is facing up.??

Player A, has now the same two options, only this time if he declines the offer he will lose two units, and if he agrees the stakes will rise to 4 times the original and the doubling cube returns to his control.??The cube can pass from player to player, each time raising the stakes.??

There are variations on this. Example, The Crawford Rule: If you are playing a game until N- points, and your opponent is leading and reaches N-1 points, meaning he is short one point from winning the game, you are not allowed to use the Doubling cube in the following game, however, you can use the dice in the following matches if the game continues.??

The reason is the weaker player will always want to raise the stakes because he has nothing to lose anymore and we want keep the use of the dice in fairness of both sides.??

We’ll talk more about doubling cubes next time.

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