When to Offer a Double in a Priming Game

The priming game is built on the principle of blocks. A successful priming game is one that is able to last longer and can block off the opponent more effectively. The next piece of the puzzle is when do we double. Doubling during a priming game is pretty straightforward but we need to check out a couple of conditions.

The simplest advice on doubling whatever strategy one employs would seem pretty obvious. The big thing we need to know is that if we have a clear advantage then it is highly logical to offer a double. That would be the gist of all the doubling advice a player can generally have whatever strategy he would employ in a backgammon game.

So how do we know if we have a clear advantage in a priming game? The most obvious sizable advantage we can perceive before we double on a priming game would be the size of the prime. The length of the prime, the actual number of the checkers on the prime, and the relative position of the checkers on the prime would determine a sizable advantage.

A player should offer a double when the opponent's prime has been reduced. This initially means that our opponent's prime has grown shorter. The length of a reduced prime should be less than five points. Other than the length you will also notice that our opponent's prime would have his checkers unevenly placed (i.e. one point will now have more than two or three checkers on it while the others basically only have 2 checkers).

Other than the distribution of our opponent's checkers on the prime, another thing a player should check before offering a double would be the enemy's spare checkers. Spare checkers would be the checkers not on the prime. They may also include the checkers on the prime but these would be the third or fourth checkers on any point in the prime.

Compare your spares and the opponent's before offering to double. If our opponent would have no spare checkers or less spare checkers than you, then a double is quite likely. But before offering a double at this point we still need to consider the length of our prime and one more issue.

The last issue any player opting to double in a priming game would be the position of the back men or back checkers. The ideal position of the back checkers would be as close to the opponent's prime as possible. The back men being exactly next to the opponent's prime would be perfect.

The biggest signal for a player to double about this point is when one of the back men has finally escaped the opponent's prime. With the back men close to the opponent's prime the bigger is the probability for the back men's escape when the slightest opportunity arises.

The signals to double in a priming game would be related to a decisive advantage obtained during a game of backgammon. When these signs of a decisive advantage are clear, then a double is proper and well due.