247 Backgammon Com

Fundamentals of Doubling

The doubling cube has added a new dimension to backgammon. Just exactly what has it added and how can we take advantage of the new possibilities presented by this element of backgammon? Let us discuss these below and see how can we make doubling work for us during a game.

With the introduction of the doubling cube players now can play backgammon with determined stakes (a.k.a. bets) pre-established before a game/match. Usually the stakes is usually determined by how many points a player has accumulated. The accumulated points also determine which player wins a match.

Players can play a series of games and accumulate points, whoever would gain more points after all games are played wins. Others play a race to certain number of points, the first player to reach a pre-determined number of points wins.

Here is where the doubling cube comes in. During a game if one player sees he has a considerable advantage he may offer a double (meaning the stakes, or points, or value of the game doubles). An offer to double can only be done at the beginning of that player's turn before the throw of the dice.

The player who was offered the double can now evaluate his position. If he sees that defeat is imminent, he may choose to decline and lose but the stakes remain the same. Accepting an offer to double doubles the stakes. But the doubling cube is now "owned" by the player who accepted the double. Thus now he has the sole right to declare or offer the double.

If for instance he sees a possible way to turn things around in his favor, players accept the doubling. When that opportunity comes, and game shifts to that player's favor he may then offer to redouble. This is an interesting aspect of backgammon when a reversal of opportunities occurs and an offer to redouble is made and an additional threat is made.

More often than not, players who refuse the redouble he pays a penalty in points. The points would be proportionate to or enough to represent the stake which were doubled. Usually games would be redoubled up to 4 times only. Though some would allow a redouble beyond this.

The player who refused the redouble then keeps the doubling cube reserving the right to redouble. The game would usually continue after the refusal to redouble.

As a final note we need to mention the Crawford rule (since this is accepted everywhere). It states that whenever a player would only require 1 more point to have a victory in a match, his opponent is not allowed to offer a double in their next game. The logic behind this rule is that a double won't constitute a significant advantage for the player declaring a double. Nevertheless if it is not clear who would ultimately win or lose then all the doubling rules will be applied.

To win in a match at backgammon, a player must accumulate a certain number of points. Using the doubling cube and taking advantage of doubling makes a player more versatile at obtaining those needed points.