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Advanced Backgammon 101: the Doubling Cube

Playing backgammon for some players is just sometimes a way to relax or have fun while wasting away some time. There are other reasons to play backgammon, and that is to compete with other advanced players in tournaments and money games.

When faced with a tough contender, an advanced backgammon player can utilize the strategy that could make him win the match. This advanced strategy is called the doubling cube. Popular to most advanced players and somehow unknown to most casuals, the doubling cube is an essential strategy especially during serious backgammon games and tournaments.

The main purpose of the cube in a match/game is to raise the stakes. Since the introduction of the cube to the game, backgammon became more popular and more interesting to new and veteran players.

The doubling cube has 6 faces. Each face has a number written on it such as 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64. The doubling cube is usually placed on the BAR that separates each player's home board or beside the board, when not in use and at the beginning of the backgammon match.

The doubling cube may be used at any phase of the game. It is more advantageous to use the doubling cube by a player who is leading the match. Proposing to double the stakes should be done prior throwing the dice and the doubling cube should be placed with the number 2 faced up.

If one of the players proposed to raise the stakes and used the doubling cube, the other player or opponent is given some time to review his circumstances. The opponent has two choices to decide upon: to refuse the proposal to raise/double the stakes and lose the game and a unit in the process or to accept the proposal so the match can continue, but with higher stakes.

If the opponent agrees to the proposed double stakes, he'll have his turn to own the doubling cube and he is the only one who can double the stakes for the second time at any point during the game. The process is the same. The doubling cube is placed with the number 4 facing up, prior to the rolling of dice.

At this stage, the first player has the options whether to decline or accept the proposal to double the stakes. If he'll refuse, he will lose with 2 units. But if he agrees, the stakes will be raised 4 times the original value and he'll have his turn again to control the doubling cube.

The doubling cube is passed from one player to the other as long as the raise on the stakes is made. Advanced players use the doubling cube when the situation is favorable to them. Whoever yields off all his chips wins and takes all the prize.

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