# table stakes backgammon

2 views

### Hugh McNeil

Jun 13, 2002, 11:19:23 AM6/13/02
to
The following position popped up the other day at TrueMoneyGames, where we
were playing a table stakes money game (that is, you couldn't lose, or win,
more than you have in front of you....)

Money session. Score X-O: 0-0

O on roll, cube action
+-1--2--3--4--5--6--------7--8--9-10-11-12-+
| O O | | |
| O O | | |
| O O | | | S
| O | | | n
| | | | o
| |BAR| | w
| | | | i
| | | | e
| | | |
| X X | | |
| X X X X | | |
+24-23-22-21-20-19-------18-17-16-15-14-13-+
Pipcount X: 16 O: 11 X-O: 0-0/Money (1)
Men Off X: 9 O: 8
CubeValue: 2, O owns Cube

O redoubled here, when I was down to my last four points, so that I
couldn't recube. Snowie thinks that I am a small underdog with no redouble
available to me... (but a big beaver for normal money play!!), so was this a
good double by my opponent given the particular circumstances?

------------------------------ End ----------------------------------

### Michael Strato

Jun 13, 2002, 12:26:10 PM6/13/02
to
I think I might have been watching this game and wondered about the
position. Without consulting Snowie, I use this simple way of evaluating the
position. In upcoming rolls, if neither players rolls a double and if X
doesn't a roll a 4, then O has three-and-a-half rolls to go and X has only
three rolls to go. Am I wrong? I know that we have to take into
consideration the possibility of X rolling a 1 more than once in his three
last rolls but...

Nevertheless, as O I would not have doubled, as X, I take.

X doubled "so that you could not recube"... you mean because X knew you
could not redouble because of insufficient stakes to double back? What's the
difference if the double is wrong in the first place?

Oasya recently said that Snowie 4 will be able to analyze "table stake
situations". Should be interesting.

Michael

"Hugh McNeil" <tall...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:fJ2O8.37742\$_h5.1...@news20.bellglobal.com...

### Nis Jorgensen

Jun 13, 2002, 2:39:45 PM6/13/02
to
On Thu, 13 Jun 2002 12:26:10 -0400, "Michael Strato"
<nos...@gammonvillage.com> wrote:

>I think I might have been watching this game and wondered about the
>position. Without consulting Snowie, I use this simple way of evaluating the
>position. In upcoming rolls, if neither players rolls a double and if X
>doesn't a roll a 4, then O has three-and-a-half rolls to go and X has only
>three rolls to go. Am I wrong?

Yes - and you know it:

> I know that we have to take into
>consideration the possibility of X rolling a 1 more than once in his three
>last rolls but...

But what? This chance of X rolling two 1's represents a huge part of
O's game winning chances - the difference between O being a slight
underdog and a slight favourite.

>Nevertheless, as O I would not have doubled, as X, I take.

In the actual situation, or in normal money play?

>X doubled "so that you could not recube"... you mean because X knew you
>could not redouble because of insufficient stakes to double back?

The full quote was

>>O redoubled here, when I was down to my last four points, so that I
>>couldn't recube.

>What's the

>difference if the double is wrong in the first place?

That a cube may be wrong in money game but right in a table stakes
situation. O could make an initial double (from 2 to 4!) with only a
little more than 50% - as long as he has more market loosers than X (a
little simplified). For the redouble he needs a little more.

--
Nis Jorgensen
Amsterdam

### Michael Strato

Jun 13, 2002, 2:45:29 PM6/13/02
to

"Nis Jorgensen" <n...@dkik.dk> wrote in message
news:atnhgu0ftk00sl4bi...@4ax.com...

> On Thu, 13 Jun 2002 12:26:10 -0400, "Michael Strato"
> <nos...@gammonvillage.com> wrote:

> Yes - and you know it:

I do? :-)

> >Nevertheless, as O I would not have doubled, as X, I take.

> In the actual situation, or in normal money play?

In the actual situation, and in money play, beaver...

> That a cube may be wrong in money game but right in a table stakes
> situation. O could make an initial double (from 2 to 4!) with only a
> little more than 50% - as long as he has more market loosers than X (a
> little simplified). For the redouble he needs a little more.

How much more? Does he have it?

Michael

> Nis Jorgensen
> Amsterdam

### Nis Jorgensen

Jun 13, 2002, 3:33:11 PM6/13/02
to
On Thu, 13 Jun 2002 14:45:29 -0400, "Michael Strato"
<nos...@gammonvillage.com> wrote:

>
>> Yes - and you know it:
>
>I do? :-)

Yes. Your next sentence started "I know ..."

>> >Nevertheless, as O I would not have doubled, as X, I take.
>
>> In the actual situation, or in normal money play?
>
>In the actual situation, and in money play, beaver...

I just did checked with gnubg, and it is certainly not a beaver for
money

>> That a cube may be wrong in money game but right in a table stakes
>> situation. O could make an initial double (from 2 to 4!) with only a
>> little more than 50% - as long as he has more market loosers than X (a
>> little simplified). For the redouble he needs a little more.
>
>How much more? Does he have it?

Hmm - still trying to make sense of gnu's rollout results. Anyway, it
seems not to be a redouble.

--
Nis Jorgensen
Amsterdam

### Douglas Zare

Jun 13, 2002, 5:22:05 PM6/13/02
to

Hugh McNeil wrote:

No, it was an error to redouble. Table stakes in this circumstance is very close
to owning the cube at 3-away 3-away, with the difference slightly favoring
holding the cube. A live cube rollout by Snowie 3 says that it costs about 0.06
(unnormalized) to double, and I think this is trustworthy. In addition, the
table fees depend on the cube value, and hence discourage both doubling and
taking.

With a bit of work I think you can get Snowie 3 to do most of the table stakes
calculations by finding nearby match scores, e.g., if the table stakes are 8
points, try 7-away 7-away for a first approximation.

Douglas Zare

### Don Hanlen

Jun 14, 2002, 12:17:04 AM6/14/02
to
The question involved a table-stakes game so the double was excellent,
the drop necessary, as I understand the terms. It has little to do
with match equity. Perhaps a more detailed account of the table-stakes
arrangement is in order.

--
don

In article <fJ2O8.37742\$_h5.16...@news20.bellglobal.com>,

### David Montgomery

Jun 14, 2002, 11:01:56 AM6/14/02
to
On Thu, 13 Jun 2002 22:25:23 -0700, LostVegan
<NO.JUNKl...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>I ran in to a similar quandary while playing table stakes at
>TrueMoneyGames.
>[...]
>The morals of the story are: 1) Don't continue money games, especially
>at higher stakes, if your opponent's 'table stakes' fall below what
>you feel is comfortable in the likely exchange of cubes. 2) It
>literally takes about 15 seconds and a few mouse clicks to transfer
>more money (if you have any) from your TMG bankroll to the table
>you're playing at, even in the middle of a game. So don't hesitate to
>ask an opponent to transfer it if he has it and wants to continue
>playing.

When GamesGrid beta-tested E-jackpots, we implemented table stakes as
TrueMoneyGames has, with one player's chips on the table going up as
the other goes down.

What we found, however, was that most players would put additional
money on the table between games so that the money at risk would be
approximately equal. Since this seemed to be players' preference, we
changed the system so that players would always have the same amount
at stake, automatically.

Essentially, GamesGrid has table stakes at the granularity of a single
game, with both players always having the same amount on the table.
TrueMoneyGames has table stakes at the granularity of a session, with
the player's chips allowed to differ.

The result of these difference is that for the same initial table
stake, GamesGrid's unlimited E-jackpots are much more like regular
live money play. TrueMoneyGame's money games are relatively more like
match play. (Of course, both also offer actual match play for money.)

David Montgomery

### TrueMoneygames Support

Jun 15, 2002, 4:17:08 AM6/15/02
to
Hi LostVegan,

You describe a game situation where your opponent had the equivalence of 3
more points worth of money in front of him and you had significantly more.
You mention that you gave a redouble that your opponent took. You had the
feeling that 4 points of you and only 3 points of your opponent went into
the pot. This would not be fair and this is not what happened. In this
situation, *both of you* put 3 more points into the pot. I suppose that the
redouble was to 8 since both of you would need 4 more points to fully cover
the redouble but he had only 3 of them. Table stakes mean that all you can
win or lose in a game is the amount of money of the smaller of the two
bankrolls. Whether you had 3 points, 10 points or 1000 more points in front
of you doesn't matter in this situation, all you could lose were 3 more
points and that is all you could win from your opponent as well. Once your
opponent took the redouble, he was "all-in", that means all the money that
could be at stake in this game was in the pot and therefore there could be
no more redoubles, gammons and backgammons would have no influence anymore.

Tablestakes are really the only way to handle money games with limited
bankroll and they are fair to both players, no matter how much money each
player has in front of him, nobody has an advantage. However, the thing to
understand is that you have to adapt your plays according to the money
more points in front of him. If you redouble to 8 and win, you will win 3
more points but he will never be able to redouble to 16 since he is
"all-in". Therefore the cube is dead and you should redouble if you have any
advantage in this position (if there are no gammons). In fact, in this
situation it would be the same to give the opponent a dead cube on 7. Of
course you have to notice that you kill your gammons with this redouble as
well. For your opponent the situation is as follows, either he passes the
8-cube and loses the 4 points that were already in the pot or he takes and
either wins or loses 7 points. That means, he risks 3 more points to win 11
and so his takepoint is 3/(11+3) = 21.43%. So he should take more liberally
than in a standard money game.

Vincent,
TrueMoneygames Support
www.truemoneygames.com

"LostVegan" <NO.JUNKl...@hotmail.com> a écrit dans le message de news:
t8tigukheh9r850qt...@4ax.com...

> On Fri, 14 Jun 2002 04:17:04 +0000 (UTC), dha...@oneworld.owt.com
> (Don Hanlen) wrote:
>
> >The question involved a table-stakes game so the double was excellent,
> >the drop necessary, as I understand the terms. It has little to do
> >with match equity. Perhaps a more detailed account of the table-stakes
> >arrangement is in order.
>

> I ran in to a similar quandary while playing table stakes at
> TrueMoneyGames.

> This is how it works. Suppose you have \$500 on deposit with TMG.
> You make yourself available for a money game for \$1, \$2, \$3, \$5, \$10
> or \$20/point. You're asked how much you want to bring to the table,
> your entire bankroll or a specific amount no less than to four points
> (\$40 at a \$10 game for example.)
> Conversely, you also see a list of waiting players, the stakes they
> want to play for and how much they've brought to the table. When you
> ask to join, you have the same option to decide how much you want to
> bring.
> The waiting player has final say on whether he accepts. If he's
> bringing \$400 & you want to start with \$200, he may decline.
> Before play begins, players have the option to check automatic doubles
> & beavers. Both players have to agree for them to take effect.
> Jacoby is mandatory.
> During a recent session, I joined a waiting player, matching the \$\$ he
> had. After a few games, he was down to about 3 points in \$. Half way
> into the next game he doubled.
> [Note: each player's remaining table stakes are always visible. At
> the beginning of each game, the first point is deducted from each
> player's total & placed in the pot. Likewise after each offered &
> accepted cube. So after doubling me, he had less than four points at
> the table, plus what was already committed in the pot]
> [the rake is also deducted after each game from the victorious
> player's winnings]
> There came an occasion for me to send the cube back, so what to do?
> It looked like a double/take to me, but how can he take without enough
> to cover? I thought He might drop. Anyway, he took -- my four
> points went into the pot, which were covered by only about three of
> his. Table stakes, right?
> After that game, which I won, I was beginning to thank him and leave
> when he asked me to wait. A few seconds later a message appeared
> notifying me that he had transferred five more points to the table so
> that we could continue. [While I use the term 'points' to generalize,
> in actual game conditions, specific dollar amounts are indicated]

>
> The morals of the story are: 1) Don't continue money games, especially
> at higher stakes, if your opponent's 'table stakes' fall below what
> you feel is comfortable in the likely exchange of cubes. 2) It
> literally takes about 15 seconds and a few mouse clicks to transfer
> more money (if you have any) from your TMG bankroll to the table
> you're playing at, even in the middle of a game. So don't hesitate to
> ask an opponent to transfer it if he has it and wants to continue
> playing.

> --
> Marty (to respond via email, remove NO.JUNK from email address)
>
> "to be yourself, in a world that tries, night and day, to make
> you just like everybody else - is to fight the greatest battle
> there ever is to fight, and never stop fighting" -- e.e. cummings