A player uses or offers to use a method that is not part of the current game (including actions not legal in the current game) to determine the outcome of a game or match.
As a result, even just offering to use an outside-the-game-method (or an illegal action within the game) falls into this infraction.
The opponent no longer is expected to call a judge, if they receive an offer.
You are also prohibited from trying to trick your opponent into making an offer to improperly determine a winner. Saying something like “Oh no. If we draw it is bad for both of us, if only there was something we could do” is prohibited.
Note: While the association with gambling factors into the reason the penalty is a Match Loss (or DQ), please keep in mind that when explaining the penalty to players, they aren’t going to care about that part of the justification. You should focus on how rolling undermines the game and the fairness to other players
If the player was aware that what they were doing was against the rules, the infraction is Unsporting Conduct – Cheating
We still want to treat this infraction seriously, but we do not want to DQ players who genuinely did not know this was illegal. At local stores where rules are a bit more relaxed, players might not know. We still want to educate and correct, but a DQ is too extreme. However, if players know that they are not allowed to do this, then a DQ in appropriate. Additionally, knowing that offering to roll a dice is illegal, and deliberately trying to trick your opponent into making an offer so that you can win shows a level awareness of what you are doing is wrong. What are actions that are “not part of the current game”? The IPG provides some helpful examples:
We still want to treat this infraction seriously, but we do not want to DQ players who genuinely did not know this was illegal. At local stores where rules are a bit more relaxed, players might not know. We still want to educate and correct, but a DQ is too extreme. However, if players know that they are not allowed to do this, then a DQ in appropriate. Additionally, knowing that offering to roll a dice is illegal, and deliberately trying to trick your opponent into making an offer so that you can win shows a level awareness of what you are doing is wrong.
What are actions that are “not part of the current game”? The IPG provides some helpful examples:
- A. As time is called, two players about to draw roll a die to determine the winner.
- B. A player offers to flip a coin to determine the winner of a match.
- C. Two players arm wrestle to determine the winner of the match.
- D. Two players play rock-paper-scissors to decide if they should play the match or draw.
- E. Two players compare the converted mana costs of the top cards of their libraries to determine the winner of a game at the end of extra turns.
- F. Two players reveal cards from the top of their libraries to see “who would win” after extra turns.
- G. A player says “Oh no, we’re going to draw, that is terrible for us. If only there were something we could do about it.”
While using a random method like a die roll or coin toss is the most common example of an outside-the-game method, employing any method that isn’t the requisite game of Magic fits into this category. It doesn’t matter if the method is completely random (like a coin or die), has a physical component (arm wrestling), or is even another game entirely (like Tic-Tac-Toe or Yu-Gi-Oh). Another more controversial decision is for players to use “future cards” to determine who would win. At the end of a match, it is fine for players to use current board position to make a case of who should concede to whom; however, they must make a decision based on what they see. Players may reveal cards that they are legally entitled to see, such as their hands. They may not reveal cards that they are not entitled to see within the game, such as cards in libraries. It is not allowed to make an offer like “If I drew another land I would win. If my next card is a land, you scoop to me, else, I’ll scoop to you.”
Using an outside-the-game method to determine a winner compromises the integrity of the tournament.
As stated earlier, the results of Magic tournaments should be reached only through playing actual games of Magic. Doing otherwise compromises the integrity of the tournament. What does “compromise the integrity of the tournament” mean? It means we have games of Magic that are being determined by some method other than the Magic games the players are supposed to play, and that impacts the results of that match and the tournament as a whole. It affects other matches and other players’ standings in the event. Rolling a dice to determine the winner is playing the system, not playing the game.
Matches that result in a draw due to time are expected to be reported as such and are not excluded from this penalty if the players use an illegal method to determine the outcome.
Draws are a valid result for a Magic game. Trying to avoid a draw doesn’t give players an excuse to use an outside-the-game method to determine a winner.
That said, if a player asks their opponent to concede because they have an overwhelming board position when time is called, that is not Improperly Determining a Winner, because nothing outside the game has actually been introduced into the scenario. Of course, the opponent has every right to refuse, and in that case the match result will simply be determined normally.