Match Play at 2-away/2-away

Forum Archive : Match Play at 2-away/2-away

Do you need an advantage to cube?

From:   Keene Marin
Date:   10 February 2006
Subject:   -2 -2 Theory
Forum:   GammOnLine

Your match score is at -2,-2.  There are several schools of thought on
this. I have read and heard much on this, so whats right?

1. Double only if you are favorite, and have market losers on your next
2. Double as soon as you have advantage.
3. Double first roll.

So when to double? And what's the takepoint on any cube action at -2,-2?


Gregg Cattanach  writes:

> And what's the takepoint on any cube action at -2,-2?

31.5% by most 'modern' ME tables, and gammons don't count of course.

Stick  writes:

I believe if you're the weaker opponent you should double at your first
opportunity, not allowing yourself any chance to make cube errors. This
way, depending on how weak you are, you'll still maintain as close to
50% chance of winning the match this game. From what I've read, stronger
players should hold off on doubling, assuming that the weaker player may
incorrectly drop a cube later.

I personally double when I see any market losing sequence. I know this
may sound like a stretch, and I mean it to be taken with a grain of
salt, but if I have made my 4 pt. with an opening 4-2 and my opponent
rolls a 6-3 behind me, I double. I have the advantage and I have market
losing sequences. I think most -2 -2 matches should be doubled within
the opening sequence.

If you're ever unsure of whether or not to double, double. At most it
will one of the smallest errors you ever make. You can't lose much
equity by not doubling at -2 -2 but you can lose a ton if you don't
notice a strong sequence and it happens and you lose your market. When
it doubt, double.

Steve Mellen  writes:

Against a perfect opponent, not only should you double on the first
roll, but after the match you should ask him how he handles this score.

Walter Trice  writes:

One of the interesting things about this score is that whether you have
the advantage is irrelevant to the doubling decision. There are
innumerable bearoff and racing positions where it is easy to demonstrate
that the underdog has a double. There are also opening positions where
the fact that the player at a disadvantage should cube is pretty clear
(though absolute proofs are hard to come by.)


     24  23  22  21  20  19      18  17  16  15  14  13
    | X           O       O |   | O   O       O       X |
    | X           O       O |   | O   O               X |
    |                     O |   |     O                 |
    |                       |   |                       |
    |                       |   |                       |
    |                     X |   |                       |
    |                     X |   |     X                 |
    |             X       X |   |     X   X           O |
    | O           X   O   X |   |     X   X           O |
      1   2   3   4   5   6       7   8   9  10  11  12

Here Snowie will say that you only win about 47% of the time. 4-4/Dance
loses the market, but there is no roll so bad that you "crash your
market" (i. e., get to a position where you would prefer to be dropping
your opponent's cube).

You won't lose a whole lot by insisting on an advantage to double, but
if you use this strategy against strong players you will definitely lose
more matches than necessary in the long run.
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     


Match Play at 2-away/2-away

Basic strategy  (Darse Billings, Feb 1995) 
Counterexample?  (Jim Williams+, Mar 1998) 
Do you need an advantage to cube?  (Keene Marin+, Feb 2006) 
Double immediately?  (Chuck Bower, Oct 1998) 
Ever too good to double?  (Kit Woolsey, July 1995) 
Minimum game winning chances to double  (Walter Trice, Mar 1999) 
Practical strategy  (Walter Trice, July 1995) 
Practical strategy  (Albert Steg+, Feb 1995) 
Proof for doubling immediately  (Robert Koca+, May 1994) 
Proof of doubling with market losers  (Walter Trice+, July 2001) 
Sample game  (Ron Karr, Dec 1996) 

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