Forum Archive : Rules

Gentleman's previlege

From:   Daniel
Date:   14 September 2005
Subject:   Re: Ruling question
Forum:   GammOnLine

Recall the scene from one of the James Bond films (Casino Royale?) where
our hero, standing on "gentleman's privilege" or some such, asked to use
his opponent's (fixed) dice before rolling his game-winning double six.
For this scene to make any sense, we must infer that Bond and his
opponent agreed that it is proper for a gentleman playing high stakes
backgammon to request a mix or exchange of dice during a game, and
proper for his gentleman opponent to acquiesce.

Whether any such convention exists or ever existed in high stakes games
between gentlemen, I don't know.  But I've never known a tournament
player to request a mix of dice during a game.

Roland Scheicher  writes:

1) Oswald Jacoby and John Crawford write in "The Backgammon Book" (chapter
18) that you may mix the dice before each single game and you may even
agree upon mixing the dice DURING a game in progress. Mixing the dice
means: you put all four dice into the cup, shake it and let them roll out,
your opponent chooses a die, then you choose a die, your opponent chooses
his second die and the last die goes to you.

Changing the dice as Mr Bond does it is not part of any rules I know.

Nevertheless if I were sure that my opponent uses loaded dice I should act
as Mr Bond does. May he call the club director and protest against my
changing the dice and let me show the director the loaded dice!

In contrast to Jacoby and Crawford the tournament rules of the Deutscher
Backgammon-Bund state that:

Rule # 18. [...] Players may mix the dice before each single game. If a
game has begun, a change is no longer permitted. Each player may call for
new dice after the completion of a game. The tournament director has the
right to exchange the dice at any time during a game without previous

2) The film this scene is taken from is "Octopussy"
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