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About Backgammon Freeze Out

By: tcads

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FREEZE OUT! What is usually recognised as a poker term can now be heard in the tournament games of backgammon; even online backgammon has started making provisions for this variation.

What is meant by a Freeze Out Game, you have heard of freeze out checkers? Where the opponent has placed two checkers at a point and the player’s checker is placed within the hitting distance of them this action freezes the opponent’s building chances as these checkers can not take active participation in building, so moves are restricted.

The concept becomes different when we talk about a freeze out match. In Poker, both players start with an equal number of chips and cannot buy any further chips in the middle of the game. In each game the loser pays chips from his losses to the winner. When they lose all the chips, the game ends and the player is eliminated. This concept of freeze out is also applicable in other casino games like slots. However Freeze Out backgammon is widely used as an alternative to match play in backgammon.

In backgammon, the loser pays the winner the value of the game multiplied by the end value of the doubling cube (as shown after applying double or re-double). Even in freeze out games, the normal rules of doubling cube, gammon and backgammon apply... In backgammon Freeze Out matches a fixed amount of betting is agreed this amount can never be increased during the game) This type of betting is called Table Stakes. Table Stakes serve two-fold purpose;

1) the player can fix the money according to his pocket and

2) this way the question of unequal betting or money is averted.

In some matches, the game starts with a differential. With one player starting with 10 points less and the winner is also declared when the winner is 10 points ahead. There are also instances where even the doubling cube changes the starting value. Like for the first set of games it starts at 1, for the next set it may start at 2, 4 for the next set and so on. This method gives adequate chances to the loser to come back into the game.

Freeze Out games also adhere to the standard backgammon rules with some exceptions, like Automatic Doubles, beavers, Jacoby rules, and Holland rules are not applied in the Freeze Out matches and also by default the Crawford rule becomes redundant.

The equity calculation becomes different in the case of Freeze Out games. It is said that Freeze Out games last longer. There is an obvious attraction to the Freeze Out particularly in a casino environment or when playing online for real money, caution in these situations has to be the watchword for this game play, otherwise you could find all your assets frozen.

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