Backgammon Cash Game

While backgammon is primarily a game of skill, luck also plays a significant role, making it well-suited for gambling. In fact, many professional gamblers consider backgammon to be one of the most challenging and rewarding games to play for money.

How to play a Backgammon Cash Game

A backgammon cash game is a type of backgammon where two players compete against each other and bet on the outcome. The loser of each game pays the agreed initial stake to the winner, multiplied by the value of the doubling cube, and then further multiplied by two for a gammon or three for a backgammon.

Difference between a Cash Game and a Match Game

The difference between a match game and a single cash game in Backgammon is the fact that in a match, you play until a predetermined number of points, whereas in a single cash game, you play unlimited. In a single cash game, the score is determined in the same way, namely through gammons, backgammons, and the use of the doubling cube. However, you keep playing and the score is cumulatively tracked. Often, in cash games, agreements are made in advance regarding, for example, the minimum number of games that must be played, but it can also happen that you play until you get tired of it.

The Use of the Doubling Cube in Backgammon Cash Games

At the start of each game, a single point represents an agreed-upon value. If one of the players believes they have an advantage, they can propose doubling the initial stake by using the doubling cube. The Doubling Cube is a dice containing the numbers 2,4,8.16,32, and 64, representing progressive doubles and redoubles.

  • At the beginning of each game, the doubling cube starts in the middle on the side of the board and can be proposed by a player at any point during the game.
  • A player can double at any time as long as it is their turn and they have not yet rolled the dice, even if they cannot make a checker play.
  • If offered a double, a player can either refuse and concede the game or accept the double and play on for the new higher stake.
  • If a player accepts a double, they become the owner of the cube and can propose the next double.
  • Redoubles in the same game are called subsequent doubles.
  • If a player refuses a redouble, they must pay the stakes prior to the redouble. Otherwise, they become the new owner of the cube, and the game continues with twice the previous stake.
  • The limit to the number of times a double can be proposed is 64, and a player cannot redouble until their opponent has redoubled.
  • At the end of the game, the first player to bear off all of their checkers wins the total amount of the stakes indicated by the doubling cube.
  • A gammon win doubles the stake of the cube, and a backgammon win triples the stake of the cube.

Single Cash Game Format + Additional Rules

  • When playing backgammon, according to the cash game principle, you play a (un) a limited number of games in a row.
  • You choose an initial stake that can be multiplied by gammons, backgammons, or the doubling cube during the games.
  • Players can set a particular number of games they want to play on the forehand or choose to play until someone is broke or gives up.

When playing cash games, some additional rules should be set before the beginning of the first series of games. These rules are:

Automatic Doubles

  • When both players roll the same number while rolling for their first turn, this triggers a doubling of stakes. The doubling cube is then rotated to 2 and placed back in the center.
  • Automatic doubles can be played limited or unlimited, so every time the exact number rolled in a row will turn the Cube and multiply the stakes accordingly.


  • When a player is doubled, he may immediately redouble (referred to as “beaver”) while maintaining the owner of the cube. The initial doubler can accept or decline this offer like any other double.

Jacoby Rule

  • The Jacoby rule is invented to speed up the game but must be considered an additional, not standard, rule. The rule consists that to score a Gammon (x2) or Backgammon (x3), at least one of the two players must have doubled the stakes.
Oswald Jacoby, player of backgammon and inventor of the Jacoby rule