How to Use a Doubling Cube?

The doubling cube gives a completely new dynamic to the game of backgammon. This vital piece of the modern-day backgammon board has added a new level of strategy to the gameplay. There are many players beginning to play backgammon and learning about the doubling cube is essential to participating. Now, not knowing about this cube can be rather embarrassing even as a starter! We go through the step-by-step guide on giving you the perfect insight on how to use the doubling dice.

What is the Doubling Cube?

Before explaining how we play with the doubling dice, it is rather important to touch on what the doubling cube actually is? The concept of doubling was introduced in the 1920’s. The aim was to make the game of backgammon a little more thrilling with a guide to raising the stakes. Initially players used matchsticks followed by a doubling dial and later this resulting in a cube. The aim of all these stated are to indicate to both players what they are playing for. A player may use this when they feel they are in a more advantageous position.

The cube has six faces, 2,4,8,16,32 and 64. Each face tells both players the stakes they are playing for.

How to Play Using the Doubling Cube?

  1. Each Game starts with 1 point and the Doubling Dice is placed on the bar (Middle of the board, often the folding part)
  2. A player may feel they are in a good position to raise the stakes. The player has this option to double the stakes. This can only occur if the player has not rolled the dice (in this instance instead of playing for 1 point, you are asking the opposition player to now play for 2 points)
  3. The opposition player can either accept or reject

Accepting: If the opposition player accepts to raise the stakes, they are now in control of the cube and can next decide when to raise the stakes.

Rejecting: If the opposition player decides to reject this move, they are effectively conceding the game and therefore pays this 1 point to the opponent.

Doubling Again

Remember it is the player who has accepted the double that can only offer to double again. This is now called a re-double. 4,8,16,32 and 64 are all classed as re-doubles.

When Can You Not Double?

You cannot offer to double in the following scenarios:

  1. If you are not in control of the doubling cube
  2. If you have already rolled

The Skill of Doubling

Accepting and rejecting the double takes skill and this only comes with experience of playing. It would seem rather silly to continue to reject doubling the stakes but you would only be left with conceding the point constantly to your opponent. However, the game is played across a series that you and your opponent plan out and the player with the highest score after taking the doubles and re-doubles into account is then declared the winner.

How to Play Backgammon?

Have you read our article on how to play backgammon? Click Here