Forum Archive : Chouettes

Money management

From:   Albert Steg
Date:   12 September 1998
Subject:   Big cubes should be rare

(regarding money-management in chouette play):

> Well this is (like it often happens in backgammon) not just a
> mathematical problem. In a post of some time ago lots of people agreed
> with me that they'd like to cash a 64-cube, even if the position is a
> play-on....

Well, yes.  When a cube gets *that* big, money management might well be a
serious consideration --if not a concern about the effect of a big loss to
yourself, a concern about the willingness of some opponents to pay up.
This does not contradict my earlier point about playing for a stake small
enough to avoid $-pressure affecting your decisions. The reason: if a
64-cube does not make you at least a little bit queasy, then how much
concern could you have had for the game when it started out at only 1
point?  If a 64-cube doesn't get your heart-rate up, you're playing for
insufficient stakes to begin with.

After all, how in the world did the cube get to 64?  The only people I've
seen or heard of getting frequent cubes at 16 or above are those playing
for stakes less than $1/pt.  Ten cents, a quarter -- unless losing five or
ten dollars is a significant blow to the wallet, this sort of tiny stake
leads to silly cube action, and is very bad for anyone trying to master
"proper" cube play.

As an illustration, here are some figures I kept when I first began
playing frequently in a $5 chouette ranging from 3 to 6 players down in
San Antonio several years ago.  I kept track of many figures, one of them
being the distribution of my game values (including box wins & losses --
the two "big ones" were box results of +20 and -28):

_Game Worth_      _# of games_
1 point              883
2 points             740
3-4 points           442
5-8 points           125
9-16 points           23
17-32 points           2

Total Games:        2215

Back then my $ was fairly tight, so when I was in the box I was pretty
conservative, probably not doubling alI when I should have (thoughI was
good about taking all when I believed it was right) -- that figure of "2"
in the 17-32pt grouping is pretty small for that many games of chouette.
But otherwise, I think the distribution is probably pretty typical of
"serious" (in the sense of people caring, not necessarily being expert)
chouette play.

My biggest cubes ever have been a couple of 32 cubes, one of which I won a
gammon on, happily.  In that case, my opponent took very badly twice and
redoubled terribly once -- because he was already down about 40 pts. on
the scoresheet. In the other case, I allowed three "autos" (again, the
opponent was way down), so that wasn't even a true "32" cube.  It was more
of a 4-cube being played for 8 times the original stake. (Oddly, many
players don't realize that by "starting the cube on 8" in, say, a $5 game,
they are really saying, "Lets play for $40/pt!")

I must've played close to 20,000 head-up or chouette $ games in the past
decade (I used to spend a *lot* of late nights in Harvard Square) -- and
not *once* have I had the pleasure of offering, or the horror of
receiving, a 64-cube.

I'm curious how other avid $-players' experiences of cube size compare to

Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     



Automatic doubles with carryover  (Alexander Zamanian, Jan 1999) 
California rule  (Peter Anderson+, Nov 2001) 
Captain drops and others take  (Grafix8888+, Sept 2000) 
Chouette cube strategy  (Stanley E. Richards+, Mar 2011) 
Cube proxy  (Ilia Guzei+, June 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Dream chouette  (Phil Simborg+, Sept 2009) 
Extras  (Daniel Murphy, Feb 1997) 
Extras  (Albert Steg, July 1996) 
Extras  (Anthony R Wuersch, Mar 1995) 
Fish-hunt rules  (Chuck Bower+, Feb 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Interlocking chouette  (wintom+, Jan 2008) 
Jacoby rule  (Doug Doub+, Aug 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Legal plays only  (Gregg Cattanach+, Aug 2001) 
Los Angeles Rules  (Joe Russell, Apr 2013) 
Los Angeles Rules  (Justin N.+, Aug 2011) 
Lure of the chouette  (Bob Koca+, July 2004) 
Mandatory beaver  (Roland Scheicher+, Mar 2002) 
Mandatory beaver  (David Montgomery, Jan 1999) 
Money management  (Albert Steg, Sept 1998) 
Online chouette rules  (John Graas, July 2003)  [Long message]
Order of succession  (leobueno+, Aug 2011) 
Order of succession  (Albert Steg, June 1995) 
Procedure when captain doubles  (Bill Riles+, Feb 2010) 
Split cube actions  (Neil Kazaross, June 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Strategy  (Michael J. Zehr, Sept 1998) 
Variable stakes  (Christopher Yep+, Apr 2000) 
Waiting for teammate to double  (Øystein Johansen+, July 2001) 
When box takes a partner  (Dan Pelton+, Mar 2009) 
When does player retain the box?  (Daniel Murphy, Jan 1997) 
When is consulting allowed?  (Dave+, Mar 2000) 

[GammOnLine forum]  From GammOnLine       [Long message]  Long message       [Recommended reading]  Recommended reading       [Recent addition]  Recent addition

  Book Suggestions
Computer Dice
Cube Handling
Cube Handling in Races
Extreme Gammon
Fun and frustration
GNU Backgammon
Luck versus Skill
Magazines & E-zines
Match Archives
Match Equities
Match Play
Match Play at 2-away/2-away
Opening Rolls
Pip Counting
Play Sites
Probability and Statistics
Source Code
Strategy--Bearing Off
Strategy--Checker play


Return to:  Backgammon Galore : Forum Archive Main Page