I have gotten several complaints from players who tell me their opponent claims to have accidentally declined a game on which the first and only move was a huge BINGO (all letters used). I have always encouraged these players to take the high road and agree to start over. However, I get this complaint quite regularly now, and I think some players might be using the Decline button as a way to get out of a game that began with a huge lead for their opponent.
Since we never know a person’s motives for a decline (or whether there was any motive at all), we can’t assume that unfair advantage is always at heart. Regardless, there has to be some protection for players who have great openers. This will probably be address through a rule change. Here’s what I’m considering…
RULE: If a player declines the game at any point, the declined player has choice of the following options:
- Claim the declined game as an automatic victory.
- Agree to play a new game while observing a handicap (equal to the lead in the declined game) in favor of the aggrieved player.
- Agree to play a new game with no handicap.
With this rule in place, we might be a little more careful around that “Decline” button.
By the way, the “Resign” button can be used similarly in games that aren’t going so well.
Another potential ruse: “I don’t see your game, or I can’t accept challenges, so I always need to make the first move.” This last one is easily defeated because that player can always pass the first move.
Ah, so many ways to gain unfair advantage. Where to begin?