Swing rules

These are the rules we use for the Swing tournaments. We added anteing up when a player gets eliminated from the tournament to speed it up but otherwise the rules should be pretty close to GammonEmpire swing tournaments.

Swing rules

  • Entry fee gives you 12 chips (manual swing tournaments, automated web tool ones can have the amount set per tournament)
  • Jacoby
  • No Automatics
  • Preferred ending (see below) + Speed up ending
  • One match at a time (means finished matches are recorded in order, several matches can be in progress at the same time of course)
  • When a match ends its result is recorded and a new opponent is immediately assigned (if possible),
    i.e. even if another match ends during assignment the first result is processed entirely first
  • Match results must be recorded immediately (not after a toilet break)
  • Starting ante = 1
  • Ante goes up by 1 every time an opponent drops (or every new match if the finale)
  • Ante goes up by 1 every 15 minutes (manual swing tournaments, automated web tool ones can be set per tournament)
  • In a manual tournament a clock is used for ante ups and optional tour breaks are held as needed and the clock is paused
  • In an automated tournament, once an ante up is scheduled, the clock is not reset for a new ante up until someone *completes/posts* a match (i.e. the ante up time is not as “fixed” – in a normally progressing tour it will effectively be the roundtime as matches complete fast – however, if a tour “pauses” due to lunch or whatever, the clock also holds as there is little point advancing the clock if everyone is taking a break)
  • When using the Swingtool , whatever the Swingtool assigns as opponents is what is to be used. Even if it would not match the rules here. This is just to make sure tournaments can continue instead of people fighting in case something is updated and not reflected in all documentation immediately.
  • Ante does not change for a match in progress
  • All-in active (i.e. if you have less chips than required to offer/take a cube you go in with as much as you have and can also only win as much)
  • Players leaving the tournament (i.e going home) will continue to lose starting chips of each match they will play until they are eliminated (theorethically a player could thus even return). This also handles major breaks (like half an hour, agree beforehand that you will forfeit until you return). Not being available for an entire round (15 minutes) would be considered extremely bad behaviour (and at that point other players may vote you a “leaving player”, i.e. your forfeits begin).

Player assignment:

  • Starting assignment according to dice rolls or whatever suitable method and after that matches get resolved one by one and the rules below apply.
  • Of the unassigned players the chip leader and the chip loser are assigned against each other first (repeat for the remaining players if possible, then record the next match result (in order, ONE at a time)). The chip leader is determined once another match has ended, i.e. the chip leader when players are waiting is irrelevant.
  • Two players that played against each other in the previous round cannot play again (until the finale), this means on occasion the chip loser has to sit out.
  • If the chip leaders tie the chip leader is the player who was chip leader the previous round.
  • If the chip losers tie the chip loser is the player who was chip loser the previous round.
  • If chip leader/loser ties cannot be resolved looking one round back, whoever is first in the list is selected in manual tournaments and randomly in automated tournaments.

Note: “round” means looking back at previous chips one round earlier. Some players might have played lots of matches more than other players so there is no actual round in a swing tournament except for stake/time purposes.

Originally optional rules (but recommended and nowadays already default rules – using either one is usually sufficient, using both means everyone does not have to wait in a 1 vs 119 chip position – we will just play another tournament instead):

Preferred ending: Once only two players remain the tournament ends according to current status once the finale chip loser loses his first match. This speeds up the finale immensely and gives the chip leader a (slight) advantage which is fair anyway. In practice this means the chip trailer always doubles (and the leader has an option to take) and the finale is concluded as soon as the initial chip loser gains enough chips to “survive” one match and still remain chip leader, unless there is a tie.

Speed up ending: Once only two players remain a maximum of three matches are played after which the tournament is adjudicated according to current status, unless there is a tie.

Both these cases may result in a tie situation. If so, the swing assign one more game as that will determine the winner properly.

In a 3 match finale a 4th game is the obvious solution.
In the scenario where the chip loser got more chips in the initial games(s) and then lost with both ending up with the same amount of chips… Now, as the chip loser obviously won the previous game and became the current chip leader one could technically say that the original chip loser won the tournament. This is how ties are resolved in assignments, looking back at the previous game for who was the chip leader among the two players. For a finale, this is not strong enough argumentation so the clean way to resolve it is to play one more game.

Play time:
We have tested with 10/15/20 chips earlier but for some reason 12 seems quite good for most player amounts. Around 6-12 players in a tournament can be expected to have one tour running 2-3h using a 15 minute ante up.

Manual bookkeeping:
It’s definitely preferable to use the Swing tournament tool for tournament bookkeeping (but that means registering your Eskgammon players – this is however the goal for any serious Eskgammon money tournaments). However, if you don’t have a laptop or tablet (or even smart phone) available, recording the tournament manually and entering it into the Swing tournament tool later (for statistics purposes) is perfectly ok. Look at the picture below to see how a tournament in progress would look like. Here are some tips on how to do it as it’s not simple to enter a tournament later if the games aren’t recorded in order.

Setting up players and choosing chip amount etc is trivial.
Each assigned match should be given some identification (A+A, B+B). Since match completion order is crucial it is almost impossible to reconstruct a tournament without this information (or having a huge amount of luck entering matches in the correct order). The letters of the alphabet are usually enough for 4-8 player tournaments.
Record current stakes as 1, 2, 3 etc below the main sheet. I would recommend having a timer on repeat and adding the times when the timer fires OR a player is eliminated. While recording the times isn’t necessary it will give you a better picture of how fast a swing tournament really progresses, regardless of the amount of players.


Swing tournament example (manual tournament)

Please note a manual tournament that will get recorded online later looks rather messy because of the letters assigned to know who played who in which order. Without later recording chip amounts only makes it a very clean sheet. The online tool is of course the best tournament handler.

If you want to use the above yourself here is an Excel version:

Change log (more popular means we have to do this right):

2018.10.06 It took almost 10 years to get our first tie in a finale. Ties now force another final game.
Player leaving tournament added. Endings used added to default format.
2016.12.22 All instances of the word “game” changed to “match” (just a few). Swing tournaments work best as money games. However, with less chips 3p or 5p matches could also be played. However, as tournaments would drag on forever even with 4 chips I would suggest an additional MATCH cube is added when playing. i.e., in addition to having the 3p match cubed as normally another cube would be added that determines the stake of the match. It would be distinct from the cube used in the match and switch from one player to the other just as a cube normally does. While it might be faster to have the match cube also double stakes it might create unforseen problems. In any case, the thought of playing #p matches is added mainly for IBA purposes and has never been tested in practice.
2017.01.03 Added a picture of how a manual tournament would look (bookkeeping).
2018.08.26 Made some improvements to the swing tool the past two years, pretty rock solid by now with all rules and optional endings coded in. Added swingtool assignments being used even if the swingtool contains a bug. After 5 years of bugfree assignments, adding the two optional rules actually had a tie resolved wrong. Maybe some new additions in the future will break something, no one is perfect after all.