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Old 07-19-2019, 03:05 AM
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Name a competitive activity humans engage in but never cheat at


This came up in the thread about cheating in chess. Someone said they were amazed that this appears so widespread then Xema said

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I think it would be hard to name a competitive activity humans engage in but never cheat at.
Any ideas Dope?
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:14 AM
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No such thing, given that there are humans who would cheat at breathing if they could figure out how.
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Old 07-19-2019, 04:57 AM
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Cheating? Because if you cheated at cheating you wouldn't be cheating

Honestly I don't know - even some of the most grassroots, ethically pure, no monetary reward sports will usually have some cheating bastard trying to get an edge.

This might be a stupid suggestion, given its reputation, but what about tournament poker? Grant me the reasonable assumption that the game is on the level (ie the house is not cheating), and the perhaps less reasonable assumption that no players are colluding with one another (not sure how much this goes on or what the impact of it is tbh), can you cheat your way to victory? I don't see how you could but perhaps there are ways.
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:19 AM
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It would have to be a contest in which the design makes it impossible (or nearly so) to cheat, like a spontaneous performance contest or something like that. That's why school teachers implement pop quizzes and have test proctors - to reduce the chance of cheating to as close to zero as possible.

But if it's possible to cheat, people will cheat. People have both cooperative and competitive instincts. I would submit that cheating is an inherent product of competition, and in competition, people inevitably try to gain an edge. Cheating describes a situation in which "gaining an edge" violates either rules or conventions of fair play.
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:56 AM
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Honestly I don't know - even some of the most grassroots, ethically pure, no monetary reward sports will usually have some cheating bastard trying to get an edge.
Correct. I have personally witnessed someone cheating in a friendly game of croquet, for example. It's very rare, but "never" is a tough bar to clear.

Quote:
This might be a stupid suggestion, given its reputation, but what about tournament poker? Grant me the reasonable assumption that the game is on the level (ie the house is not cheating), and the perhaps less reasonable assumption that no players are colluding with one another (not sure how much this goes on or what the impact of it is tbh), can you cheat your way to victory? I don't see how you could but perhaps there are ways.
I don't think it's a stupid suggestion, but there are ways to gain an unfair advantage (aka cheating). As you say, collusion is probably the most common. The most obvious way to do this is to never bet against your collaborator, thus decreasing both of your chances of being knocked out of the tournament. Even if just 2 friends get to the final table, it can have a significant effect. That's why all (I believe) tournaments have some kind of "no 'soft' playing" rule. Simplest example is if all the cards are out and you have an unbeatable hand ('the nuts' in the parlance), if your opponent checks (i.e. does not make a bet), on your turn you must make a bet of some kind. The reason being, in this position you cannot possibly do worse by betting (if they fold, you win the same amount, if they call or raise you are going to win more). If you don't bet, you will likely be sanctioned on suspicion that you are trying to help the other player(s) cut their losses.
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:31 AM
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Hot-dog eating contest?
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:36 AM
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Hot-dog eating contest?
Funnily enough, Kobayahi just accused Joey Chestnut of being a cheater.

Anyway, the only way you could have a competition with no cheating would be if you invented a competition with no rules whatsoever. Add even a single rule and somebody will find a way or reason to break it.

Last edited by Johnny Bravo; 07-19-2019 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:37 AM
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:57 AM
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John Steinbeck in Sweet Thursday claimed it was impossible to cheat in chess - the players know the game and the board so well that an attempt to fiddle with the board or swipe a piece would immediately be noticed.
Of course, he was writing pre-computers-in-the-toilet days. I guess you could have said 'I need a toilet break' and go and read a book or talk with your clever mate. (In fact, in serious chess, like say, World Champs, they used to have breaks after about 2 hours or so, and the players would spend the time analysing the current position and playing through some scenarios with their team members - trainers etc. It wasn't uncommon for players to come back from a break and immediately resign if the analysis had shown their position was doomed if their opponent started some certain combinations - indicating they had also found the same solution).

Any sport or game is open to cheating. Here's a thought - there are some basic skills you can learn about throwing a pair of dice to increase or decrease the odds of various numbers coming up. If someone was doing that in say, Monopoly, - would that be cheating? Or is it a valid skill? (And before you go to the next question, the casinos know all about this - hence rules about how you must throw, and they are watching very closely anyway).

Last edited by Wallaby; 07-19-2019 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:59 AM
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I'm trying to think of a contest where cheating is impossible. Sorta like... when I was a kid, and my brother and I both wanted the last piece of meat/cake/whatever at dinner, my parents would decree that one of us would divide the remaining portion, but the other would pick first. at his was a simple and effective way to prevent disputes. So, is there a game that works on the same principle, where if you try to cheat you only give an advantage to your opponent?
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:01 AM
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Here's a thought - there are some basic skills you can learn about throwing a pair of dice to increase or decrease the odds of various numbers coming up.
Wait, what? There are? I'd like to learn more about that.
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:15 AM
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Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock?

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Old 07-19-2019, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Defensive Indifference View Post
I'm trying to think of a contest where cheating is impossible. Sorta like... when I was a kid, and my brother and I both wanted the last piece of meat/cake/whatever at dinner, my parents would decree that one of us would divide the remaining portion, but the other would pick first. at his was a simple and effective way to prevent disputes. So, is there a game that works on the same principle, where if you try to cheat you only give an advantage to your opponent?
That's not a game, it's a system.
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:34 AM
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That's not a game, it's a system.
I know it's not a game. That's why I suggested a "game that works on the same principle."
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:46 AM
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I know it's not a game. That's why I suggested a "game that works on the same principle."
OK. So, no, there isn't one.
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:51 AM
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War. There is no cheating in war, because there are no rules in war.

Nor in knife-fights.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:01 AM
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The Game.
You guys just lost it, BTW.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:06 AM
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War. There is no cheating in war, because there are no rules in war.

Nor in knife-fights.
Oh yeah. Someone had to say it.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:07 AM
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Funnily enough, Kobayahi just accused Joey Chestnut of being a cheater.

Anyway, the only way you could have a competition with no cheating would be if you invented a competition with no rules whatsoever. Add even a single rule and somebody will find a way or reason to break it.
You mean like Calvinball?
The only rule is any rule you make up can only be used once and never again.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:10 AM
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The biggest competition of all: Staying alive.

Thus, the old adage, "You can't cheat death."
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:16 AM
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But competitive staying-alive means trying to live longer than someone else. And maybe there are no rules against extending your own lifespan, but there generally are rules against shortening someone else's.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:22 AM
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NASCAR people say if you are not cheating, you are not winning. Cheating was big in NASCAR , it still exists but it is a lot harder now.
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:23 AM
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I'm trying to think of how someone could cheat at target shooting or trap shooting. Any ideas?
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:46 AM
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I'm trying to think of how someone could cheat at target shooting or trap shooting. Any ideas?
In shooting, reduced anxiety, low blood pressure and a slow heart rate are advantages. Some shooters have tried doping with beta blockers and the like. Noth Korean athlete Kim Jong-su was stripped of two medals at the 2008 Olympics for doping with propranolol.
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Old 07-19-2019, 11:05 AM
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I'm trying to think of a contest where cheating is impossible. Sorta like... when I was a kid, and my brother and I both wanted the last piece of meat/cake/whatever at dinner, my parents would decree that one of us would divide the remaining portion, but the other would pick first. at his was a simple and effective way to prevent disputes. So, is there a game that works on the same principle, where if you try to cheat you only give an advantage to your opponent?
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OK. So, no, there isn't one.
I can't remember a specific one, but I'm pretty sure there a board games that have similar mechanics. Of course, it's not really cheating on the part of the first player to "stack the desk" if that's part of the rules.
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Old 07-19-2019, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defensive Indifference View Post
I'm trying to think of a contest where cheating is impossible. Sorta like... when I was a kid, and my brother and I both wanted the last piece of meat/cake/whatever at dinner, my parents would decree that one of us would divide the remaining portion, but the other would pick first. at his was a simple and effective way to prevent disputes. So, is there a game that works on the same principle, where if you try to cheat you only give an advantage to your opponent?
That's not a game, it's a system.
Oh, it's a game.

Imagine a piece of cake with frosting. Me and my sister have to divide it. I hate frosting and my sister loves it. Ideally for me, I'd cut the cake so that she gets all the frosting and I get all the cake. But she doesn't want just frosting, she needs some cake to give each bite texture. So the game is how much cake do I need to give her for her to take the frosted part instead of screwing us both?

Is it possible to cheat in this game? It depends on the details of the rules. Can I disguise the division so that my sister doesn't correctly value each part? Can I play head games with her so that she changes her valuation of each part? Can I do I switcheroo between the parts?
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Old 07-19-2019, 11:17 AM
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OK. So, no, there isn't one.
The knife-throwing game of Territory is actually a little like what Defensive Indifference described.

You have a rectangle marked out on the dirt. One player divides it in two by cutting a line in the middle with the knife (this is assuming you have two players; you can play with more than two but that just makes this discussion more complicated). The other player chooses which territory he or she would like, presumably the one s/he thinks is bigger.

Then you take turns standing in your own territory and throwing the knife into the other player's territory. If it sticks you then continue the cut at the angle of the knife to split that territory into two parts. The "victim" chooses which part to keep; the thrower annexes the rest. Keep going until someone no longer can stand in his/her remaining territory to throw the knife.

In the dividing-the-territory part of the game it is possible to cheat by cutting the line at the wrong angle. It is also possible to cheat in other ways. Don't ask me how I know.

(Yes, if you get good at knife-throwing the game becomes kind of pointless as you keep carving out and then losing equal-sized chunks of territory. My friends and I never got that good, though...)
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Old 07-19-2019, 11:46 AM
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I posted in the original thread that I don’t think it’s possible to cheat at tic-tac-toe. It’s also a game that should end in a draw if both sides have any experience at all in the game and aren’t losing voluntarily.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:07 PM
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I saw a kid cheat in tic-tac-toe just the other day. Their opponent got up to get a drink, and they swapped an X with an O on the board.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:42 PM
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For target shooting of any sort, is the equipment regulated? Is it possible to get a higher-tech gun that's more accurate than your opponent's (but disguised as an allowed gun)?

Even if not, there's the possibility of sneaking in to where your opponent's gun is stored, and subtly sabotaging their weapon (bending the sights, maybe).
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:42 PM
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I'm trying to think of how someone could cheat at target shooting or trap shooting. Any ideas?
You can cheat at trap or at a turkey shoot by using non standard shells with more pellets. It's been done but hard to get away with it as the shells are supplied by the organizers.

You can also cheat at turkey shoots by having a shotgun bored tighter then the diameter of a full choke. Usually policed by the shooters themselves who will call for a plug check. A plug of the legal diameter must be able to pass into the end of the barrel. So there have been shooters who commission very expensive barrels with the choke way down the barrel so the plug will not reach.

Dennis
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:51 PM
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For target shooting of any sort, is the equipment regulated? Is it possible to get a higher-tech gun that's more accurate than your opponent's (but disguised as an allowed gun)?

Even if not, there's the possibility of sneaking in to where your opponent's gun is stored, and subtly sabotaging their weapon (bending the sights, maybe).
Yes the guns are regulated but it would be easy to spot. About the only cheating I can think of is to use lower power cartridges for less recoil, fast followup shots. This is for events where power factors are specified.

We once had a novice shooter who used a laser sight for practical shooting. We allowed them but no one used them. So several guys brought laser pointers and at the next match the shooter saw 3 or 4 red dots on each target... too funny.

If you could get at a competitor's ammo you could slip in a cartridge that was noticeably weak or strong. This would be very disconcerting to the shooter and put doubt in his mind as to how he loaded the ammo.

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Old 07-19-2019, 12:58 PM
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For target shooting of any sort, is the equipment regulated? Is it possible to get a higher-tech gun that's more accurate than your opponent's (but disguised as an allowed gun)?
For national level Garand matches where everyone uses an as-issued M1 Garand rifle you are not allowed any match grade parts. This is impossible to see unless the rifle is taken apart. And that is just what they do to the top finishers, you surrender your rifle to the armorers.

My Garand came as I received it from the Army with a match grade operating rod and I had to switch it out to shoot at Camp Perry.

Dennis
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:25 PM
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I think it's impossible to cheat at the SDMB's Death Pool.
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:34 PM
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I think it's impossible to cheat at the SDMB's Death Pool.

Of course it is. All you need is access to the post database to be able to stealthily edit your past picks. It's not like anybody's going to remember them a year down the line ; and even if they do who are the organizers going to believe : the guy swearing up and down no you fucking did NOT have Abe Vigoda, or their own lying eyes ?
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:42 PM
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There's a difference between "difficult" and "impossible".

There's also a difference between "difficult to cheat" and "difficult to get away with cheating".

If someone actually did bring a match-grade rifle to a Garand meet, and the other competitors said "Hey, he's cheating!", would his response be "No, cheating's not possible"?
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:06 PM
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The film Highway 61 has a scene in which Satan wins all the prizes at a church bingo night, and a lady sulkily mutters that he cheated.
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Lady, you can't cheat at bingo. If you could, I would, but you can't. I won because I was lucky - lucky to wind up in a town full of losers.
He drops the macrame plant holder he won in the garbage and walks out of their lives.

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Old 07-19-2019, 02:12 PM
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I saw a kid cheat in tic-tac-toe just the other day. Their opponent got up to get a drink, and they swapped an X with an O on the board.
How do you “swap” an X and an O? If they’re not writing it on paper it’s not a real game.

And that trick won’t work if you’re paying any kind of attention at all. This pretty much falls under the “letting your opponent win” disclaimer I gave before.
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:26 PM
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They were playing with a plastic tic-tac-toe set. With pen and paper you could maybe overwrite a mark, or swap in a different paper or something like that.

Or, I suppose you could use a solver on your phone to tell you the best moves to make. It would be the same type of cheating as the chess story.
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:35 PM
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I posted in the original thread that I don’t think it’s possible to cheat at tic-tac-toe. It’s also a game that should end in a draw if both sides have any experience at all in the game and aren’t losing voluntarily.
Tic-tac-toe is a zero-sum game - that means that if both sides play optimally it will always end in a draw. In that situation, I don't see how we can reasonably call it a 'competitive activity' per the OP. It's a flowchart with a foregone conclusion.

If the odds of winning and losing are both 0%, you aren't competing at all.
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:40 PM
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Tic-tac-toe is a zero-sum game - that means that if both sides play optimally it will always end in a draw. In that situation, I don't see how we can reasonably call it a 'competitive activity' per the OP. It's a flowchart with a foregone conclusion.

If the odds of winning and losing are both 0%, you aren't competing at all.
That’s a very fair point.
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:48 PM
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Tic-tac-toe is a zero-sum game - that means that if both sides play optimally it will always end in a draw. In that situation, I don't see how we can reasonably call it a 'competitive activity' per the OP. It's a flowchart with a foregone conclusion.

If the odds of winning and losing are both 0%, you aren't competing at all.
Checkers is also a draw with best play, and so is chess (probably). If computer cheating is possible in chess, then it is also in tic-tac-toe, at least for a player who hasn't memorized the optimal play.
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:33 PM
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Living the longest.
Recently the late Jeanne Calment was alleged to have done exactly this.
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Old 07-19-2019, 04:30 PM
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I think it's impossible to cheat at the SDMB's Death Pool.
If you kill one of your picks, you're cheating. And committing murder.
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:27 PM
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The Game.
You guys just lost it, BTW.
Not till after you lost it!
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:02 PM
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If you kill one of your picks, you're cheating. And committing murder.

I think we can all agree that the former is much more morally reprehensible than the latter.
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:20 PM
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Wait, what? There are? I'd like to learn more about that.
I don't think there are any skills such as 'I will now throw a 5 and a 3'. All you can do is increase your chances of certain number totals coming up. To use a trivial example, I could hold the dice with 2 6's uppermost - then, if I could drop the dice from a height of 1mm, I've got a pretty good chance (of course, this would attract the attention of your fellow players immediately, leading to repercussions ranging from gentle ribbing to getting your thumbs broken).

There's a fairly basic one that involves stacking the two dice vertically in your hand and throwing the stack so that it stays in a vertical orientation in the air. This "should" (YMMV) increase the chance of the uppermost face on the bottom die remining uppermost on the table after landing. So you could orient the dice for a 6 or 1 on the top face of the bottom die to increase the chances of a higher- or lower-combination.

You's probably get away with it once or twice in a friendly game (maybe when someone is getting the nibbles) - more than that and it would be pretty noticeable.

There's a thousand youtubes of people showing this and far more complex throws. Casinos generally do not care if you try to do these - they have the rules about bouncing off multiple walls which will ruin your careful placement of the dice in your hand. Nevertheless, they do watch the throwers and will 'have a chat' if they think people are spending a bit too much orienting the dice in their hand etc.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:04 PM
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Interesting. Thanks!
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Old 07-25-2019, 09:47 AM
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Living the longest.


There are several thousand Japanese people who would like to dispute this.


https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...arians-records
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:24 PM
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In what way are they cheating?
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