Forum Archive : Rulings

Premature actions

From:   Raccoon
Date:   29 February 2008
Subject:   Premature actions shall stand
Forum:   GammOnLine

Who can ever get enough premature action?  You're playing under the rule
that the ABT recently adopted:

    4.6 PREMATURE ACTIONS. All premature actions (dice rolls or cube
    actions) shall stand if otherwise valid. An opponent who has yet to
    complete his turn or act upon the cube may then do so with
    foreknowledge of the premature action.


Here's a position from  X is on roll.

      24  23  22  21  20  19
     |             O       O |   |                       |
     |                       |   |                       |
     |                       |   |                       |
     |                       |   |                       |
     |                       |   |                       |
     |                       |   |                       |
     |                       |   |                       |   +---+
     | X   X   X             |   |                       |   | 2 |
     +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+   +---+
       1   2   3   4   5   6

A1. While X is on roll, X doubles, then O rolls 6-4, then O takes. Ruling?

A2. While X is on roll, O rolls 2-1. Ruling?

A3. While X is on roll, O rolls 6-4. Ruling?


Here's another position.  X is on roll.

      24  23  22  21  20  19
     |     O           O     |   |                       |
     |                       |   |                       |
     |                       |   |                       |
     |                       |   |                       |
     | X                     |   |                       |
     | X                     |   |                       |
     | X                     |   |                       |   +---+
     | X                     |   |                       |   | 2 |
     +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+   +---+
       1   2   3   4   5   6

B1. While X is on roll, X doubles, O rolls 5-2, then takes. Ruling?

B2. While X is on roll, X doubles, O does not act, X rolls 6-6. Ruling?

B3. While X is on roll, X doubles, O does not act, X rolls 2-1. Ruling?

Tom Keith  writes:

The premature actions rule is obviously supposed to benefit the innocent
party, not the transgressor, so you can't let a player take or drop when he
knows what his own next roll will be.  A simple way to rule in such cases
might be: "Rolls out of turn don't count."

In other words, if it is your opponent's turn and you roll the dice before
your opponent has rolled, your roll doesn't count; you pick up the dice
until it's your turn.  In a different example, suppose you pick up the dice
to end your turn, go to put the dice in the dice cup but miss and the dice
slip out onto the board.  This wouldn't be considered a premature roll
because your opponent hasn't rolled yet.

Raccoon  writes:

Tom's suggestion would mean a hybrid rule: a premature roll stands if
opponent's dice are on the table, but a premature roll is void if opponent
has not yet rolled. That rule would mean that the premature roll would not
stand in Cases A-1, A-2, A-3 and B-1. It would not apply at all to Cases
B-2 and B-3. In Cases A-1, A-3 and B-1, Tom's suggested rule and my own
ruling coincide. In Case A-2, Tom's suggestion is, effectively, the old ABT
rule that premature rolls are void.

Whether these examples illustrate a defect in Rule 4.6, or in its wording,
or in its application, I leave to the powers that be. I personally remain
steadfast in support of the Danish rule on premature actions -- that they
stand if and only if the nonoffending player wish them to stand. That rule
is responsive to a question that may have suggested itself to you; is it
the director's job to determine the equity of a position and how a
premature action affects that equity? The Danish rule leaves that
determination up to the nonoffending player.

But I'm very convinced that to rule that the premature actions stand in all
six cases because "that's what Rule 4.6 says" would be, in my opinion, a
really bad decision.

Stein Kulseth  writes:

A1. By rolling (prematurely), O has implied that he also takes, so the
    taking after the roll is not only allowed, but also required. The roll
    stands, and X can just hope to get lucky. Note that in the
    corresponding case: X doubles, O rolls 21 (prematurely); O cannot drop,
    the take is implied, and O suffers.

A2. O has implied that he will take any double, and his roll will
    stand. When X doubles, as he would and should, O must take and suffer
    his 21 roll

A3. O has implied that he will take any double, and his roll will
    stand. However X has no obligation to double, and probably won't

B1. Same as A1, equivalent to taking and rolling. The take and the roll

B2. X's premature roll stands, O is allowed to drop on the info from the
    premature roll.

B3. X's premature roll stands, O is allowed to take on the info from the
    premature roll

Steve Mellen  writes:

I can see the argument that if you roll when you are supposed to be acting
on the cube, a take is implied, but I can't imagine that a roll when it's
your opponent's turn implies that you will take any cube even though it
hasn't been offered. That sounds like too big a stretch to me.

Stein Kulseth  writes:

Maybe, but it seems to depend on exactly what is meant by the slightly
vague phrase  "... if otherwise valid" . In position A1, where Blue has
turned the cube, White will get to roll a valid roll if and only if he
takes. Thus the premature roll can be viewed as "otherwise valid", as it is
within White's power to make it valid -- by taking.

The other interpretation that might make sense is to view a roll prior to
making a requested take/drop action is not valid, and must be rerolled.
Under this interpretation the ruling would be:

Pos A1 and B1.
    White's premature roll is not "otherwise valid" as he must decide on
    the take/drop prior to rolling. If he decides to take, he must reroll.

Pos A2 and A3.
    White's premature roll is valid only if Blue does not double. In this
    position it doesn't seem to make much difference, as Blue just doubles
    White out anyway. However, in other positions it might make a
    difference, eg. if Blue didn't have a proper double, he may want to
    double in order to invalidate a good premature white roll -- and would
    be in his right to do so.

Pos B2 and B3.
    As before, the roll stands, White may take/drop based on the roll.

Gregg Cattanach  writes:

One simple way to rule is that the dice roll is actually TWO moves early
(his first 'move' is to act on the cube, the second 'move' is to roll the
dice if he takes). Such actions are NOT otherwise valid (you can't roll
until you've decided to take or pass), so the dice roll doesn't have any
meaning and the dice are picked up.

Scenario 1: Blue doubles, White doesn't act on the double, White rolls.
White's roll is two actions into the future (it shouldn't happen until
White acts and Blue rolls). So it has no meaning (is not 'otherwise valid')
and is does not 'stand'. The game proceeds as normal with White acting on
the cube and Blue rolling.

Scenario 2: Blue doubles, White doesn't act, Blue rolls. This is just one
action premature, so this roll stands.

In both scenarios the premature roller can't gain.
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

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



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