Model Backgammon Matches, Part 1

by Douglas Zare
1 October 2012

Douglas Zare

Backgammon match play is complicated. Even after we learn that the points have different values, the interactions between the doubling cube and match scores are not obvious.

For example, suppose you lead 2-away 4-away, and have a chance to blitz. How important are your gammons? If the cube were sure to end at 1, blitzing looks quite attractive, since avoiding the Crawford game is valuable.

However, your gammons are worthless if the cube is on 2, and it wouldn't be a huge mistake if the trailer doubled immediately at the start of the game. So, should you value gammons highly as the leader or not? Is 2-away 4-away much different from 2-away 3-away, or 2-awaya 5-away?

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