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The Cube is Your Weapon

Written by Daniel Frank
Friday, October 17, 2008

This tip is about the doubling cube. The cube is a weapon used to put pressure on your opponent. To use the cube, you need to have access to it. To have access, it needs to be on your side or in the middle where it starts. If you use the cube then you double the points if your opponent accepts it. You will no longer have access to the cube, only your opponent will.

You need to be careful when you try to double because if you try to early, your opponent will quickly grab it up, knowing they can now use it against you later in the game. This error is usually made by the non-veterans of the game. They see that they have the lead and know that they better than 50% chance of winning and see no reason why not to double. Backgammon is about how many points you earn, not how many games you win. Secondly, players use the cube to end the game in some situations. Doubling early, allows your opponent to play for more points when they still have a good chance and then use the cube against you if they do. You basically give them all the power of the cube and that power boosts your percentage to win when used properly.

So now you asking, when is the right time to double? You want to double when your opponent will be hurting themselves if they take it. You need to put them to the test and ensure it’s a tough decision for them. If it’s a tough decision most opponents will just drop giving you the point(s). You need to look at your position in the game, the race, and where you are in the match. If the match goes to three and you already have a point, then doubling will give you the win. So if they accept, they will turn right around and double you back because they have nothing to lose, making this the game that decides the match. Doubling too late is a bad play too, because if you wait till you are such a favorite to win, your opponent will never accept the cube.

Lastly, you shouldn’t offer the cube if you have a chance to gammon or backgammon your opponent because they will drop and now you will only get the one point when you had the chance to get more.

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