Book Review

Jeff Ward's The Doubling Cube
Kathy Posner, 1983

From Backgammon Times, Volume 3, Number 2, Summer 1983.

The Doubling Cube
by Jeff Ward
186 pages, $24.95.

Published by Aquarian Enterprises,
3272 Via Bartolo,
San Diego, California, 92111

The Doubling Cube by Jeff Ward, syndicated backgammon columnist, is the first volume in a series about the cube.

Dr. Ward's plan is to assemble in one place everything one should know about the uses of the cube. He discusses theory and then presents us with positions illustrating his analysis. This first volume covers doubling cube rules, basic cube math, and the role of gammons, and offers six chapters of positions. Future volumes will deal with cube psychology, the Jacoby rule, tournament doubling, chouette doubling, and other aspects of cube strategy.

Dr. Ward begins with the basics for the casual players who do not even know what the cube is for. The book wants them to discover all the fascinating aspects of the "big die."

Because success with the doubling cube depends on the ability to estimate each side's prospects in any given situation, the book also contains surveys of backgammon positions. These are analyzed and presented along with statistical break downs and recommended cube play.

Dr. Ward shows us how to judge a position in terms of what features we are supposed to look for and how to weigh their importance. He offers a table that lists percentages of various positions and makes clear whether you have a double or not. It also shows if there is a take, drop, or even beaver.

Dr. Ward's first book, Winning Is More Fun, showed us the pleasure of succeeding. His second book, The Doubling Cube, teaches us how.

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