Forum Archive : Rulings

Touching the doubling cube

From:   Chuck Bower
Date:   20 April 1998
Subject:   touch double
Google:   6hg4nf$phl$

Is a player allowed to touch the cube (centered or on his/her side of
the table) and then withdraw his/her hand, not doubling?  Do any
players know of local or "house" rules which cover this?

   c_ray on FIBS

Kit Woolsey  writes:

In some tournament rules, it is stated that any such gestures toward
the cube are to be considered as doubling.  The logic is that you
don't want sharpies reaching for the cube in order to see their
opponent's reaction -- then doubling if the reaction is the one they
are hoping for, but not doubling if it appears the opponent will do
what the sharpie doesn't want.


Vasilios Papakonstantinou  writes:

In the Las Vegas tournament in 1996 I did touch the doubling cube
while considering a double and quickly withdrew my hand. My opponent
called the director (John Brussel) who ruled that a double had been
offered. The explanation for his ruling was that such an action, if
withdrawable, can be used by one to judge one's opponent's reaction to
the double without risk.

bill papa

Hank Youngerman  writes:

The only tournament I have played in was a regular weekly tournament I
played in for about a year, but in that game it was a clear rule that
you touch the cube, you've offered the cube.  For just the reason
expressed by other posters.

Martin Daniels  writes:

I was playing a game in a tournament which was beginning to hot up. My
opponent with great gusto and considering he was in a good position,
placed the cube aggressively in the centre of the board, right in the
middle of the action. I felt it was a very close double and wanted to
study the implications awhile, so I picked up the cube and placed it
in the centre of  the side compartment, where I felt it should have
been placed in the first instance. My opponent rolled the dice and out
popped 6-6 before I sheepishly said, "I haven't accepted the double
yet".  Have I got a case?

Martin (Blackbart)

David Montgomery  writes:

This is a bit confusing to me.

Among most groups, the accepted way to double is to take the cube
and place it on the playing surface, turning the next cube level
face up.  Saying "I double" or words to that effect is optional.

Also, among most groups, if you pick up the cube and put it to the
side in the middle, it will be interpreted as a pass -- you are
resetting the cube.  If you don't begin resetting the position, your
opponent might verify that you are passing.

To take, you pick up the cube and put it somewhere on your side of
the board.  Most players place it off to the side, in the side
compartment or on the edge of the board if it big enough, but I have
seen people put it on the bar on their side, or take it off the board
altogether putting it on the table behind the board.

So I would say your opponent doubled properly.  I would have
interpreted your placing the cube on the side, centered, as a pass,
but your opponent apparently sees things differently since he rolled.

If you want to move the cube aside to study a position, then accepted
practice among the groups I play with is to slide the cube to the left
or right edge of the playing surface the cube is on, without lifting
the cube.  In other words, you treat the cube as you would the dice --
you may slide it/them out of the way to see the position clearly, but
if you lift it/them up, you are indicating the end of your turn.  In
both cases it is helpful to say something like "I'm going to look at
this" before reaching for the cube/dice, especially if you and your
opponent are generally playing very quickly.

David Montgomery
monty on FIBS
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