14 votes
Accepted

Does reading strategy guides before a game count as cheating?

This is all about your social contract1 - some groups play to win, in which case the behaviour you've described seems perfectly reasonable. Other groups play more for fun, and fun can often be reduced ...
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13 votes

Are there any time limit per move in Ticket To Ride?

There is no time limit for each turn and etiquette for turn length depends on the group that you are playing in. The best suggestion that I can make for you is to remind your wife that she can start ...
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  • 13.6k
13 votes
Accepted

How inappropriate is it to track semi-secret information using paper or other memory aids?

There's two schools of thought on this subject - one is that you can do anything unless the rules say you can't, the other is that you can only do what the rules say you can. I believe there's a ...
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12 votes
Accepted

Etiquette for the Stack in MTG

What is legal? Cards go on the stack when you cast them. They remain there until they resolve or are otherwise removed from the stack. According the the Tournament Rules, the current zone of any ...
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  • 13.6k
12 votes
Accepted

Can opponents ask for "alerts" in bridge?

Law 20 of The Laws of Duplicate Bridge deals with review and explanation of calls. Quoting partially: F. Explanation of Calls During the auction and before the final pass, any player may request, ...
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  • 4,868
10 votes

Are there any time limit per move in Ticket To Ride?

There's no time limits in the rules. In the online version of the game, one can set an amount of time per player. Even 7 minutes per player (total, for the entire game including time spent choosing ...
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  • 47.2k
9 votes
Accepted

What do you do when one or more adults is upset or acting inappropriately?

It's usually easier to prevent these things than it is to fix them. Set the mood Make sure everyone's doing alright. Put on some music, get some food and drinks on the table (or a lot of drinks, if ...
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  • 4,555
9 votes

In Scrabble, what happens if a player has to leave the game early?

While there are no explicit rules in Scrabble to handle this, it's pretty straight forward to do this in Scrabble with minimal disruption. I've done this on several occasions. Leave any tiles on the ...
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  • 16.6k
7 votes

How inappropriate is it to track semi-secret information using paper or other memory aids?

I think you have to understand the game sufficiently to gauge whether the information really is secret or not. For games where information isn't secret due to being calculatable, it sounds like a good,...
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  • 171
7 votes

Backgammon stacking rule

Stacking pieces on the same point is not necessary unless it would otherwise be unclear where those pieces are meant to be. There are no rules about how you place pieces on a point; it is only common ...
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  • 3,389
6 votes
Accepted

How to keep the game interesting if a player is 95% certain to win?

This is a common problem in come strategy games where a "tipping point" is reached, after which victory is assured for one player or faction, but the end game conditions are such that play must ...
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  • 501
6 votes

How to keep the game interesting if a player is 95% certain to win?

If your goal is to keep that same game fun even though you're certain to lose, then perhaps you could rebalance on the fly by choosing a more attainable goal, e.g. "We can't deal 15 damage and win, ...
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6 votes

Etiquette for the Stack in MTG

There is no rule that specifically governs the physical location of cards on the stack, so you should put them wherever makes the game state clearest. That usually means that you should put them in an ...
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  • 72.5k
6 votes

How inappropriate is it to track semi-secret information using paper or other memory aids?

I'll take the other side here. Keeping private notes is always ok (unless the rules specifically forbid it.) When I'm playing a game like Settlers of Catan, I can keep track of what other players ...
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  • 3,405
6 votes
Accepted

After I finish my match in a draft, is it okay to observe other matches?

It is perfectly acceptable to observe other matches. If you are not currently playing, and you are not a judge, then you are a spectator by definition. There are a few rules governing spectators ...
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  • 13.6k
5 votes
Accepted

Under what circumstances is a declare allowed to "pause" upon seeing the dummy?

Always - it is a recommended action. As Declarer I always pause for the 5 or so seconds you recommend when Dummy comes down; as East I will do so (by initially playing my card to the first trick face ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Is it good etiquette to gg the opponent when they gg you, even if you haven't won yet?

Disclaimer: Arena emotes, beyond maybe one "Hello" at the start of the match, are a touchy area all round. I'd honestly advise either just turning them off or ignoring them; nobody will ...
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4 votes

How inappropriate is it to track semi-secret information using paper or other memory aids?

It's against the rules. The rules call for playing with the cards kept secret, but tracking everyone's resources on paper would be virtually no different than playing with all cards revealed. It ...
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  • 47.2k
4 votes
Accepted

Is it ok to show my cards when I know I I’m the only one with spades left

The rules (in most spades rulesets) prohibit showing your cards, yes. That said, what you describe is a pretty common practice in friendly games, as (as you note) the rest of the hand's play is ...
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4 votes

Is there a penalty for constantly calling a revoke to disrupt the play?

Absolutely! This type of disruptive behaviour is in no way acceptable by any player. The Laws of Duplicate Bridge (2017) provide mechanisms under which the Director can act in such a circumstance of ...
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3 votes
Accepted

How do I deal with 'take backsies', particularly in Twilight Imperium?

You need, however annoying it may seem, to formalize a policy that deals not only with minor 'take back' adjustments, but with mistakes that were not noticed at the time. Before the next game, ask the ...
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3 votes

Under what circumstances is a declare allowed to "pause" upon seeing the dummy?

Declarer should always pause - for 15 seconds or so, not just 5 - upon seeing the dummy - to give defenders time to analyze the hand without giving away information. The amount of time is even ...
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3 votes

How inappropriate is it to track semi-secret information using paper or other memory aids?

In my particular view, there are two kinds of information in games. Hidden, and Known. Things which are hidden you do not know, and methods of gaining that information are limited to whatever rules ...
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  • 5,433
3 votes

How inappropriate is it to track semi-secret information using paper or other memory aids?

Among people you don't know as well or don't know at all (the key here is familiarity, not exactly what you stated at the end of your question about people you don't see regularly per se), it's ...
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  • 6,606
3 votes

New Bridge Partner and Etiquette

It's tough for the Type A personalities so often attracted to competitive games like Bridge, but all criticisms of partner should be reserved until after the match. I suggest noting to your partner "...
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3 votes

Does reading strategy guides before a game count as cheating?

Nope it is not cheating and should not be considered such at all. The problem is that assuming you can't would mean that you are limited in what you can do to improve your skill at the game which may ...
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  • 13.6k
3 votes

What is the etiquette behind "thanking" partner for dummy?

As you say, whatever you do, be consistent. Good contract, bad contract, plays itself, requires incredibly careful play, whatever. If you do not do that, the opponents know. Yes, sometimes that ...
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  • 2,488
3 votes
Accepted

Can you change your mind after discarding during Monolith Arena?

I don't know this game at all but will answer this in a broader etiquette sense. In games people make mistakes or they start taking a move and realise that they want to do something different. When I ...
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  • 10.1k
3 votes

Discarding before laying down a hand

This sounds more like a question of sportsmanship and the play-style of people you choose to play with rather than an actual rules question. Yes, discarding is the last thing you do on your turn; when ...
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  • 69.8k
2 votes

New Bridge Partner and Etiquette

This behaviour isn't acceptable, but it's not really your responsibility, particularly if you're relatively new to the club. If you're feeling brave, you could mention it directly (and privately) to ...
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