Forum Archive : Chouettes

Lure of the chouette

From:   Bob Koca
Date:   12 July 2004
Subject:   chouette vs. head to head play

After I finished up in our local tournament last weekend a chouette
had started up and already had six players in it. I asked if anyone
wanted to play head to head either for money or matches but everyone
was happy to keep chouetting and playing the checkers 2/7th of the
time on average after I joined in.

  I've had that experience more than once, what is the lure of the
chouette with its associated downtime from active playing?

,Bob Koca

Gregg Cattanach  writes:

People like the large number of cubes in play and the extra volitility, and
*some* people enjoy the consulting aspect of the game once the cubes are
turned.  If consulting is allowed in some form, most players on the side
feel involved and don't consider those games 'downtime'.

Gregg C.

CKT  writes:

chouettes are a good tool to learn from better players. it also allows
nice comebacks when down or taking-offs when leading, once a player
runs into a winning streak and keeps the box for a few games.
unfortunetaly, those 5 or 6 players chouettes often turn into a
neverending discussion for every decision and after each roll....

Peter Schneider  writes:

I remember that Crawford/Jacoby wrote that the chouette etiquette suggests
to not interfere with the captain's play unless you are seriously opposed
to an action. Newcomers should be encouraged to respect the etiquette. A
smooth play at a decent pace with a proper focus on the *important* actions
is in everybody's interest.

Peter aka the juggler

Joe Gangsta  writes:

One lure is learning from better players who happen to be in the
chouette. When I first started playing, the stake of our chouette was
$ 3 per point. I gladly joined since there were at least 3 world-class
players in the game. I considered it a chep price to pay for lessons.

You might consider a couple actions to speed up the chouette once you
exceed 5 players. You could take PARTNERS IN THE BOX, meaning that the
box has the option of taking a partner, spreading some of the
risk/reward out. You might also try an interlocking chouette. In this
variation you have 2 games in progress at once with all players in
both games. I've played in this version with as many as 14 players
with all players having plenty of opportunity to play.

However, this game moves fastest when there's no consultation and only
one cube in play.


Grunty  writes:

Even if no consulting allowed, chouette is:
 * more social, so it gets more fun
 * more thrilling, since money swings are larger than in h2h
 * in your side-time, you stay alert when you're in play, and you can
evaluate the other players' game when you're out.

Socks  writes:

There used to be several public tables at a downtown location
in Toronto. Folks would play chess or BG etc., usually for
about $1 per point.  Watching was encouraged. Watching a
chouette (a "shoot" as they called it) was much more fun
because people would actually discuss their reasons for things.
I learned a bit, though some of it is polluted with the desire
to produce "a good show for the crowd." Making BG exciting to
watch and winning games are often contradictory.

It was also interesting when the box doubled everybody, and
some people dropped but somebody kept playing. It meant you
got to see the game played out after a double. There would
always be a lot of "see I told you so" at the end, no matter
which way the game went.

Another interesting factor was that there would often be players
of obviously different skill levels. There were three or four
guys who hung around who were quite good. There was a crowd of
guys who were pretty average (that's where I fit in) and there
were two or three perenials who were quite terrible. You could
see the guy in the box making his calculations when one of these
bad players was the captain. He'd do things like double only the
captain. Or double everybody else to get them to drop and keep
only the captain who would likely get gammoned. (Their rule was,
if you'd been doubled and dropped you could not consult.)

There were many interesting variations. For example, if the box
had doubled several people and they had dropped, he got to keep
the box even if he lost the game as long as he wound up making
a net profit on the game.

I got to see several whacky variations on the corner. For example,
they briefly tried playing BG with three dice instead of two.
Doubles counted the same, but tripples meant you moved six times.
That didn't last long. They eventually found it to be just too
much randomness. Though some few players liked it because the game
was over very quickly.

I also learned that you cannot trust people who play for money on
a street corner. Several times one player would be distracted by
something: somebody else talking to them, one of the college coeds
from the college next door, etc. And the other guy would just keep
rolling and moving while his opponent was distracted.

Sadly, these game tables are not there any more. The store that
owned that bit of sidewalk has made an outdoor cafe on the spot.
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     



Automatic doubles with carryover  (Alexander Zamanian, Jan 1999) 
California rule  (Peter Anderson+, Nov 2001) 
Captain drops and others take  (Grafix8888+, Sept 2000) 
Chouette cube strategy  (Stanley E. Richards+, Mar 2011) 
Cube proxy  (Ilia Guzei+, June 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Dream chouette  (Phil Simborg+, Sept 2009) 
Extras  (Daniel Murphy, Feb 1997) 
Extras  (Albert Steg, July 1996) 
Extras  (Anthony R Wuersch, Mar 1995) 
Fish-hunt rules  (Chuck Bower+, Feb 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Interlocking chouette  (wintom+, Jan 2008) 
Jacoby rule  (Doug Doub+, Aug 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Legal plays only  (Gregg Cattanach+, Aug 2001) 
Los Angeles Rules  (Joe Russell, Apr 2013) 
Los Angeles Rules  (Justin N.+, Aug 2011) 
Lure of the chouette  (Bob Koca+, July 2004) 
Mandatory beaver  (Roland Scheicher+, Mar 2002) 
Mandatory beaver  (David Montgomery, Jan 1999) 
Money management  (Albert Steg, Sept 1998) 
Online chouette rules  (John Graas, July 2003)  [Long message]
Order of succession  (leobueno+, Aug 2011) 
Order of succession  (Albert Steg, June 1995) 
Procedure when captain doubles  (Bill Riles+, Feb 2010) 
Split cube actions  (Neil Kazaross, June 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Strategy  (Michael J. Zehr, Sept 1998) 
Variable stakes  (Christopher Yep+, Apr 2000) 
Waiting for teammate to double  (Øystein Johansen+, July 2001) 
When box takes a partner  (Dan Pelton+, Mar 2009) 
When does player retain the box?  (Daniel Murphy, Jan 1997) 
When is consulting allowed?  (Dave+, Mar 2000) 

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