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How To Use The Doubling Cube


Backgammon is one of the most ancient board games, played by millions of people all over the world. Interestingly enough, only a small percentage of them know what a double cube is and how to use it. If you fit in this category and have never understood what the doubling cube is, fear not. We will go over the history of the cube, how to use it and some strategies that will help you get an advantage over your opponents. In return, you will become a better backgammon player immediately.

History and importance

Over the years, many people have dedicated their entire lives studying the history of backgammon. Even though a lot has been written about the game, doubling is still one topic shrouded in mystery.

Around the mid to late 1920s, a whole new perspective was added to the game of backgammon. At the time of its introduction, no one could predict that doubling would add so much strategy and ensure the longevity of the game.

If interested, a person could find out the year and place in which the doubling cube appeared for the first time. Still, the inventor of the doubling innovation in backgammon remained mysterious for decades. Many researches on the topic later revealed the truth. The reputed father of doubling as we know it was Grand Duke Dmitri of Russia. He introduced the concept for the first time in a game he played in Paris in 1926.


The Backgammon doubling cube is just like a regular die, while a bit bigger, having the numbers 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64 printed on its faces. The doubling cube keeps track of the current stakes in the game.

A normal Backgammon game begins with a value of one point. The whole premise behind the doubling cube revolves around challenging your opponent. Depending on how well your game is going and if you are currently winning, you can decide to double the stakes of the game before rolling the die. This what doubling is. When this happens, the game is now no longer worth one point, but two.

Now, the challenged opponent has two choices. He can either accept the challenge, in which case the value of the game doubles – from 1 to 2, from 2 to 4, from 4 to 8 and so on. The other option is to concede the game and lose 1 point. Whenever a player ends up accepting a double, he becomes the owner of the cube and only he can further decide to double or not.

Sometimes, when a player is doubled, he can use a “beaver.” To keep control of the cube when doubled, he can instantly redouble (beaver).


No matter if you are still learning how to play Backgammon or are simply looking to get your game to the next level, it is time for you to seriously invest in learning about doubling. If you are competing, understanding how the doubling cube works is essential for increasing your chances of winning.

If your game goes well and you believe you have the advantage, you have the option to redouble, which your opponent can not counter, no matter how good his game is. This can boost your chances of winning even further.

Remember though, if you decide to redouble, you better be sure that you can beat your opponent. Skilled backgammon players would often try and lure you into that trap to try and get you to redouble. That way, they’re going to hit you with another redouble, which can get a little frightening.

Knowing when to accept a double and when to decline is a sign of a skilled Backgammon player. The important thing is to recognize that when you have a solid lead, you should always be thinking about doubling.


If you are overwhelmed with the concept of the doubling cube, worry not. It should take you only a few games to get the hang of it. The investment is worth it, as in return you are going to become a much better player. Remember, you don’t need to have a specific cube laying around – you can easily practice using a pencil and paper!