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Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Saturday, 27 December 2014, at 3:52 p.m.

I have recently been in a discussion/debate about what a proper buyout should be in a chouette if the partners in the box do not agree on doubling or redoubling.

In Chicago our practice has always been half the cube. If Bob and I am the Box and I am the captain and Bob wants to double or redouble and I don't want to, he's out of luck. But if I want to double or redouble and he doesn't want to, he either must go along with me, or he can force me to pay him half the cube.

So if we are playing against 4 people for \$25 a point and the cube is on 2 (or we have 4 cubes on 2), I must pay him 4 points (\$100) and I then own the cubes by myself and I can double everyone.

My adversary in this debate claims that this is far too high a figure and it should be much lower, and that the price of half has no mathematical logic to it.

My argument is: a) you might be right but it works for us. The result of having to pay such a dear price is that we don't have many buy-outs and don't waste a lot of time in the chouette listening to two partners quibble over the buyouts. The fact that is is a high price, if one player is willing to pay it, often convinces the other to go along with the double, or if the other player is willing to take it, that convinces the other player to shut up and roll.

b) if the price were lower I believe we would see a lot more time wasted debating buyouts virtually every time there is a close double.

c) I believe a lower price and more debates would also encourage players to use the negotiation as a means to bluff or play some poker by "pretending" it is not a cube when it is a very strong cube or even a pass, in order to try to foll someone into taking the cube.

d) Whether or not someone gives or takes a buyout might be a matter of how much money someone has or is willing to risk.

My thoughts are we want to keep these kinds of negotiations and discussions to a minimum, as nothing ruins a chouette more than dragging it out with petty settlement and buyout negotiations.

So, experts, first, what is "mathematically" logical or fair for a buyout? Second, how do you handle this in your chouettes? And third, what do you think is the best way to handle this in a typical chouette?

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