Joined: 17 Aug 2006
| Post subject: The Crawford Rule and the Jacoby Rule
|THE CRAWFORD RULE & THE JACOBY RULE
The Crawford rule comes into play when you are playing a match and one of the players is 1-away from winning. For one game only, neither player can use the doubling cube. So if you are playing a match to 5, no one can double the game after one of the players reaches 4. If the trailing player wins the next game, after that, he can and should double.
IF YOU DO NOT USE THE CRAWFORD RULE, for match play over 1 pt., you are NOT REALLY PLAYING BACKGAMMON. Why? Because that is the international rule of the game. That is the rule on virtually every backgammon server and in virtually every backgammon tournament around the world. Not using Crawford would be the same as playing chess and deciding you can't move the king. You are playing a game that is very different from what the game could and should be. And you are playing a game that is not as good a game. And you are learning and practicing the game wrong. The reason we have the rule is because it makes the game more interesting; more fair; more complex; and more fun.
People who argue that "It's just a game, why complicate it with extra rules" and "it's easier to newcommers and kids to learn the game if they don't also have to learn Crawford" do have a point in both instances. So why don't we teach Chess where you can't castle? Why don't we make the knight's move less complicated? Why doesn't kid's baseball have 3 balls and 3 strikes? Why? Because time and players have proven the game is a better game with the rules we have, and we want children and beginners to learn to play the right way so they will be able to enjoy the game more, longer, and against others around the world they play live or on line.
And the game truly is a better game because of Crawford. It not only changes the doubling strategy, it makes it more interesting. Let's say you're in a match to 5 and the score is 3 to 3. Without the Crawford rule, that's no different than if the score was 4 to 4, because as soon as one player gets a little ahead and doubles, the other player can simply drop then immediately double the next game. With that being the case, that even affects the score at a lower level...there is a ripple affect that greatly dilutes the importance of how and when you do or don't double. There are many other situations and scores where there is a great difference in the strategy when Crawford is used, but without going into detail, most of the experts in the game agree that the game is far more interesting and fair because of the Crawford rule. (And I know this, as I have polled many of them.)
I urge you all to use the Crawford rule in all of your backgammon matches.
THE JACOBY RULE
In money games, there is the Jacoby rule. Simply stated, the Jacoby rule means that you do not earn double points for a gammon, or triple points for a backgammon, unless someone had doubled prior to the ending of the game. It is an excellent rule for money play, and like the Crawford rule, it greatly enhances the game.
Any questions/suggestions? Email Phil at email@example.com