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Backgammon Doubling

Whether you play backgammon live or on Play65 website, you have probably become acquainted with the doubling cube. Continue reading to learn all about backgammon doubling including how and when to use the doubling cube and get to know additional backgammon rules that relate to doubling, such as the Crawford rule.

The backgammon game is played for a stake per point. The stake is agreed by the players prior to the start of the game, and each game begins with an initial point value of one. By the end of the game, the initial value of the game (=one point) is multiplied by the final value of the doubling cube, thus backgammon doubling multiplies the initial value of the game by 2, 4 or 8, and in rarer and darer cases by 16, 32 or even 64.

Doubling in Backgammon Game – When & How

When a backgammon player believes he has a serious advantage, he may offer doubling. In backgammon, the doubling offer has to take place on the offering player’s turn, before he rolls the dice.
The opponent, who was offered to double, may refuse. If he declines the game ends, and the resigning player loses only one point and the initial stake. If the opponent chooses to accept, the value of the current game is multiplied, and the doubling cube, facing the number 2, is moved to the accepting player, who now becomes the owner of the cube.

From this point and on only the player, who is the owner of the cube, can offer to double the game. If the other player wishes to bring back the doubling cube to his side, he may offer to re-double, and if the opponent accepts, the doubling cube, pointing on the number 4 returns to his ownership, and so on. There is no limit concerning the number of possible doubling in a backgammon game. However, there are some optional backgammon doubling rules designed to make the game even more interesting.

Backgammon Doubling Rules

Crawford Rule
The Crawford rule is named after its establisher, backgammon player John R. Crawford, it applies only on match play and enforced in backgammon tournaments and online matches. It defines that when one of the players needs only one point to win the match, doubling cannot be offered in the next game, which will be called the Crawford Game. In the game that follows, known as the Post-Crawford Game, the doubling action may return to the game.

Jacoby Rule
The Jacoby Rule was created by World Backgammon Champion Oswald Jacoby and it comes into affect only in backgammon for money. The rule says that in a game with no doubling, gammons and backgammon will be counted as one point.

Beaver is an optional backgammon doubling rule that allows the player who had just offered a double to redouble immediately, while the cube remains under his ownership.

Raccoon is affective only when the Beaver rule is and it allows the player who had just accepted a beaver to offer an immediate redouble.

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