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August 29, 2012

Stick's Cheat Sheet

I was watching Stick's excellent lecture on the 5 away 5away score when I noticed something ineteresting.  This video shows Stick playing practice games against XG at the 5A 5A score. 

I particularly enjoy watching Stick think out loud in real time as he plays through the game.  It is definitely worth your time to watch.  Step inside the mind of a great master!

This is a free lecture, though it will probably only be available for a week or so. Act quick!! (

Anyway, Stick flashed his "cheat sheet" for match equities while he was playing.  This showed the scores of a five point match only, the most common and critical ones to know.  He suggested all tournament players should have these values memorized - know them cold.

I transcribed the sheet and share it below.

It looks like I need to toss out my own Match Equity table ( and learn Stick's values instead.  See especially the last footnote.  Apparently Stick diverges from XG (most likely Rockwell-Kazaross) in that he assumes less value for recube vig, which means Stick's takepoints are a bit higher than in the Rockwell-Kazaross or XG tables.

While I have some memory work ahead of me, one value that confuses me is the 25.5% for 3 away 3 away.  I learned this was a very high takepoint, almost 30%.  A fast double, fast pass type score.  But XG shows about 30% for dead cube and about 23% for live cube.  And Stick of course shows 25.5%

Maybe this is just an example of XG showing takepoint of 23, add 2% for less recube vig gets you 25% - OK so Stick actually has 25.5% but close enough.  Maybe the 30% only applies to "dead cubes" like a holding game where the opponent is unlikely to get much value in holding the cube?  Meaning, he hits and wins or misses and loses, and he doesn't often catch up in the race to get a 4 cube in?  Of course, Stick knows all this and more, but I still wonder how to interpret these cheat sheet values and use at the table.

Stick's Cheat Sheet
Score Live Cube TP GV on 2 cube
5A 5A 20.0% 0.65
5A 4A 24.5% 0.75
4A 5A 19.5% 0.80
5A 3A 22.0% 0.75
3A 5A 19.0% 0.45
5A 2A 23.5% 0.70
2A 5A 17.5% 0.00
4A 4A 22.5% 1.00
4A 3A 24.5% 0.95
3A 4A 21.5% 0.45
4A 2A 18.5% 1.00
2A 4A 20.0% 0.00
3A 3A 25.5% 0.50
3A 2A 25.0% 0.50
2A 3A 26.0% 0.00
2A 2A 32.0% 0.00
a live cube take point means recube vig is already factored in
b all takepoints are rounded to nearest 1/2 percent
c all gammon values are rounded to nearest .05
d Stick's takepoints are about 1.5 - 2% higher than XG
according to Stick, XG assumes a higher recube efficiency than is practical

1 comment:

  1. Sticks numbers assumes a typical cube efficiency (66% to 71%, I don't know the exact factor he uses in that table) which works well in normal looking positions. XG live number is actually what gnubg calls fully live, i.e the takepoint assuming perfect cubeefficiency (100%). So over the board you will typically use Sticks numbers as a basis for your cubeactions with cubevig already figured in. Sticks takepoint needs adjustment in special kinds of positions such as last roll, some types of holding game (little cubevig) and backgames, high win blitz situation (a lot of cubevig). In the former cases you adjust towards the dead cube point, and in the latter you adjust towards the fully live takepoint. In most positions however Sticks numbers are close enough to be appropriate.