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I know in a casual setting it's probably considered unsportsmanlike conduct, but let's say I was in some sort of tournament and I played a card that said I have to flip a coin. Would a judge issue me a penalty if I flipped a two headed coin?

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If you were talking about Munchkin, then it would probably be allowed, since arguing over the rules is essentially half the game. It's definitely against the rules in magic! –  Nick Jun 25 at 11:54
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I'd invite down-voters to comment... I think the question has a rather obvious answer, but I don't think it's a bad question. Maybe not as serious as some others, but it has produced a good answer and nice limited discussion in comments. –  Gregor Jun 25 at 18:59
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@Gregor I confess to a downvote. Is a question still bad if it has generated a good answer? I'm not sure, but I tend towards yes. I downvoted to discourage the obvious followup question: “Would a judge issue me a penalty if I stacked my deck?” –  ghoppe Jun 25 at 19:50
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@Gregor I downvoted because it appears to be asking if it's possible to get away with cheating, which I think at the very least is not a useful question. I tried to address this in the last paragraph of my answer. (It's also not terribly big on research effort - it's not too hard to find the "flipping a coin" section of the rules.) I suspect some others simply found it a bit offensive (the score is -2 but there's a lot more than 2 downvotes). –  Jefromi Jun 26 at 0:24
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Downvoted because the question seemed silly "Is blatant cheating covered by a tournament system that offers thousands of dollars in prizes." –  deworde Jun 26 at 16:10

1 Answer 1

Yes, it's of course against the rules:

705.3. A coin used in a flip must be a two-sided object with easily distinguished sides and equal likelihood that either side lands face up. If the coin that’s being flipped doesn’t have an obvious “heads” or “tails,” designate one side to be “heads,” and the other side to be “tails.” Other methods of randomization may be substituted for flipping a coin as long as there are two possible outcomes of equal likelihood and all players agree to the substitution. ...

So yes, it's illegal, and you can most definitely get a penalty, presumably something severe for cheating (as Hao Ye points out in the comments). You could get disqualified for cheating just for deliberately miscounting damage to your advantage. Rigging a coin toss is pretty blatant and disrespectful, and I can't imagine judges (or anyone else in the room) having much sympathy.

And even if the rules somehow had a loophole allowing it, this would of course be incredibly poor sportsmanship in a tournament. Casual play isn't the only time you should respect the people you play with.

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At competitive REL, I would venture to guess that doing something like this would qualify as unsporting conduct – cheating, and would lead to disqualification. Not sure what would happen at regular REL, but at the very least a strong talking to from the judge. There's a difference between taking advantage of small play errors by your opponent, and doing something that both violates the game rules and obviously contradicts the intent of the card. –  Hao Ye Jun 25 at 0:18
    
Unsporting Conduct — Cheating is defined in section 4.8 of the Infraction Procedure Guide –  ikegami Jun 25 at 14:53
    
If it was unintentional, Game Play Error — Game Rule Violation (Warning) would apply, but I don't see anyone buying that. Ever. –  ikegami Jun 25 at 14:57
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They might buy it if you called tails. =) –  corsiKa Jun 25 at 19:25
    
@corsiKa - most of the time, but what if opponent is blocking a Creepy Doll with Kokusho? ;) –  Hao Ye Jun 26 at 0:02

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