Backgammon Optional Rules

Automatic Doubles – In some games, if the first roll is a double, the doubling cube is turned to the number two. Some online backgammon games have this feature. Other online backgammon sites solve the issue by not allowing the first roll to be doubles.

Beaver – In most games, a player who is offered a double can immediately double again. If he does so, he retains the doubling cube. This is advantageous to players who believe that they are likely to win, because it leaves them the option of doubling again later in the game, even though they have already doubled.

Raccoon – Raccoon is rarely used, but it is similar to beaver. If a player beavers, then in games which allow raccoons, the opponent (the one who offered the original double) can re-double on the beaver, and then gain the cube again. Games which allow raccoons often become hi-stakes games very quickly, because when a raccoon is offered, the doubling cube is at least at 8.

The Jacoby Rule – The Jacoby rule is a rule used in tournaments to keep the game interesting. Since often players resist doubling in the hopes of getting a gammon or a backgammon, the Jacoby rule states that gammons and backgammons will not give extra points unless the game has been doubled at least once, by one of the players. (Automatic Doubles would not count.)

The Crawford Rule – The Crawford rule is used in match play. When players play a match, and one of the players is a single point from winning, the doubling cube is out of play for that game. If the player does not win in that game, then the doubling cube enters back into play in the next game. The game that the rule is applied to is called the Crawford game.

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