Forum Archive : Rulings

Clock rules end of turn

From:   Jason Lee
Date:   3 December 2007
Subject:   Ruling
Forum:   GammOnLine

Match played with a clock. Player A doubles. Player B picks up the cube and
places it where one would normally place it when accepting the cube, but
does not hit the clock and does not say anything.

A claims that B has accepted the cube. B claims that since he has not hit
the clock, nothing he has done is binding, and therefore has not actually
acted on the cube.


Bill  writes:

Well, from the rules as posted on the Chicago Point, we have "The cube
should not be handled capriciously; either verbal or physical acts may be
interpreted as cube actions."

In un-clocked play, we generally allow players to indicate cube action in
two ways, either by saying "Take" or "Pass/Drop" or by placing the cube in
the appropriate location.

I say the cube action is complete but it is still B's turn (and eating B's
time) until he hits the clock. Given that no one has posted yet, I would
assume B has lost on time by now.

If someone out there is currently revisiting clock rules, I suppose this
extra step (hitting the clock) and the right to change one's mind ought to
be addressed formally.

Gary O  writes:

His clock is running, therefore he hasn't completed his turn. He can do
with the cube as he will.

Gregg Cattanach  writes:

No. The match is still being played under the Tournament Rules [see].

(5.4) ... To take, the opponent says "take" or words to that effect while
placing the cube on his side of the board in plain view with the new value
face up. ...

Any of these actions, 1) saying take, 2) saying something like "take", or
3) placing the cube on his side of the board constitutes taking the cube
regardless of the condition of the clock.

The most sensible reading of rule 5.4 is that ANY of the listed actions
constitutes a take, not that ALL of them have to be completed in order to

Raccoon  writes:

I think the most sensible "reading" of "while" is "while," not "or."

I've no problem ruling that either verbal of phyical acts may constitute a
take. That's the rule that is followed. But that's not what the rule says.

Foolish rule inconsistencies ...

Gregg Cattanach  writes:

Somehow, I don't think this is the way the rule was supposed to be written.

Kit Woolsey  writes:

While it is true that a person's "play" is completed by the punching of the
clock, I think in this situation that the double has to be considered as
accepted. If not, you run the risk of the following: Player A, seeing that
player B has accepted the double and not noticing that player B has failed
to punch his clock, naturally rolls his dice as we are all used to doing
when an opponent has taken an offered cube an put it on his side of the
board. Player B now sees what player A has rolled. If player A rolls badly,
player B says nothing and the game continues with the double accepted. But
if player A rolls well, player B claims that he hasn't yet acted on the

If a director doesn't make the ruling that the double is accepted once
player B takes the cube and puts it on his side of the table, that opens
the door for a sharp practice as described above. This is the sort of thing
a good director should always attempt to prevent. Regardless of how the
wording of the clock rules may be stated, we all know that when a cube is
taken it is taken.

Chuck Bower  writes:

Although I think, from a sportsmanship standpoint, B's action is improper,
I agree that B has not accepted the cube until he punches the clock.

Ask yourself this: has player A been harmed in any way? IMO, the answer is
'no'. This is NOT the same as someone touching the cube when it is
available to turn and then rescinding that decision. In that case the non-
offending player might be coerced into a premature action, giving away his
feelings about whether to take or drop. But in the case in question, there
is nothing that the doubler (player A) can give away.

Director should inform B that such action is improper, but player A should
be told not to (re)act until player B punches the clock.

Jason Lee  writes:

Alright, to give some more context (not really relevant, but whatever), the
incident in question occured in the semifinals of the LA jackpot. I was
Player A (the doubler). I don't have the position, so I don't even know for
sure if I wanted my opponent to take. I do remember very clearly that I was
behind in the match, the position was gammonish, and I was on the attack.
My gut feeling was that I kind of wanted a take, as it may have afforded me
the best chance to get back into the match.

When my opponent moved the cube to his side, I thought for sure that he was
taking -- I did not (and still can't) imagine that moving the cube to your
side means anything other than TAKE. When he didn't punch his clock, I
gestured to the clock as if to say, "OK, you've taken ... don't forget to
hit your clock." He said something like, "I haven't decided yet." I said,
"But you've moved the cube to your side, you've taken." Etc. The discussion
was not acrimonious in any way, but we disagreed.

I asked Patrick Gibson to rule on it, and after some thought, he ruled that
the cube had not been acted upon. He also admonished my opponent to not
"move the cube like that." I didn't say anything about his ruling, but I
don't feel terribly happy about it. My opponent wound up dropping, and
later won the match.

If you're Player B, and you see that Player A is trying to claim that the
cube has been taken, then he sees that Player A may actually want the cube
to be taken. If I wanted him to pass the cube, after the initial exchange,
might I not just say, "Yeah, OK, pal, if you want to drop this, go right

I'm not going to say I was screwed over or anything ... like I said, I'm
not even sure whether I even WANTED him to take the cube, and I'll never
know if my reaction changed the situation for him in any way. I just don't
like the ruling, and I know that if I had to rule on a situation like that,
I would definitely rule that the cube has been taken.

I am a big believer that you do not mess around with the cube. I believe
that if you reach for the cube and withdraw your hand even without touching
it, it should be interpreted as a cube turn. If you reach for the cube and
TOUCH it, then there is no question whatsoever -- you have turned the cube.
When you've been cubed, if you want to do what Neil Kazaross mentioned --
adjust the position of the cube with verbal notice to your opponent, that's
fine. The overriding rule in all circumstances has to be this: The cube
should not be handled capriciously; either verbal or physical acts may be
interpreted as cube actions. The fact that the match is clocked can't
change this rule.

Neil Kazaross  writes:

It is clear to me that if a player pulls the cube towards him, he has
accepted it. The fact that the game is clocked should not matter.

The purpose of the rule that your play doesn't end until you've hit the
clock is because clocked BG is played with one set of dice, and this rule
prevents the opp (hopefully) from grabbing the dice too soon.

Patrick Gibson  writes:

WOW! Just was sent the link and have finished reading all the missives on
the ruling, that I made. I ruled that B did not take since he had not hit
his clock.

I thought long and hard as to whether any gain, loss, or impropriety was
invovled. I saw none. However, I now see the error of my ways -- there is
definitely the Kit scenario possibility, and "taking" is still taking by
moving the cube into the "accepted" position following a TAKE.

We directors are NOT infallible. We can avail ourselves, at our discretion,
of consulting with other experienced disinterested players when we are
unsure. This should have been one of those times.
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