Forum Archive : Rules

Jacoby rule--Good or bad?

From:   neilkaz
Date:   29 May 2006
Subject:   Re: backgammonmasters cashout

I do like having no Jacoby rule and strongly think that this silly rule
should go off into history like the Edsel.

Diane  writes:

Jacoby Rule: [Named for Oswald Jacoby, who proposed the rule.]  A rule
popular in money play which says that gammons and backgammons count only
as a single game if neither player has offered a double during the game.
The rule speeds up play by eliminating situations where a player avoids
doubling so he can play on for a gammon.

It has been common practice in serious money play for decades.

Gregg Cattanach  writes:

I share Neil's opinion on this, that the rationale behind the Jacoby rule
is weak.  Exactly what is 'speeded up' by doubling out your opponent from
the center when the gammon threat is very high?  The number of games
played during that session, perhaps, but not the play of the games
themselves.  In match play sensing when it is proper to play on for a
gammon and winning that gammon with good checker play is part of the skill
of the game.  I don't see why this skill should be elimimated from money
play just because the cube is in the middle.

> It has been common practice in serious money play for decades.

True, but that doesn't make it right.

Diane  writes:

I think it does exactly what it is supposed to do: Speeding up play so you
can play more games in say an hour. The more games you play, the higher
the skill factor. Plus, there is still ample opportunity to play on for a
gammon once the cube has been turned.

Adam Tansley  writes:

However, the tricky decision of whether to play on, and potentially
lose more games is justified by my potential extra gammons is a tricky
decision I don't have with Jacoby.

If your objective is to get through games as fast as possible, use
Jacoby.  If you want subtleties and nuances, making playing the game well
as skillful as possible, then don't use it.

Raccoon  writes:

The usual argument for the Jacoby rule assumes, it seems, that the
moves never played in the Jacoby-shortened games are boring and easy
and little equity is at stake. But I do not think those assumptions are
obviously true. Like several others in this discussion, I'm inclined to
think that the skill factor is somewhat higher without the Jacoby rule,
but the difference is probably small.

Paul Epstein  writes:

I agree with Raccoon and Adam that non-Jacoby increases the skill level.
However, personally, I don't like rule changes in general, once a rule
has become universally established.  I consider that the Jacoby rule
has been universally established and I am therefore pro-Jacoby.

Neil Kazaross  writes:

Of course Jacoby is universally accepted, but still I've run into new
tournament players who aren't aware of the difference and also run into
players who've played mostly matches online and then don't realize
about Jacoby in money games.  My point in pushing for eliminating Jacoby
is to make one less difference between money play and tourney play.

Non-Jacoby very slightly increases the skill level and provides money
players with some training in too-good situations for tourney play.
However, it really only makes much of a difference in a few percent of
all money games played.
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

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



Bearing off question  (Colin Wiel+, July 2000) 
Can a beaver be dropped?  (Robert-Jan Veldhuizen+, Mar 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Can a beaver be dropped?  (Stein Kulseth, May 2000) 
Changing dice  (Julian Hayward, Feb 1998) 
Checker shuffling  (James Johnson+, June 2000) 
Gentleman's previlege  (Daniel+, Sept 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Hit and run  (Rich+, Jan 2000) 
"Illegal moves" rule  (Chuck Bower+, May 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Illegal plays  (Bob+, Aug 2002) 
Illegal plays  (Marc Gray, Nov 1995) 
Illegal plays that can't be condoned  (Matt Cohn-Geier+, Feb 2011) 
Is stalemate possible?  (Jan Andrew Bloxham+, July 1995) 
Jacoby rule  (Daniel Murphy, Dec 1997) 
Jacoby rule ambiguity?  (Chuck Bower+, Mar 2011) 
Jacoby rule--Good or bad?  (neilkaz+, May 2006) 
Legal roll  (Sture Lifh+, July 2004) 
Legal roll  (Gregg Cattanach, Oct 2001) 
Moving checkers unambiguously  (Timothy Chow+, Oct 2009) 
Moving checkers with two hands  (Michael Strato+, June 2000) 
Must a hit checker be placed on the bar?  (Dani+, May 2006) 
Pick and pass and bearing off  (SimonW+, Jan 2005) 
Play cubeless at 2away/2away?  (Raccoon+, Oct 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Repairing an illegal play  (Michael J. Zehr, Apr 1995) 
Resigning  (Bob Lang+, Aug 2002) 
Rolling on wrong side of board  (Ian Shaw+, Aug 2004)  [GammOnLine forum] [Long message]
Rolling on wrong side of board  (Kit Woolsey, Jan 1999) 
Rolling on wrong side of board  (Kit Woolsey, Sept 1998) 
Rolling on wrong side of board  (Bob Hoey, Apr 1998) 
Rolling too soon  (TonyM+, Feb 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
Rolling too soon  (Stephen Turner, Feb 1998) 
Rolling too soon  (James Grenier+, Sept 1996) 
Talking during play  (EdmondT+, Dec 2000) 
Touch-move rule in backgammon?  (Ken Bame+, Nov 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Touch-move rule in backgammon?  (Austefjord+, May 2002) 
U.S. backgammon tournament rules  (Butch Meese, Nov 1997)  [Long message]
When do you give up your chance to double?  (Paul Epstein+, July 2005) 
When is a move over?  (JP White, May 2000) 
Overview  (Daniel Murphy, Apr 2001) 

[GammOnLine forum]  From GammOnLine       [Long message]  Long message       [Recommended reading]  Recommended reading       [Recent addition]  Recent addition

  Book Suggestions
Computer Dice
Cube Handling
Cube Handling in Races
Extreme Gammon
Fun and frustration
GNU Backgammon
Luck versus Skill
Magazines & E-zines
Match Archives
Match Equities
Match Play
Match Play at 2-away/2-away
Opening Rolls
Pip Counting
Play Sites
Probability and Statistics
Source Code
Strategy--Bearing Off
Strategy--Checker play


Return to:  Backgammon Galore : Forum Archive Main Page