Forum Archive : Terminology

"Lose your market"

From:   Shuman Lloyd Lee
Address:   sl22@andrew.cmu.edu
Date:   29 August 1991
Subject:   Re: Please explain jargon
Forum:   rec.games.backgammon
Google:   Ucj4Ive00VB043MUg7@andrew.cmu.edu

Lose the market.  Generically, this refers to a situation where you
wait a roll before doubling, roll a great number, and develop such a
great position that you wish you had doubled earlier when the opponent
would have taken the double, whereas now you are so strong he will
(almost) certainly drop.

If backgammon were a game such that your overall probability of winning
was a continuous function of time, then "losing the market" is a non
sequitor (as demonstrated by some early academic papers on backgammon in
_Management Science_).  However, in real life backgammon, it is a
concern because of the discontinuity:  from a position where you do not
"technically" have a double, you jump to a position where you are
overwhelmingly strong.  If the probability of rolling such a great
number (that is, if there are enough of them) is sufficient large, then
the 'technically" incorrect double is in fact "gambling-wise" correct.

Marty Storer  writes:

To lose your market is to fail to double and have your position improve
to the point where you have a correct double-out on your next turn.

The term came into use when backgammon theoreticians et al. were trying
to figure out when it was correct to double/redouble.  A question that
came up was, how does the probability of market-loss affect doubling
decisions?  (Related questions:  how big is the market loss? probability
of losing?)  See Danny Kleinman's books (particularly the piece "The
Doubling Cube and Football Fields" in [I think] _Vision_Laughs_at_
Counting_ Vol._2_) for a more involved discussion.

When you "lose your market," you're sorry you didn't double before your
position improved.  (This is regardless of whether or not your opponent
had a correct take, if we include your definition; if we don't include it,
you only lose your market when your opponent had a correct take.)  When
you fail to cash a game by doubling and then lose, either you never lost
your market (in which case you would have won by doubling later), or else
you did and never noticed.
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