Chouette Rules

These are the default rules and guidelines for chouette at Cambridge club nights. They are designed for fun and interactive play. Though they are in no way compulsory, you can reasonably assume them to be in force unless otherwise stated. If you want to be sure of any particular rule, please check!
  • UKBGF rules are in force.
  • Rotation is determined by the result of Captain vs Box.
  • The Jacoby rule is in force.
  • No beavers.
  • No props/extras/whatever you call them.
  • No settlements.
  • Automatics are exclusively at the discretion of the Box. Usually they aren’t played.
  • New players join at the bottom of the rotation (so will be ahead of the losing Captain or Box in the next game).
  • If a team member has cause to leave the table, they may nominate a proxy to make cube decisions on their behalf.  If no proxy is nominated, their cube will be played as per the captains.
Consulting option 1: only consult after the cube is turned (usually played at Swavesey):
  • No consulting until your cube is turned.
  • No consulting on cube decisions.
  • The box may desire the team to make cube decisions in order.
    • Everyone forgets sometimes – alright, a lot – and there are probably situations where it doesn’t really matter. But remember the Box can be risking a lot, so try to respect their rights, especially when the cubes are high!
    • When attracting the Captain’s attention, do not immediately double – instead indicate you’d like to think about it – that way the Captain can make their decision first.

Consulting option 2: full consultation (usually played at St Neots, or when introducing beginners):

  • Consulting is allowed from the start
  • Consulting on cube decisions is allowed
  • But no consulting if you are out of the game, i.e. have dropped a cube or doubled out the box

Consulting etiquette

  • Give the Captain space to play, do not dive in immediately on every move.
  • The captain should allow an opportunity for discussion before ending non-obvious moves (e.g. a short pause before picking up the dice), though of course they have the final say.
Pip count
  • The pip count is public information (within reason – so for example if you stop to count before making a cube decision, share the count. But there is no need to give running updates!)
Box cube mixtures
  • The initial cube decision by the Box is all or nothing – if doubling they must double everyone, if being doubled they must take all the cubes or none.
    • It’s possible the Team might initially double the box at different times. In this case the remaining centred cubes are treated as for the initial double.
  • The rest of the time the Box has some latitude to mix and match their cube decisions:
    • The Box may always deal differently with cubes on different values, or in a different position.
    • The Box may also deal differently with cubes on the same value and in the same position, except…
      • …they must keep the Captain in play and on the equal highest cube where possible.
    • The idea here is to allow the Box to hedge, or take advantage of the cube behaviour of different Team members. Not let them pick who to play against!
Chouette size
  • No partners for the box (it’s too complicated!)
  • When you reach 6 players, you should usually stop and either:
    • Play multi-table chouette (much more fun, but you might need someone who knows how to run it, and lots of doubling cubes…)
    • Or, split into two separate chouettes.
  • It’s recommended that scoring is cumulative so that players can join or leave easily, also it avoids big sums at the end of the night.
  • It’s a good idea to score dropped cubes immediately, lest you forget.
  • Please try and help out the scorers by verifying their work!
Multi-table chouette
  • Generally try not to “stall” the chouette.
  • When playing on one table, you should accept that you cannot pay full attention to the other table, and are relying on the other players to offer advice, and decide when to make cube decisions. To some extent you will have to go along with whatever is happening over there.
  • It is ok for the Captain on one table to occasionally solicit the advice of the active players on the other table.
There are a few stalling situations that can be caused by the Box, and can be avoided without anyone being inconvenienced:
  • If the Box is taking some cubes and dropping the others, they should avoid stalling the game by only taking those that are playing on the other table.
  • Similarly, the Box should not preferentially double out everyone except those playing on the other table.
The trickier stalling situations are caused by the active players making cube decisions which result in them being the only ones left on the other table. These have to be avoided, or mitigated, by a mixture of etiquette and common sense:
  • If everyone on one table is dropping, the active players on the other table should usually drop too. That said:
    • If one game or the other promises to be very quick,  you might finish it off while temporarily pausing the other game.
    • Occasionally in a low skill endgame like a race, a proxy might roll out the game on your behalf (but not suggest cube decisions).
  • In other situations where the Box ends up only playing against the active players on the other table, the game(s) should usually be neutralized, i.e. no win no loss.
    • Because of this, if everyone on the other table doubles, you are strongly recommended to double with them. It usually makes sense to do so anyway, since you are going to be too busy to decide when to double subsequently.
    • Occasionally it may make sense to pause one game while the other is finished off, or appoint a proxy to roll out a short race.