Chouette Rules

The following are the local rules used by Backgammon ACT for playing chouette in the Club. Please note that these are not always strictly adhered to!

  1. Each player starting a chouette establishes the order of the play by rolling one dice. The person rolling the highest dice becomes the Box. The next highest is the Captain of the team and so on. Ties are resolved by re-rolling until a clear order is established.
  2. Each team member has their own cube.
  3. The Captain and the Box each roll one dice to start the game (as normal) and play proceeds as for a normal backgammon game (with exceptions noted below), including when a cube may be offered.
  4. Automatic doubles apply where the Captain and the Box both roll the same initial number.
  5. After the first automatic double, any others are at the discretion of the Box.
  6. The "Jacoby Rule" applies. That is, a gammon can only be claimed against a player if their cube has been offered or accepted.
  7. If a cube is accepted by an opponent it may be "beavered"; that is, the person accepting it may double the stakes in taking the cube. If the cube is beavered the originator has the option of re-doubling (a "racoon"), but the cube remains on the side of the acceptor.
  8. There is a limit of six in any chouette.
  9. New persons joining the chouette are at the discretion of the box.
  10. New persons joining the chouette after the start of a game go to the position in the team after the Box or Captain for that game (depending on who loses).
  11. The Captain of the team has the right to play all moves.
  12. Advice can only be given by those persons who have offered or accepted a cube (not an automatic cube) or where the captain asks for advice.
  13. Persons who have been dropped, or other spectators, are not permitted to offer advice under any circumstances.
  14. Where possible the box must take the captain's cube if they offer it. The exception is where the box has already accepted cubes from other members of the team, and the captain offers their cube at a later stage.
  15. If the box cubes all of the team and only one member decides to take, then they MUST beaver the cube.
  16. The box must give each player adequate opportunity to offer the cube. Once the box has accepted or rejected the cube, however, no offers can be made by other players until the following throw.
  17. If a player leaves the playing area, they must nominate someone to control their cube. If this does not occur, and the box offers the cube in the absence of that person, the cube is deemed to have been accepted (the box cannot, however, offer the cube only to the person who is absent). The cube of an absent player cannot be offered in their absence unless someone has been nominated to control that cube.
  18. To retain control of the game, the box must win the game and be at least even on money. If all opponents cube at the same time, the box must take sufficient cubes to ensure that they at least break even if they win. If taking only the captain, this cube must be beavered.
  19. If the captain's cube is dropped by the box, the next person in the team plays for the captain. If the team wins, the dropped captain takes the box. If the box wins the dropped captain goes to the bottom of the team as normal.
  20. If the captain rejects a double, the next person in the team becomes the captain, and the former captain goes to the bottom of the team.
  21. Even if the new captain (under Rule 20) loses they remain as captain for the next game. If the new captain wins then they become the box, and the former box goes to the bottom of the team.
  22. If a person leaves the chouette they should settle their account, unless they make an arrangement to be "frozen" or make other suitable arrangements.
  23. If the person in the box vacates the box for reasons other than having lost, the person next in line for the captaincy becomes the box and the next in line again becomes the captain.

Copyright © 1997
Revision 24 - 28 April 2013 - Simple fix to Rule 21 to correct the reference to Rule 20