On Line Backgammon

Knowing When to Double in Backgammon

Given the nature of the double, a number of tactics have to be considered before you make the offer or take it. Very often, players either do not use the double or at a premature stage, with unfortunate results. Learning when to offer, take or drop requires strategic planning.

To those new to the game, Backgammon doubling means a player can offer, during the game, to increase the wager twice the initially agreed amount. If the opponent refuses, he loses the game by default. If he accepts, the use of the doubling cube goes to him.

Because of the risk involved, a lot of players do not use it, fearing their game position is not strong enough, and that their opponent might take. This is unfortunate as it can easily increase your winnings. The key to a good Backgammon double strategy is timing and knowing the odds.

One of the best ways to use the double in Backgammon is when you get big rolls early in the game. If you get a 6-2 and a 6-3, you can attack your opponent, and when he has checkers on the bar, you can offer the double. If your rolls do not turn out as well as you like, the worst that can happen is that your advantage will be lessened.

That being said, you should also take a look at the checkers in play. Are there possibilities for gammons? If the possibility is there, wait a roll or two before you offer the double. If you offer early and the rolls are low, you lose the cube and now the wager is twofold.

Do not offer the double if the game is close. Even if you get big rolls, it is too risky. In a close match the possession of the cube is important, and do not relinquish it until the proper opportunity presents itself.

There are also Backgammon double strategies to consider when you are the one being offered. If you are in a match play and, based on your analysis, little chance of winning the game, then drop. Sacrifice the wager and the point and move on. Also make it a part of your Backgammon double strategy to drop when your opponent offers a double and are up 6-5 in a race to 7.

The reason is that it is better to have the score tied than to lose the game and twice the wager at that. Of course, if your opponent is two games down, accept the double, as the worst scenario would be a tie.

When developing Backgammon double strategies, you should also remember to play the percentages. A 3-0 lead in a best of five gives you a 75% edge to win; a 2-0 lead gives you a 66% edge and a 2-1, a little over 40%. Take these numbers into consideration regardless if you hold the cube or being offered the double.

Learning when to offer the double in Backgammon requires a lot of strategic thinking and planning. However, it is necessary, and the more time you spend on it, the more you will become adept at the game and win money.

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