Forum Archive : Rules

Rolling too soon

From:   TonyM
Date:   7 February 2007
Subject:   Fast Rolling - what is the ruling?
Forum:   GammOnLine

I had just cubed my opponent in a bear off situation, he had a small drop
but took the cube on 4. He then rolled 5:5, nice number. The chairman of
the club ruled that the dice must stand in a fast roll situation.

Ruling on Tom Keiths site says that the roll is voided, however in non-
contact positions the rule is generally waivered (last updated 2006). What
is the rulling?

Does anyone know where I can get a current copy of the definitive rules of


Gregg Cattanach  writes:

In the US: it isn't even his turn to roll. If you haven't rolled and made
your move yet, the fact that he rolled a 55 is irrelevent. His roll is
invalid. In the US rules, premauture rolls are void.

However, the UK rules handle it in exactly the opposite way, (premature
rolls stand), so his 55 will be valid when it is finally his turn.

I know nowhere in 'real' tournament rules where anything about rolling and
valid rolls changes because you are in a no-contact positions. No such
difference exists in the US rules, at least.

There is no single 'definitive rules of Backgammon' anywhere. US, UK,
Europe and Denmark (and probably other locales) all have their own set of
rules for tournament play.

Gregg C.

Ian Shaw  writes:

There are no definitive rules - it depends where you're playing. What do
your club rules say?

According to BIBA rule 4.6 and WBA rule 8, the roll stands:

4.6 Premature Action All premature actions, (dice rolls or cube action),
shall stand if otherwise valid. An opponent, who has yet to complete his
turn or act upon the cube, may then do so with the foreknowledge of the
premature roller's dice throw or cube action.

Raccoon  writes:

Extant rules deal with premature rolls in one of three ways.

1. The premature roll always stands. This is the BIBA and WBA rule.

2. The premature roll is always void. This is the ABT rule.

3. The premature roll stands if opponent desires it to stand, otherwise it
is void. This is the DBgF and WBF rule.

I personally favor the third option -- the BIBA rule permits fast-rolling,
an often annoying practice, and the ABT rule does not discourage it -- but
there are reasonable arguments for all three options. Every club should
have a written rules set. The club where TonyM was playing should choose
one option and enforce it consistently.

Using clocks and one pair of dice, we never have this problem!

Chuck Bower  writes:

> Using clocks and one pair of dice, we never have this problem!

Not quite as clean as it should be. I've played clock matches where the
opponent exercised "fast grab" (picking up the dice before the opponent hit
his clock signifying the end of the move). Unfortunately if the player
actually on roll takes the time to explain "it's still my roll" then s/he
hurts him/herself because it's his/her clock that is still running. OTOH,
if the player on turn hits the clock then s/he has effectively condoned the
fast grab. And the perpetrator has saved some time on his/her clock since
the dice are in the cup (or on their way to the cup) before his/her clock
is started.

Kit Woolsey  writes:

So your clock runs for a few extra seconds while you demand that he puts
the dice back -- big deal. But if this matters to you, all you have to do
is stop the clock (not punch it, but center it), and then with the clock
not running you have all the time you need to tell him to put the dice
back. He won't win a ruling if there is a dispute since it was he who
created the irregularity, and you did the proper thing by stopping the
clock until the irregularity is repaired. This way you do not lose any time
on your clock (in fact you save time if you are still thinking about your
play, since you can now think for free), and he doesn't save any time on
his clock. If you take this approach, you can be sure that the fast grab
will cease quickly.

Note that by fast grabbing, your opponent puts himself at jeopardy if there
is a dispute about the dice roll. One of the advantages of playing with a
clock and a single pair of dice is that dice roll disputes are avoided.
Without clocks a player moves and scoops up his dice, and if there is a
dispute there is no evidence. With a clock a player moves, completes his
move by punching the clock, but the dice are still there -- so if the
player made an illegal move there won't be a question about the roll. So if
your opponent fast grabs, it follows that he forfeits his rights in a dice
roll dispute. Not that I would ever suggest that you take advantage of this
by claiming to have rolled a better number, but if your opponent is really
annoying you .......

Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     



Bearing off question  (Colin Wiel+, July 2000) 
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Moving checkers with two hands  (Michael Strato+, June 2000) 
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Repairing an illegal play  (Michael J. Zehr, Apr 1995) 
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Rolling on wrong side of board  (Kit Woolsey, Jan 1999) 
Rolling on wrong side of board  (Kit Woolsey, Sept 1998) 
Rolling on wrong side of board  (Bob Hoey, Apr 1998) 
Rolling too soon  (TonyM+, Feb 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
Rolling too soon  (Stephen Turner, Feb 1998) 
Rolling too soon  (James Grenier+, Sept 1996) 
Talking during play  (EdmondT+, Dec 2000) 
Touch-move rule in backgammon?  (Ken Bame+, Nov 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Touch-move rule in backgammon?  (Austefjord+, May 2002) 
U.S. backgammon tournament rules  (Butch Meese, Nov 1997)  [Long message]
When do you give up your chance to double?  (Paul Epstein+, July 2005) 
When is a move over?  (JP White, May 2000) 
Overview  (Daniel Murphy, Apr 2001) 

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