The Doubling Cube

The doubling cube is used in Backgammon when playing in tournaments or cash games over the Internet. It is basically a way of raising your stakes just like in Poker.

Before you roll on your turn you can throw the doubling cube at the level it is at to double the size. The advantage of this for you is that you are playing for double the stakes, the disadvantage is that your opponent now owns the doubling cube and in the future can use the cube to double the stakes further if he thinks he is in control of the game.

As the game opens, the cube stays in the middle until either player decides to use is. The roll decides the amount of points to be played for. Whoever throws the cube loses control of it.

Even though the cube is in play there are still Gammon and Backgammon points to be won if any of these are achieved. A Gammon is won when you have moved of all your checkers and your opponent hasn’t moved any off. The points won for a Gammon is 2 or double the amount of the cube. Backgammon is achieved when you have moved off all your checkers and your opponent hasn’t moved any off and still has checkers in your section of the board.

The points won for Backgammon is 3 or triple the amount of the cube. These bonuses are always in play whether the cube is in play of not. If the cube or Gammon/Backgammon were not in play then the winner would achieve 1 point. When playing for money on the Internet you must turn the cube to achieve the bonus points with a Gammon or Backgammon. This is called the Jacoby Rule, invented by Oswald Jacoby.

You have two decisions when doubled. You can decline the double and lose out on the cube points if you were to win or accept the double and be in control of the cube and risk that you will win. If you win, and you have accepted the double then you win the cube points and your opponent would lose the points. If you lose and you have accepted the double then you lose the cube points and your opponent wins them.

Example of using the doubling cube in online Backgammon:
You first throw the cube and achieve 6. Your opponent accepts the cube. He then doubles you to 12. You have to decide whether to accept this double. If you decline you lose 6 points but don’t risk anymore. If you were in a bad position and accepted the double then you risked losing 12 points. If you accept the double, you take possession of the cube and can double the stakes further if you wish in future throws if you feel you are in a good position. Obviously Gammons and Backgammons play a major part in scoring a lot of points in this game. If the cube has been rolled and a Gammon is scored then the points are doubled and trebled for a Backgammon so if you are in a good position then it’s worth your while to double and keep on doubling. The risk is if you lose then you stand to lose a lot of points.

When you have accepted a double but you know you are in command of the game then you would introduce the beaver. This is when you double straight back after you have accepted a double. This is where the game becomes highly competitive and where there is a lot at stake. If your opponent feels he is in command then he could introduce the Racoon. This is called Racooning the Beaver. Basically doubling straight after another. This could be tricky pushing the points very high where either a lot of points or money is at stake.

Tournaments don’t have Beavers or Racoons. A tournament is played to a set number of points and the first player to achieve that is the winner of the match. Beavers and Racoons are only played in money games. In tournaments you can achieve the maximum points needed to win a match in only a few games by doubling the cube. Matches can be won very quickly by using the cube.

The cube in Backgammon adds to the whole excitement of the game. The gamble when playing for money lies in the cube. You must take or decline the cube wisely if asked and double the cube sensibly when you own the cube or you risk losing lots of money or points. If the gamble pays off you stand to win lots of money or gain lots of points. Overall Backgammon can give you hours of fun and enjoyment but you must play the game with an intelligent mind and you could see yourself becoming highly respected.

   
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