Suggested Preamble to 42 Tournament Rules

The governing bodies for tournaments rely largely on player honesty and integrity for effective implementation of fair play rules. When players sign up to participate in 42 tournaments, they agree to fun, fellowship, and the following:

• Players will not use privately arranged visual and/or audible signals during competition to communicate information about their dominos to their partners, e.g., alignment of or tapping/pushing dominos, body language, subtle sounds, etc.

• Partners will not use private bidding conventions that have specific meanings. Generic helping hand bids are allowed if no specific information is communicated between partners, e.g., bidding 30 and bids in seldom used bidding ranges.

• When indicating doubles via sluffed dominos, the following methods are acceptable: sluffing the double to indicate the next highest domino in that suit is held, and sluffing a domino whose high end indicates the double held.

• Players may ask their opponents what irregular method(s) will be used, if any, prior to both teams drawing their dominos at the table. If asked, players using methods not sanctioned above must divulge them to their opponents.

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The rules above are offered for discussion to promote fair play in tournaments attended by participants from diversified playing cultures. Comments are welcome. Pertinent extracts are posted anonymously below.

The following are some creative methods used to communicate specific information between partnerships in 42. They were volunteered by contributing tournament players and visitors to this site. They are provided for educational purposes only so unsuspecting traditional players are made aware of their existence.

• As of 9 Jan 2018, N42PA rules state: "8. Dominos must be placed in a 4-3 or 3-4 format once you draw from the shake."   If opponents are inconsistent in their formats, be aware that one of the optional formats could indicate specific domino(s) held by that opponent, e.g., the double-five or multiple doubles.
• A sluffed domino could have one of six meanings as described here.   (Players using irregular indicating methods need private understandings for their methods to be effective.)
• "I had one player tell me that when he bid 84, he wanted to play his hand, but if he bid 2 marks, he wanted me to take him off."
• "Indicating isn't cheating because everyone knows the game. Some believe that reverse indicating (low end of domino) is cheating which I understand because you have to discuss it before hand."

If you know of other privately understood indicating/bidding conventions, send them to me, and I will add them to the list as appropriate.

Paul Proft, webmaster, E-mail
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Updated 13 Jan 2018
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Representative Extracts, Comments, latest first, others welcome

"Laying it all out for players to see the various practices would be good to educate players ... Eliminating private conversations (between partners) is not realistic."
"I would resist (divulging indicating methods) because ... of 42 becoming convention based like bridge."

"Iím for educating others about all those practices and focusing on eliminating private conversations between partners ..."

"... itís better to just figure it (indicating methods) out as people play. That isnít the most fair thing, but I donít have a better idea."

"Any cheating that may occur during play is covered under the first point ..." which states: Players will not use privately arranged visual and/or audible signals during competition to communicate information about their dominos to their partners. (Further clarification is unnecessary.)

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