Sections and or phrases in brackets  are irrelevant to computer
Initial Set of Rules (Current as of: 26 November 2000)
101. All players must always abide by all the rules then in effect,
in the form in which they are then in effect. The rules in the Initial
Set are in effect whenever a game begins. The Initial Set consists of Rules
101-116 (immutable) and 201-213 (mutable).
102. Initially rules in the 100's are immutable and rules in the 200's
are mutable. Rules subsequently enacted or transmuted (that is, changed
from immutable to mutable or vice versa) may be immutable or mutable regardless
of their numbers, and rules in the Initial Set may be transmuted regardless
of their numbers.
103. A rule-change is any of the following: (1) the enactment, repeal,
or amendment of a mutable rule; (2) the enactment, repeal, or amendment
of an amendment of a mutable rule; or (3) the transmutation of an immutable
rule into a mutable rule or vice versa.
(Note: This definition implies that, at least initially, all new rules
are mutable; immutable rules, as long as they are immutable, may not be
amended or repealed; mutable rules, as long as they are mutable, may be
amended or repealed; any rule of any status may be transmuted; no rule
is absolutely immune to change.)
104. All rule-changes proposed in the proper way shall be voted on.
They will be adopted if and only if they receive the required number of
105. Every player is an eligible voter. Every eligible voter must participate
in every vote on rule-changes.
106. All proposed rule-changes shall be written down before they are
voted on. If they are adopted, they shall guide play in the form in which
they were voted on.
107. No rule-change may take effect earlier than the moment of the
completion of the vote that adopted it, even if its wording explicitly
states otherwise. No rule-change may have retroactive application.
108. Each proposed rule-change shall be given a number for reference.
The numbers shall begin with 301, and each rule-change proposed in the
proper way shall receive the next successive integer, whether or not the
proposal is adopted.
If a rule is repealed and reenacted, it receives the number of the proposal
to reenact it. If a rule is amended or transmuted, it receives the number
of the proposal to amend or transmute it. If an amendment is amended or
repealed, the entire rule of which it is a part receives the number of
the proposal to amend or repeal the amendment.
109. Rule-changes that transmute immutable rules into mutable rules
may be adopted if and only if the vote is unanimous among the eligible
voters. Transmutation shall not be implied, but must be stated explicitly
in a proposal to take effect.
110. In a conflict between a mutable and an immutable rule, the immutable
rule takes precedence and the mutable rule shall be entirely void. For
the purposes of this rule a proposal to transmute an immutable rule does
not "conflict" with that immutable rule.
111. If a rule-change as proposed is unclear, ambiguous, paradoxical,
or destructive of play, or if it arguably consists of two or more rule-changes
compounded or is an amendment that makes no difference, or if it is otherwise
of questionable value, then the other players may suggest amendments or
argue against the proposal before the vote. A reasonable time must be allowed
for this debate. The proponent decides the final form in which the proposal
is to be voted on and, unless the Judge has been asked to do so, also decides
the time to end debate and vote.
112. The state of affairs that constitutes winning may not be altered
from achieving n points to any other state of affairs. The magnitude of
n and the means of earning points may be changed, and rules that establish
a winner when play cannot continue may be enacted and (while they are mutable)
be amended or repealed.
113. A player always has the option to forfeit the game rather than
continue to play or incur a game penalty. No penalty worse than losing,
in the judgment of the player to incur it, may be imposed.
114. There must always be at least one mutable rule. The adoption of
rule-changes must never become completely impermissible.
115. Rule-changes that affect rules needed to allow or apply rule-changes
are as permissible as other rule-changes. Even rule-changes that amend
or repeal their own authority are permissible. No rule-change or type of
move is impermissible solely on account of the self-reference or self-application
of a rule.
116. Whatever is not prohibited or regulated by a rule is permitted
and unregulated, with the sole exception of changing the rules, which is
permitted only when a rule or set of rules explicitly or implicitly permits
201. Players shall alternate [in clockwise order,] taking one
whole turn apiece. Turns may not be skipped or passed, and parts of turns
may not be omitted. All players begin with zero points.
[In mail and computer games,] players shall alternate in alphabetical
order by surname.
202. One turn consists of two parts in this order: (1) proposing one
rule-change and having it voted on, and (2) [throwing one die once and
adding the number of points on its face to one's score. In mail and computer
games, instead of throwing a die,] players subtract 291 from the ordinal
number of their proposal and multiply the result by the fraction of favorable
votes it received, rounded to the nearest integer. (This yields a number
between 0 and 10 for the first player, with the upper limit increasing
by one each turn; more points are awarded for more popular proposals.)
203. A rule-change is adopted if and only if the vote is unanimous
among the eligible voters. If this rule is not amended by the end of the
second complete circuit of turns, it automatically changes to require only
a simple majority.
204. If and when rule-changes can be adopted without unanimity, the
players who vote against winning proposals shall receive 10 points each.
205. An adopted rule-change takes full effect at the moment of the
completion of the vote that adopted it.
206. When a proposed rule-change is defeated, the player who proposed
it loses 10 points.
207. Each player always has exactly one vote.
208. [The winner is the first player to achieve 100 (positive) points.
In mail and computer games,] the winner is the first player to achieve
200 (positive) points.
209. At no time may there be more than 25 mutable rules.
210. [Players may not conspire or consult on the making of future rule-changes
unless they are team-mates.
The first paragraph of this rule does not apply to games by mail or
211. If two or more mutable rules conflict with one another, or if
two or more immutable rules conflict with one another, then the rule with
the lowest ordinal number takes precedence.
If at least one of the rules in conflict explicitly says of itself that
it defers to another rule (or type of rule) or takes precedence over another
rule (or type of rule), then such provisions shall supersede the numerical
method for determining precedence.
If two or more rules claim to take precedence over one another or to
defer to one another, then the numerical method again governs.
212. If players disagree about the legality of a move or the interpretation
or application of a rule, then the player preceding the one moving is to
be the Judge and decide the question. Disagreement for the purposes of
this rule may be created by the insistence of any player. This process
is called invoking Judgment.
When Judgment has been invoked, the next player may not begin his or
her turn without the consent of a majority of the other players.
The Judge's Judgment may be overruled only by a unanimous vote of the
other players taken before the next turn is begun. If a Judge's Judgment
is overruled, then the player preceding the Judge in the playing order
becomes the new Judge for the question, and so on, except that no player
is to be Judge during his or her own turn or during the turn of a team-mate.
Unless a Judge is overruled, one Judge settles all questions arising
from the game until the next turn is begun, including questions as to his
or her own legitimacy and jurisdiction as Judge.
New Judges are not bound by the decisions of old Judges. New Judges
may, however, settle only those questions on which the players currently
disagree and that affect the completion of the turn in which Judgment was
invoked. All decisions by Judges shall be in accordance with all the rules
then in effect; but when the rules are silent, inconsistent, or unclear
on the point at issue, then the Judge shall consider game-custom and the
spirit of the game before applying other standards.
213. If the rules are changed so that further play is impossible, or
if the legality of a move cannot be determined with finality, or if by
the Judge's best reasoning, not overruled, a move appears equally legal
and illegal, then the first player unable to complete a turn is the winner.
This rule takes precedence over every other rule determining the winner.