Updated 22 Apr 2018

Workarounds to Minimize Private Indicating Practices

Alternate ways to play 42 without departing too far from traditional playing rules:

1.  No partnerships:  Each player is for himself/herself. The minimum bid is 20 or some other designated bid.  (Practice of this alternative is rare.)

2.  Sharing of conventions:  Players have to divulge their private bidding and indicating methods to their opponents.  (This alternative is normal practice by some groups in Alabama.)

3.  Random partners:  Partners are randomly selected to minimize mutually understood indicating signals.  (This alternative can produce winners who might otherwise not win against recurring partnerships that use mutually understood indicating methods.)

4.  Open display of dominos:  If a player bids, and his/her partner bids higner and wins the bid, then the lower bidding partner exposes his/her dominos for all to see after the bidding process.  (This alternative does not consider the sanctioned optional placement of dominos which could be used before bidding begins to avoid possible exposure of the high bidder's partner's dominos.)

Until there is consensus how to effectively address “cultural” and irregular private indicating agreements/understandings between partners in sanctioned competition, partners who use privately understood indicating methods will continue to have advantage over those who don't. (The random partner method is already successfully practiced in some tournaments.)

My own mindset is that creative private indicating tactics between partners is a significant advantage in competition.

Recurring partnerhips are also conducive to mutual understandings. Playing patterns are recognized over time, and recurring partnerships can capitalize on their mutual understandings without private agreements.

Maybe that's what Texas 42 is all about in tournaments - outfoxing unsuspecting opponents who are not privy to others' indicating methods, learned or contrived, in multi-culture competition throughout the state. Comments, anyone?

Paul Proft, E-mail

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