When Not to Offer the Backgammon Doubling Cube
In the matter of giving or taking the doubling cube in backgammon, equity is often used by more experienced players. But taking the "math" of cube decisions aside, there is a particular time of when not to offer the backgammon doubling cube. Most players know this by heart since they're as commonsensical as they come. But beginners tend to apply the opposite without thinking about their opponent's circumstance which leads to cube decision mistakes. Simply put, this is a trap that must be avoided. So, what is this circumstance of when not to offer the backgammon doubling cube?
Now, keep an eye out for this circumstance when the cube is in neutral position or when you're its current owner. The backgammon doubling cube that's in neutral position is just another way of saying that it's in its starting position at 64. That is, the stakes are at one and it's open to be offered by either player to their opponent.
This particular circumstance of when not to offer the backgammon doubling cube is when you're behind and your opponent rolls poorly. Your opponent is forced to make an unsatisfactory move to your advantage. The trap is when you see the chance to double the stakes when your opponent is down at that particular time.
By and large, do not offer the doubling cube at this point unless it's obvious that you're not going to win a gammon or a double game. The reason behind this is taken from your opponent's point of view. If you offer the backgammon doubling cube when there's a chance that your opponent couldn't bring their entire checkers home in time, your opponent will obligingly (and maybe with some awkward acting of surrender) accept. Lo and behold, you've just saved your opponent from a gammon loss and taken yourself out of a potential double game win.
The tip here is not to look at this circumstance from your perspective alone but take your opponent's perspective too. So, don't fall for the trap of the double stakes when you could've gone ahead with the current stakes for a potential double game win. Being ahead for a moment because of an opponent's bad roll is good, but keeping ahead is better so don't fall for the doubling cube trap when you can save a gammon win for yourself without it. It's been said that the move to offer the backgammon doubling cube is only good when your opponent is likely to accept it - that is rule of thumb by more experienced backgammon players and it shouldn't be lost on you.