Last update: 8 Sep 2020

Standardardizing Straight 42 Rules

The 42 community is made up of social players, some of whom participate in 42 tournaments. There are also others who aspire to learn the game and join the 42 community.

Social-only players are by far the majority in the 42 community. They play with family and friends in informal environments, most playing by rules they learned word-of-mouth from other social players.

Some social players venture into tournament competition. They test their playing skills in both open and closed tournaments. Anybody can play in open tournaments. (Only select players, e.g., family reunions, retirement centers, some 42 clubs, etc., can compete in closed tourneys.)

Many open tournaments are sanctioned by the National 42 Players Association (N42PA) club, e.g., the open annual world championship in East Texas and the open Texas State championship tourney in Hallettsville. These tourneys play straight 42, no variations. (Players must be members of the N42PA club to compete in its annual Tournament of Champions, aka the “national” championship, which awards large cash prizes to its winners.)

The rules in both social and tournament competition are diversified. Sanctioned tournament rules are also diversified, but they allow only straight 42, with a possible variation for high end domino sluffing to indicate doubles. Ideally, sanctioned tournaments, in particular, should have standardized rules for all sanctioned tournament players to abide by. (The N42PA rules would be a good model starting point.)

Eventually, most 42 players, both social and non-sanctioned tournament players, will follow prudent lead of the N42PA and the tournaments it sanctions. Standardized playing rules for straight 42 will become universal, and the playing field can be levelled. Unrealistic? Maybe, but that is how the card game Bridge (derived from the card game Whist, same as 42) became a world class game.

Why am I stuck on promoting universal standardized and well-defined rules in 42? Good question! There are social players in the 42 community who participate in both sanctioned and unsanctioned tournaments who have commented that diversified rules leave much to interpretation when different playing cultures come together in formal competition.

Times have changed. With the advent of the public internet in the 1990s, it has become expedient to share ideas to improve the status quo, including diversified rules in 42 competition, specifically open tournaments sanctioned by the N42PA. If the reader disagrees, I’m eager to learn the reasons why.

Paul Proft, e-mail

visitors since 8 Sep 2020
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