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January 12, 2012

2 Away 3 Away

Looking at 2 Away 3 Away now.  I have notes from several sources on this one. 

** Mochy's lectures (see
Kit Woolsey's article (see,
** Stick Rice's articles on Gammon Village (

** pay sites

Mochy's advice is brief.

From Leader's POV

Goal: Win 2 Points

When to Double
RACE: Double a bit earlier than Money
BLITZ: Never!

From Trailer's POV

When to Double
RACE: Much earlier than money
BLITZ: Much earlier than money

Kit's advice

1.       Leader takepoint is a bit higher than money (26.5%)

2.       Trailer takepoint is also a bit higher than money (25%).

3.       Leader Wants

a.       Gammon-free game (Race, Holding Game)

b.      Advanced anchor

4.       Trailer Wants

a.       Gammonish positions (Blitz, Prime, Backgame)

b.      Fast cube, especially with gammonish position

5.       Race cubes

a.       Leader drops earlier than money

b.      Trailer also drops a bit earlier than money

c.       Leader drops real early on gammonish position
Stick's advice. He goes into the most detail, writing two from the leader's perspective and one from the trailer.


When Should the Trailer Double?

1.      When trailer doubles the leader has a dead cube.  This is huge for two reasons;

a.       It kills the leaders gammons (GV = 0)

b.      Leader has no recube vig.  He must get to 100% to win, which means sometimes the Trailer can turn around a game he might have otherwise list (if the leader got to 80%+ in a money game he would recube the Trailer out but he has to get to 100% in a match with dead cube)

2.      Leader raw (gammonless) takepoint is 26.5%

3.      Trailer GV is .47 or moneyish

4.      So the Leader’s takepoint is a bit higher than normal but gammons cost about same as for money.

5.      Trailer should double mutually gammonish positions in order to kill the leader’s gammons.  Note that some cubes that would be a beaver for money might be a correct double ATS.

Opening Cubes for the Trailer

1.      31P-53P-C?

a.       This is a borderline D/T

b.      Stick does not advise cubing since it is too easy to take, you probably won’t lose your market anyway, and by cubing later your opponent will take later anyway or might make an error and pass later.

2.      31P-64P-C?

a.       Using 31P-53P as a reference position (borderline D/T), then by extension this must be a double!

3.      64S-22R-21U-53P-21@-C?

Middle Game Themes

When ahead in the race, your goal is simply to play safe and win a clean race.


1.      From the outset of a -3 -2 game I would lean towards more gammonish plays as you'll often have the option of killing your opponent's gammons while keeping your own active by use of the cube.

2.      Once the cube is turned checker play will be along the same lines as money except with your gammons and backgammons not counting you'll be able to stick around for last ditch shots, pass up making anchors, and other dmp type checker plays.


When Should the Leader Double?

1.      Assuming not a last roll position, then Trailer will re-whip for the match.  Trailer’s takepoint is 25%. 

a.       Note 25% is a bit higher than money.

b.      Trailer has no recube vig either (since he will recube for match and now you are DMP)

2.      Therefore the leader should be thinking about doubling low gammon games similar to money.

3.      The leader’s gammon value is 1.0, so he should generally hold the cube in a gammonish position and try to win a gammon for the match

Opening Examples from Leaders POV

1.      52S-55A-F-C?

a.       Too Good / Take.

b.      Leader should play on to try and capture the gammon

c.       Trailer should take b/c he wins 33% of time (and will rewhip for the match so the gammons don’t matter)

2.      54S-33A-F-C?   Too Good / Take

3.      52S-33A-F-C?  too Good / Take

Opening Play

1.      Opening Roll. 

a.       Leader should split to try to get an advanced anchor [41 51 32 52 54]

b.      Never slot on opening roll

c.       64P is a blunder

2.      Reply Rolls

a.       42P-43?

                                                              i.      Split 24/10, 13/11 best

                                                            ii.      Down 13/10, 13/9 medium error .033

b.      42P-64?

                                                              i.      Run!  24/14

                                                            ii.      Point 8/2,6/2 .medium error .05

Middle Game Themes

1.      Ideally leader reaches a holding game or race as stronger side and doubles a bit earlier than for money

2.      Note most holding games are 70-77% win chances for stronger side.

a.       Some holding games are technical drops for Trailer (b/c of 25% takepoint) but most people will take them anyway.

3.      Rule of Thumb.  Trailer should drop at 2a 3a 1.5 pips earlier than for money.

a.       Why?  In a standard middle/long race your average pip is worth about 2%. So a pip and a half, or ~3%, will swing it from an AtS pass to a money take. 

4.      Remember the leader takepoint on recube is 32%, in case the trailer forgets to auto-rewhip.

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