Cube Handling

Forum Archive : Cube Handling

Woolsey's law

From:   Kit Woolsey
Date:   21 September 1996
Subject:   Re: To double, or not to double...

Peter Bell wrote:
> First, if you're not sure whether this is a take or drop, you should
> double, by Woolsey's Rule.  If a double was "objectively" correct, you are
> fine.  If a double was "objectively" incorrect, you still may gain if your
> opponent drops.  You only lose if the double was incorrect and your
> opponent takes.  (One caveat: be careful with Woolsey's Rule if you are
> quite uncertain about a position and you are playing a better player.
> Otherwise, use it religiously.)  Note that double-take is quite often the
> correct cube action: there's generally no need to beat yourself up if your
> opponent takes.  Also, you should be very happy if you think it's a drop
> and your opponent takes, as in this position!

I do not agree that the quality of the opponent should make a
difference.  It is perhaps more important to follow the rule if you are
playing a better player.  Failure to do so is likely to lead to missed
doubling opportunities.

For those of you who aren't familiar with my rule, it is as follows:  If
you aren't ABSOLUTELY sure whether the position is a take or a pass, then
it is ALWAYS correct to double.  I'm not kidding!  I follow this rule
religiously in actual play, and any player who does likewise will see his
results improve tremendously.

Note that the converse is not necessarily true -- you may be absolutely
sure it is a take and yet it is still correct to double, provided it is a
very volatile position.

Did you find the information in this article useful?          

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


Cube Handling

Against a weaker opponent  (Kit Woolsey, July 1994) 
Closed board cube decisions  (Dan Pelton+, Jan 2009) 
Cube concepts  (Peter Bell, Aug 1995)  [Long message]
Early game blitzes  (kruidenbuiltje, Jan 2011) 
Early-late ratio  (Tom Keith, Sept 2003) 
Endgame close out: Michael's 432 rule  (Michael Bo Hansen+, Feb 1998)  [Recommended reading]
Endgame close out: Spleischft formula  (Simon Larsen, Sept 1999) 
Endgame closeout: win percentages  (David Rubin+, Oct 2010) 
Evaluating the position  (Daniel Murphy, Feb 2001) 
Evaluating the position  (Daniel Murphy, Mar 2000) 
How does rake affect cube actions?  (Paul Epstein+, Sept 2005) 
How to use the doubling cube  (Michael J. Zehr, Nov 1993) 
Liveliness of the cube  (Kit Woolsey, Apr 1997) 
PRAT--Position, Race, and Threats  (Alan Webb, Feb 2001) 
Playing your opponent  (Morris Pearl+, Jan 2002)  [GammOnLine forum]
References  (Chuck Bower, Nov 1997) 
Robertie's rule  (Chuck Bower, Sept 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Rough guidelines  (Michael J. Zehr, Dec 1993) 
Tells  (Tad Bright+, Nov 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
The take/pass decision  (Otis+, Aug 2007) 
Too good to double  (Michael J. Zehr, May 1997) 
Too good to double--Janowski's formula  (Chuck Bower, Jan 1997) 
Value of an ace-point game  (Raccoon+, June 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Value of an ace-point game  (Øystein Johansen, Aug 2000) 
Volatility  (Chuck Bower, Oct 1998)  [Long message]
Volatility  (Kit Woolsey, Sept 1996) 
When to accept a double  (Daniel Murphy+, Feb 2001) 
When to beaver  (Walter Trice, Aug 1999) 
When to double  (Kit Woolsey, Nov 1994) 
With the Jacoby rule  (KL Gerber+, Nov 2002) 
With the Jacoby rule  (Gary Wong, Dec 1997) 
Woolsey's law  (PersianLord+, Mar 2008) 
Woolsey's law  (Kit Woolsey, Sept 1996) 
Words of wisdom  (Chris C., Dec 2003) 

[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