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it is simple to eliminate most of the problems with the on checker rule--so do it!

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Wednesday, 6 September 2017, at 3:05 p.m.

In Response To: New 2018 rules used in Silicon Valley and rulings (Stick)

If you play with dice on the checkers, I think that the rule needs to be written with the basic idea of why this rule is being used, and if written and explained properly, that should eliminate 99.99% of the problems and questions that come up.

This business about determining if the die is also against the bar or the wall or not, or if it is perfectly flat or not is silly, and that's what causes the problem with the rule.

The logic behind using dice on the checkers is that people who want to play this way don't want to have to take time re-rolling when it is obvious what number is up on the dice, even if it is up on a checker. So why not take this to the next logical step and do it they way it is done at casinos at crap tables where even dice that are crooked on top of a checker or leaning against a wall are valid rolls so long as it is clear which number is facing up?

It seems to me that if this is the interpretation, then just about every roll that lands on the surface or on a checker will be a valid roll as it is almost always obvious which number is the one that is facing up, even if on a slant.

Yes, I have seen dice stop on a corner...precision dice on certain boards can absolutely stop and land on a corner and then there is no number that is clearly up. I think I have seen this about 20 times in my life (I have been playing an average of 3-4 days a week for 45 years), and when it happens, it is easy to say it is cocked.

Now, Ken reports that he only had to make a few rulings. That's too many. Because in addition to those rulings there were probably many times where the players had to look closely or discuss it or worry about whether it was completely flat, or supported by the bar, etc. etc.

So what if it is a little crooked or touching the edge of the board so long as there is no doubt about which number is predominantly up?

If the idea of the rule is to save time and re-rolling, then take it to it's logical conclusion and end the problems associated with the rule.

When you do this you not only make the rule more useful for the game, but you end my, and many other people's objections to using the rule. Personally, I do like the dice on the checker rule but was not in favor of it for two reasons: 1) it is not used everywhere and it is confusing to have different rules in different places; and 2) because it was written so that it adds additional complications to determine when we have a fair roll, it was causing more problems than it solved.

I believe if it is written as I suggest, and we solve No.2, more people will find the rule acceptable (like me) and it has a better chance of being universally accepted, so by solving problem No. 2 we will have more of a chance to solve problem No. 1.

Yes, I understand that when we try new things it takes a while for the entire world to come to agreement and for it to be adopted. We still have many places in the world that have not adopted use of the doubling cube or Crawford Rule. Many still hate baffle boxes, electronic rollers, clocks, recorded matches, streaming, one set of dice etc. etc. Any time anything new is introduced, even if it is an improvement, there will be backlash. That's life...doesn't mean we shouldn't try new things. Will we lose a few players along the way who stubbornly insist that if we make a given change they won't play? Yes. Too bad. People that inflexible either don't love the game enough to play in spite of a rule or two they don't like or they think they can impose their will on everyone by threatening to quit if we use clocks, or die on the checker, etc.

You can't please everyone, and when you have something that really does make sense, and I believe die on the checker if it's written as I propose does (and written as it is now does not in my opinion), I think it is a great improvement.

Of course, in our chouette and most of my matches, with a scrambler we almost never see a die on the checker or a cocked die, but often I am forced to play with someone who won't use a scrambler and there's nothing more irritating that watching my opponent roll cocked die and dice on the checkers roll after roll after roll. Why is it that people who insist on not using scramblers or baffle boxes only know how to roll cocked dice!?

Bottom line, make any rules you like and I will keep coming because I love the game.....hell, I've been playing with rules and policies I don't completely like for years...it's worth it. Anyone else who isn't willing to live with the majority rule and rules of the ruling bodies and TD, well, I won't say it out loud here, but you know what they can do.

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