I. PLAY TO WIN

Winning is the object of playing any game. Never set out to lose. If you do not play to win, you are cheating your opponents, deceiving those who are watching, and fooling yourself. Never give up against stronger opponents, but never relent against weaker ones. It is an insult to any opponent to play at less than full strength. Play to win, until the time is up.

 

II. PLAY FAIR

Winning is worthless if you win unfairly or dishonestly. Cheating is easy—that’s why we respect people who win fairly. Playing fair requires courage and character. It is also more satisfying. Remember: It’s only a game. And games are pointless unless played fairly.

Fair play also means respecting your opponents and their time. Without opponents there can be no game. They have the same rights you have. Help them out if they need it, answer questions honestly, and if you disagree on something, make your point briefly and respectfully. 

 

III. PLAY BY THE RULES

Make an effort to learn the rules, so you understand the game better. This makes you a better player. It is just as important to understand the spirit of the rules. They are designed to make the game fun to play and fun to watch. By understanding the rules thoroughly and sticking to them, you’ll enjoy the game more.

Judges and tournament organizers are there to maintain discipline, the integrity of the rules, and fair play. Always accept their decisions without arguing, and help them help you enjoy the game more. Officials are part of the game and must be respected accordingly.

 

IV. PLAY WITH GRACE

Nobody wins all the time. You win some, you lose some. Learn to lose graciously. Don’t seek excuses for defeat. Genuine reasons will always be self-evident—and if the reason is simply the dice, then you may blame the dice gods.

Congratulate the winners with good grace. Don’t blame the T.O., or anyone else. Determine to do better next time. Good losers earn more respect than bad winners.

Think of the community’s interests before your own. Think how your actions may affect the image of the game. Talk about the positive things in the game. Encourage other people to watch it or play it fairly. Help others to have as much fun from the games as you do. Be an ambassador for the game.

 

V. PLAY WITH INTEGRITY

Don’t be afraid to question anyone who you think is trying to cheat, or encourage cheating. Ensure the integrity of the game. It’s better to expose them and have them removed before they can do any damage. It often takes more courage to denounce what is wrong, than to go along with a dishonest plan. Honesty is admirable; complicity is not. Don’t just say No—clearly, fairly, and respectfully denounce people who are trying to spoil the game before another person says Yes.

Tabletop games have survived because the vast majority of people who love the game are honest and fair. Sometimes somebody does something exceptional that deserves our special recognition. They should be honoured and their fine example made public. This encourages others to act in the same way. Help promote the image of tabletop games by sharing the good deeds you see.