Crisloid’s Guide to Doubling Cubes

If the doubling cube in your backgammon set doesn’t get any play, you’re missing out on a strategic, fun part of the game. Before handing your opponent the cube, it’s important to know how to use it to your advantage.

Here’s a quick guide on the rules regarding the cube with some basic ideas on offering, accepting and dropping it.




What does the doubling cube do?

The doubling cube allows either player to double the stakes of the game. It also increases the costs for gammons (twice the cube number) and backgammons (triple the cube number).


When can I use the doubling cube?

The cube must be used when its your turn, but before you roll the dice. If your opponent refuses the offer, he forfeits the game.


How should I use the doubling cube?

Many players automatically double the stakes if the initial dice rolls to determine who starts the game are identical. Automatic doubling is generally limited to once per game.

If you’re well ahead in a game, it may seem like a no-brainer to double the stakes. However, even novice players know the momentum in backgammon can swing in just a few rolls of the dice.

Once you’ve offered the doubling cube, your opponent controls it. It’s a very effective weapon. When your opponent rallies and controls the doubling cube, the stakes are no longer in your favor.


When your opponent hands you the cube should you choose to drop it and cut your losses?

There’s no easy answer for this question, but backgammon experts seem to agree that unless the game is really a lost cause it pays to accept the offer. If you accept the cube in a game where there’s some potential for a comeback and pull out a victory instead of forfeiting, the percentage of times you can do this outweighs the losses from refusing to accept the doubling cube.


Let’s hear from you.

Is the doubling cube in your backgammon set collecting dust, or do you use it as a strategic weapon? Whether you’re a novice player or seasoned pro, we would love to learn more about how Crisloid players are using the doubling cube. Let us know how you’re putting it in play or if you have any questions on how the cube should be used. Join in the conversation, stir up some debate and offer strategy tips to help others gamers learn to dominate their opponents.


Happy Alaska Day!

One of our most loyal customers reached out to us to design a backgammon board celebrating the state of Alaska. Robert Stoller is a cofounder of the Anchorage Backgammon Club. A proud resident and historian, he tells us about Alaska Day:

By way of historical background, “Alaska Day” commemorates the formal transfer of possession of the then Territory of Alaska from Captain Pestchouroff, the representative of the Emperor of Russia, to United States General Louvell Rousseau at Fort Sitka, Alaska on Friday October 18, 1867.