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Backgammon Literature - Doubling

Posted By: Timothy Chow
Date: Tuesday, 12 August 2014, at 3:46 p.m.

In Response To: Backgammon Literature - Doubling (Chris Bray)

What do you mean by "doubling theory"? Since you say that it has evolved hugely, I'm guessing that you mean the evaluation of specific positions or the exact numbers in a MET. This of course has evolved just because the bots have evolved. So are you looking for a big book of rolled-out doubling decisions? Then this book may be the kind of thing you're looking for, and it sounds like you were not aware of it.

On the other hand, if you mean general theory that goes beyond the evaluation of this or that specific position, then I don't think that it has evolved all that much. Something like Woolsey's article on the Five Point Match, for example, has largely stood the test of time. Sure, if you went through it with GNU or XG, then you would change some MET values and evaluations of specific positions, but there are only a few places where I think the qualitative advice needs to be revised. (One example: At 4a5a, the leader should be noticeably more aggressive than "normal" when deciding whether to double a gammonish position, more so than the trailer. Kit doesn't note this.)

Perhaps the biggest advances in general theory that are relevant to the practical player have been some of John O'Hagan's rules of thumb to help you evaluate doubling decisions. I'm not sure that these would fill a book, but if you want to see a book along these lines, JOH is the one whose door I'd recommend knocking on.

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