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Tournament Etiquette?

Pretty sure there are free chess clock apps available for most flavours of smartphone…


I would assume so? But I don’t actually know how chess clocks work at all.

I believe right now, the rules are if your time runs out, your turn ends wherever it was. Then, the player with time left gets all their remaining time to take one more turn, and whoever has higher base health is the winner? Or they can take turns ad infinitum with whatever remaining time they have? @Leontes can you clarify?

It is clearly not that, else if I am winning, I would just let my time run out making you only have 1 turn left.

Not everybody have a cellphone (yes, unbelievable) and it require everybody to have their cellphone fully charged and able to handle a full day of usage.

In Magic Online, if your time runs out you lose.

Independent of other topics, but still on-topic for the thread in general:

It seems important to have both players shuffle each deck every time it gets shuffled. It’s trivially easy to track 1-3 cards while shuffling a ~10 card deck, and ensure they end up toegther / separated, and I’m sure an expert could take a stack of 10 cards, mix them up with repeated mash/riffle shuffles, and have them end up in whatever order is desired, due to the small number of cards involved. Since it’s also easy to stack the deck such that, for example, one of a pair of teched cards appears at about card #3, and the other appears at about card #7, just cutting the opponent’s deck isn’t sufficient.


This is an excellent point. Most MtG cheating is from deck stacking, and this is with a 60-100 card deck. For a ten-card deck, this is child’s play for even an amateur at card tricks.

Maybe a serious (i.e. cash & prizes) Codex Tournament would need some kind of deck-shuffling machine? If you think that’s absurd, apply the Million Dollar Test (What would people due to win a tournament with a Million Dollar cash prize?)

Of course, a digital version makes both the time and shuffling issues essentially a non-factor.


Are any of the either automatic or manual card shufflers even good?

And perhaps more importantly, can any of them handle sleeved cards?

Speaking as someone who does not go to card game tournaments:

I can see why riffling someone else’s cards could be an etiquette issue, but would there be any reason to object to your opponent given your cards a quick overhand shuffle or something? A player might still be able to track where some of their cards are in the stack, but it’d help address deck fixing.

Just find a homeless person and pay them to shuffle for both of you. If you pay enough, you don’t even need to worry about tech timings!

If you don’t have a cellphone, you’re very welcome to bring a chess clock. And yes, it does require some preparation on your part. But this thread is about tournaments, isn’t it?

In a game tournament, you are not expected to bring anything but the game material required to play. Cellphone and chessclock are outside of the game material. It is like requiring players to bring their own chair and tables to be able to play.

I would assume that chess clocks on phones are able to handle 2 players? So that one phone for each match should work fine.

Or possibly have tournaments go to the effort of having 5-10 extra chess clocks for those without phones to handle it? Cheap ones on amazon

I’m not sure what your background is, or how much experience you have playing card game tournaments, but this is just not true. MtG tournaments require both players to bring something to track their life with, and almost all players will bring a notepad with them to make notes during the game. Many other tournaments require you to bring something similar. Table and Chairs? Really? Hyperbole much?


Tracking life in magic is part of the game.

The tables and chairs comparison is valid actually. Can you imagine holding a card game tournament that didn’t have any tables and chairs? This isn’t a joke btw, you really do need tables and chairs for a card game tournament. It’s a basic necessity. Just like if you went to a fighting game tournament, you need electrical outlets, power cables, game consoles, televisions, and hdmi cables. It’s the tournament organizer’s responsibility to make sure the event has the basic things it needs. Often, tournament organizers ask players ahead of time if they can bring various materials and items to make it easier, which is fine.

And by the way, you pretty much are expected to bring a controller to a fighting game tournament. I mean yeah sometimes you can get a loaner, but it’s standard practice to bring your own. Just as it’s standard practice to bring your own life tracking device in MtG. Whether a tournament organizer provides chess clocks, or tells players to bring their own, or tells players to use digital ones on their phones is up to the tournament organizer and how they want to run it.

So the rule is yeah you need chess clocks because if you don’t have them, one player can take really long which is unfair to the other player. This (predictably) happened when we first ran tournaments for Codex, and even giving “stern warnings” didn’t really help the situation. Chess clocks are infeasible in MtG due to passing priority like 100 times per turn and microsteps, but it’s entirely feasible in Codex. “But a player can’t be expected to bring a chess clock” is not a reason that the official tournament guidelines should omit them.


The basic cost to be able to enter a Codex tournament is $50 for the starter set. More if you want to play something other than red/green.

The cost of a physical chess clock is like $15-$20 on Amazon. There are also free chess clock smartphone apps, and smartphone penetration is now 85-90% in the US for 13-44 year olds (the group most likely to enter a tournament). Probably higher in the subset of people who can afford to spend $50+ on a card game.

So, it seems safe to assume that pretty much anyone who can afford Codex can also afford to get a chess clock (physical or smartphone app). I get that adding costs is not ideal, but this seems like a minimal additional burden burden if any.


Absolute worst case scenario, you could just split the cost of investing in some chess clocks across the first tournament’s entry fees or something.

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