What is this article about?
There are different styles in backgammon. At first thought we might not believe this. We might look upon backgammon as a scientific game, where there is always one correct decision to make. Unless it is one of those few positions, where the equity is identic after 2 plays. What I am talking about here are borderline decisions, where one style can favor an other kind of play. In fact, when rating difference is big, then rake gets extremely expensive. So So a blunder to pass, could become a blunder to take!
When you play on the internet you need to pay a commission rake for the game. This rake is quite expensive. The winner of the game in progress usually pays the rake. This commission rake changes according the server, stakes and rating differences. To make an attempt to make this article easier for me to write, as well as easier to understand for the reader. And besides, I am not that much into mathematics. I will attempt not to use numbers. I will simply give the hint to adjust when you are in doubt or believe it is very close. We must all at some point agree, that we are not smart enough to figure out the correct play. Especially these days on the internet, where we need to make a fast decision or our opponent might suspect bot abuse. These kind of positions I will advice you to adjust your decisions to guidelines giving below.
What is the idea?
The idea is to pay lesser rake, by giving the opponent greater percentages for winning the game. It does not mean we want our opponent to beat us. It means, that whenever he wins the game, the he ends up paying the rake, instead of us. We do this in situations, where we are either in doubt or we believe it is very close. If we know the right play, including the rake calculation, then we will of course make the play that makes the most money. However, with backgammon. We are often in a guessing territory.
How to do it?
There are 4 advices I like to give. Passing more, double early, play too good/do weavering and play hard for the gammon.
So let us describe it more in details.
1) Passing more is correct online.
* When your opponent doubles you, he is likely to make mistakes later in the game. However, starting a new game gives your opponent new chances of making new mistakes.
* By passing you make sure the game ends here and now. You are making sure he pays the rake for the amount being wagered for.
2) Early aggressive doubles increases in value.
* Early doubles makes you not lose your market. If you lose your market, then you end up doubling your opponent out, which means you are paying the rake. It is better to make your opponent pay the rake more often. Volatility is always a major key factor to dertemine when to double.
* In a bear off, where the checkerplay is more easy. Then you do not want to double early.
3) Playing too good and weaver your opponent.
* If you cash your game while it is a big pass, then the game will end here and now. We will rather play on in a lot of positions, where it is actually incorrect by theory. There are 2 reasons to this.
* One reason is we get the opponent to pay the rake more often, when he takes the doubling cube.
* The other reason, is weak players often take a cube after improving their position. There are lots of examples to this. Weak players love to take bad cubes, where they have just improved their position. I think they kind of wanna proof how bad it was for you to not double a clear double.
They just never learn.
4) Aggressive plays to squeeze a gammon becomes more attractive.
Just think about it. Let us asume 2 plays are exactly even in equity. We do know we need to win twice as many gammons to justify for a loss in order for compensation. So if the plays are more even. For sure we will chose the play that makes us pay lesser rake. And by winning fewer games, this is exactly the case. So we opt to play a lot more aggressive for the gammon. Almost a kind of GammonGo checker play like style.
How to play this style is a true art. It is both a pleasure to watch and play this style with success. And as a bonus, your opponents will believe you are way off to understand much about backgammon. I call it the internet style. It makes more money in a moneygame than any other style. Simply because you avoid to pay unneeded rake.You for sure dont wanna over do it. Because if you do overdo it. Then it will be very expensive. Also notice you only play the internet style in a moneygame and never in a match. In a match, normal match strategy is still the prober way to win.
I hope you have enjoyd reading this article. If there is some where in this articly I have not expressed myself in a clear way or you somehow are confused. You are welcome to contact me and send me an email and ask me what I think about a given position. And if you are interested more in the internet style. There are lots of positions on this webpage, where you at first think. Hey, why did this guy Karsten make so many stupid plays. He should be better than that. Now read this article a couple of times and go back look at the positions. Things are no longer so clear anymore ;-)