WHEN TO UNLEASH THE POWER OF A DOUBLE IN BACKGAMMON

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WHEN TO UNLEASH THE POWER OF A DOUBLE IN BACKGAMMON

We assume you have acquired the basic knowledge about the game and have started winning or at a stage where you are about to win, having lost a few games at the very end when you have realized that your strategy had not been perfect. We want to help you with some strategies, which need to be applied in a game depending upon its progress. One of the most important factors is when and how to issue a double and redouble or when to decline. Remember, one decision may be vital for winning or losing a particular game.

Now lets find out what the experts say? Joe Andrews claims that 'The odds of rolling doubles are 1 in 6'

First of all, lets assume a situation where double or redouble can never harm you and will rather benefit you. Suppose there is a 3 game match and you are on to the 2nd game after losing the first. If you decline the double, you are not only losing that game in particular, but also you are losing the match. So, what stops you from making a desperate effort to increase the points to try and win?

Similar logic holds good for a match of 5 games, when you are trailing in the third game having lost the first two. Remember if your opponent issues a double at this stage, we advise you not only to accept but to also announce a redouble on your next roll. In this particular case your accepting a double or issuing a redouble is always a win-win situation.

Now lets imagine another situation. Suppose your opponent has checkers in an advanced position of 7 and 8. You are trailing by holding 3 checkers on 2nd or 3rd points. What the probability factor says about the result is that you must realize that your chances of winning have been nullified. Now why to issue a double to increase the point difference? Rather we suggest, this is the ideal stage, where you must decline the double.

RedTop and Philip J Simborg advise: 'Double when you are on roll and your opponent's required pip count is at least 8% more than yours. If doubled, you should take it while trailing by no more than 12%.' The experts say that you should accept the double only when you should find out a 25 per cent chance of win. So, in business terms the break-even point for doubling is 25%.

As an expert you need to study the game thoroughly and your reading will reveal the opponent’s attitude and risk-taking ability. If you are certain that your opponent might decline the double, take the upper hand by issuing a double.

How to take that chance? Lets look at Woolsey’s thumb rule for doubling: 'Put yourself in your opponent’s shoes. Would you even think of dropping if doubled, then it must be a good double.

Let’s state very clearly that never become too defensive in the game. Never wait till the game gets iced and you are still not finding the opportunity to issue a double. The redouble should be a thoroughly thought decision, that is, when you are sure of not losing anything, and then only issue a redouble.

THIS ARTICLE IS PROVIDED COURTESY OF ONLINE BACKGAMMON ROOM PLAY65

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