Forum Archive : Chouettes


From:   Michael J. Zehr
Date:   9 September 1998
Subject:   Re: Chouette Strategy
Google:   6t63u8$20v@senator-bedfellow.MIT.EDU

Claes Thornberg wrote:
> I hope I'm not repeating what anyone else has already said.
> Kleinmann's excellent "Vision laughs at counting" deals with chouette
> strategy in some detail, if my memory doesn't fail me.
> "Vision laughs ..." can be ordered through Carol Joy Cole
> (

Some of his collected articles also discuss chouette strategy, for
example the "Wonderful World of Backgammon."

Chouette strategies depend heavily on the specific cube rules being
used.  Some variations include how many cubes are being used, how many
cubes have to be taken in order for a game to continue, whether team
members can consult after their cube is turned, whether and when people
can buy out other people's cubes, etc.

Most of these strategies only come into play when you have players of
noticeably different skill levels.  For example, if you're a strong
player on the team, with a weak captain against a strong box, when
consultation is allowed after your cube is turned, you might want to
double much earlier than usual.  You then get to consult with the
captain and the box can take less advantage of the captain's weakness.

On the other side of the board, if there's a single strong player on the
team, the box might drop that person's early double in order to play out
the rest of the game against the weaker field.

There are also changes in take/drop strategies based on who is going to
be the next captain.  A strong captain followed by a weak team member
might take later than usual in order for the chance of playing as box
against the weaker player, and in order to avoid being on the team when
the weaker player is captain.

Conceivably this might swing normal strategy far enough that you might
find a cube being dropped that in a one-on-one game isn't even a double!

The strategies can become more and more complex when you take into
account what the other side is thinking, tuning your strategy to your
opponent's viewpoint of who is strong and weak at the table.

Chouette playing is a different kind of backgammon, just as straight
money play is different than match play.  Some people might find it more
enjoyable, others might find it less so.  I personally have had many
pleasant summer evenings in a chouette in Harvard Square (Hi Albert!),
keeping one eye on the cube and one on all the people wandering past.

Happy playing,
Michael J. Zehr
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Automatic doubles with carryover  (Alexander Zamanian, Jan 1999) 
California rule  (Peter Anderson+, Nov 2001) 
Captain drops and others take  (Grafix8888+, Sept 2000) 
Chouette cube strategy  (Stanley E. Richards+, Mar 2011) 
Cube proxy  (Ilia Guzei+, June 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Dream chouette  (Phil Simborg+, Sept 2009) 
Extras  (Daniel Murphy, Feb 1997) 
Extras  (Albert Steg, July 1996) 
Extras  (Anthony R Wuersch, Mar 1995) 
Fish-hunt rules  (Chuck Bower+, Feb 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Interlocking chouette  (wintom+, Jan 2008) 
Jacoby rule  (Doug Doub+, Aug 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Legal plays only  (Gregg Cattanach+, Aug 2001) 
Los Angeles Rules  (Joe Russell, Apr 2013) 
Los Angeles Rules  (Justin N.+, Aug 2011) 
Lure of the chouette  (Bob Koca+, July 2004) 
Mandatory beaver  (Roland Scheicher+, Mar 2002) 
Mandatory beaver  (David Montgomery, Jan 1999) 
Money management  (Albert Steg, Sept 1998) 
Online chouette rules  (John Graas, July 2003)  [Long message]
Order of succession  (leobueno+, Aug 2011) 
Order of succession  (Albert Steg, June 1995) 
Procedure when captain doubles  (Bill Riles+, Feb 2010) 
Split cube actions  (Neil Kazaross, June 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Strategy  (Michael J. Zehr, Sept 1998) 
Variable stakes  (Christopher Yep+, Apr 2000) 
Waiting for teammate to double  (Øystein Johansen+, July 2001) 
When box takes a partner  (Dan Pelton+, Mar 2009) 
When does player retain the box?  (Daniel Murphy, Jan 1997) 
When is consulting allowed?  (Dave+, Mar 2000) 

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