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December 28, 2011

Lamford on Racing

This is from Lamford's Starting Out in Backgammon and complements the EPC method for racing.

It covers endgames when each side is down to about 3 checkers or less.

So, my goal would be to use the following guidelines for racing...

1. Endgames (3 checkers or less with misses) -- Lamford. 

2. Pips versus Rolls and short races (~30 to 50 pips) --  EPC and Wastage (or "Stick's lecture)

3. Longer races (50 pips and up or short races with minimal wastage) -- Trice Rule 62 or Ballard 57 method

Endgame Race Cubes, Rules of Thumb:

These rules apply to positions with three checkers each (or less), and where each side has misses.

No distinction between Double and Redouble.  If note says Double, then Redouble also.

1.       One Checker against One Checker (or more):

a.       Always Double

b.      Always Pass (technically you are indifferent with checker on 6 point, since 9 rolls fail to get off)

2.       Two Checkers against. One Checker:

a.       Always Double if favorite to bear off in one roll

b.      Take if 9 or more misses (25%)

3.       Two Checkers against Two checkers:

a.       Double when race is Minus 2 pips or better

b.      Mimimum needed to take

                                                               i.      Less than 27 immediate winning rolls and

                                                             ii.      Pip Count at least equal

c.       *Exceptions: slightly better to pass in these mirror positions (two checkers each on three, four, or five point)

4.       Two Checkers against Three Checkers:

a.       Always Double

b.      Almost Always Pass

c.       *Exceptions: Two checkers on 6-point may be takeable with some three checker configurations

5.       Three Checkers against Two Checkers:

a.       Minimum Needed to Double

                                                               i.      Opponent not favored to get off next turn and

                                                             ii.      Race is Minus 2 pips or better and

                                                            iii.      Your pips are 12 or less

b.      Minimum Need to Take

                                                               i.      Pip count at least even and

                                                             ii.      Pip count 8 or less

6.       Three Checkers against Three Checkers:

a.       Player on roll has 10 or less pips

                                                               i.      Always Double

                                                             ii.      Always Pass

b.      Player on roll has 11-12 pips

                                                               i.      Always Double

                                                             ii.      Take if pip count even or better

c.       Player on roll has 13 pips or more

                                                               i.      Double if pip count even or better

                                                             ii.      Take if pip count minus one or better

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