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MatchGammon--A new and challenging variation

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Saturday, 22 August 2015, at 11:44 a.m.

Over the years I have played many variations and I find them to be fun and interesting. I particularly like variations that increase the skill, require you to think more creatively, and where you cannot use the bot to help you come up with the best decisions. The following variation fits these criteria and I think you might find it interesting, challenging, and fun.

I came up with this variation over the past week, and I call it MatchGammon. I have only tried it once with an opponent, but I have also played it myself several times on XG and I have found it to be extremely challenging.

The opening roll starts out normally, and the the player who gets the opening roll plays his roll normally, however, he plays it with the knowledge that his opponent’s next roll will be the same as his roll.

So he makes his move, let’s say it’s a 4-3, and he knows that his opponent will have a 4-3 on his next roll.

Player B must then play a 4-3. Then Player A rolls again, and again whatever he rolls must be played by his opponent on his next roll. After the third roll and move, Player B now gets to roll first and for three rolls his opponent gets exactly the same roll.

This continues for the entire game, switching every three rolls, until contact is broken. Once contact is broken both players roll normally, taking turns.

One more caveat…there cannot be a cube until after 6 rolls.

I have also toyed with a variation that makes this even more complex. Player B has the option of changing either die 1 pip up or down (as long as he doesn’t take a non-double roll and turn it into doubles) when it is his turn. This not only takes away some of the disadvantage of going second, it adds another skill set to the game.

If you are one that enjoys variations and a challenge, give this a try. Any feedback or suggestions would be most welcome.

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