An Open Message to 42 Players

From: Paul Proft
To: [Undisclosed Recipients]
Sent: Saturday, June 18, 2005 10:45 AM
Subject: Indicating in the Game of 42

Fellow 42 players:

When Dennis Roberson published his book on 42, the only rules I knew were by word-of-mouth and the internet. Prior to that, the game had evolved with variations added along the way. I did not realize the game I had learned was a "corrupted" form of 42.

Back in the '90s, there were few web sites that posted rules for playing 42. Notable were Sanders ( and McLeod (, both of whom addressed the variations. It certainly appeared that variations were part of the game, and players could apply or reject them.

My first 42 web page went public about eight years ago. After posting my Q&A page later, I received feedback that indicating was cheating ( Subsequently, I caveated my web pages with a note qualifying indicating (and the forced bid Nel-O option).

Early polling at does not show that indicating is as widespread as I had assumed (see Note below). Consequently, I have revised the Indicating section(s) to characterize my instructions. I chose to retain the section(s) so new 42 players are made aware of the practice and its implications.

I realize these changes do not make my "house rules" compatible with "pure" 42; however, they can be easily adapted to the likings of those who want to learn the game, with or without variations, in an informal recreational setting.

For those who contributed to the dialog, thanks for your valuable inputs. Your feedback is always welcome.

Paul Proft, webmaster


29 Jun 05:  My polling choices for indicating in 42 originally treated indicating as a "variation."  I changed this to "playing style" and added a more generic choice of bidding 30 to indicate a "helping hand."  A helping hand might include doubles and/or count-dominos that could help a player's partner make his bid. (Specific controversial indicating styles have been removed from the polling choices.)

8 Nov 07:  My instructions have been tweaked for straight 42 by identifying any differences as house rule options. Common intuitive indicating practices are discussed as optional playing styles.


visitors since 18 June 2005