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Cocked Dice: a Compromise?

Posted By: Colin Owen
Date: Sunday, 16 June 2013, at 6:20 p.m.

Neilkaz in particular has argued in this forum that, the prevailing rule, whereby dice landing flat on chequers do not stand, discourages players from shaking and rolling the dice properly. Though I, for one, am opposed to a change in the rule (because of the increased ambiguity it would create) his point is undoubtably true - at least with some players, some of the time. As properly random rolls are integral to our game, this is clearly undesirable.

There are players who, for example, routinely do not re-shake after rolling cocked dice; others roll weakly in order to stay away from chequers. The former is particularly inexcusable when a match is unclocked, but neither are in the spirit of the game (if not illegal) when it is clocked. It seems to me though, that the main problem is when a player is very low on time.

Allowing such a player to simply stop the clock until he succeeds with a valid roll could lead to an interminable situation of overenthusiastic re-rolling and/or excessive re-shaking. But might it make sense to allow a player whose reserve time has fallen below a certain level - say 30 seconds - ONE clock stoppage each turn in order to re-shake and re-roll?

Of course, this could still lead to silly abuse - wildly excessive shaking on the second attempt with the clock stopped. An approach to the TD might eventually be required here, regrettably, with such jerks. (I do think though there's an argument that - if your clocks running - you can't be defined as excessively shaking!)

Other points would be:

What actually to set it to - below 10 seconds...below 1 minute?

Whether the opponent should also then be allowed this leeway, even though he might have lots of time (I would suggest not).

The fact that, with most clocks, you cannot see what the player on rolls reserve time is, when his delay has started counting.

Whether it should apply only if a players reserve time is below the threshold at the beginning of a game (again, I would suggest not).

It seems to me though, that giving ONE rolls grace to a player low (or very low) on reserve time might help avoid the most common cases of non-shaking/weak rolling, and likewise reduce the undesirable occurrence of a player timing out on cocked dice.

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