by Douglas Zare
1 February 2010
We often have to estimate the chance to win a race with a 20-25% chance to win because that's when we get doubled. A good rule of thumb is that in a race of medium length, the trailer can take for money (with about 22% chance to win) when the player on roll leads by 10% plus 2 pips. Each pip near the take/pass point is worth about 2%. This heuristic fails for more lopsided races where the trailer wins under 15%, which can be important for cube decisions in match play.
In this column, we'll see a simple, computable racing formula due to Danny Kleinman. We'll use it to analyze a checker play decision which depends on correctly evaluating two desperate races.
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