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Posted By: dfunkt
Date: Saturday, 1 March 2014, at 12:19 a.m.

In Response To: darrin.funk@gmail.com (Fatboy)

Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned money in my original post since I understand the motivation it provides for many players and although it is not my incentive to play, I certainly don't think less of anyone who needs that incentive. My question had more to do with the doubling cube itself and how it reduces the ancient game, full of richness and complexity, down to a series of statistical decisions based on a players ability to estimate the probability of a win from a given position. Why play the the game out? We can just force a resign. To me something wonderful is lost. I adore backgammon because of the complete reversals that occur when lady luck makes her appearance but that can't happen if you are forced to resign because the stakes were doubled and money is on the line (or match points). I think many new players who would love the game are intimidated by this need to learn skills that are more like poker than backgammon. Every backgammon site focuses on the cube and throws words like equity at a new player before they have ever really learned how to play out a full game. For me the doubling cube variant is the newest of a long line of backgammon games which dates into antiquity and it's the least enjoyable because so many games are never finished. I guess my real question would be why it is the only variant people seem to want to play? I have taught many people the game and every single one has enjoyed other variants more than the one currently in vogue.

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