What do you say when a game starts? General forum

41 replies. Last post: 2004-11-22

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What do you say when a game starts?
  • Hjallti at 2004-11-01

    I’ve been puzzled since I play online (1998, Itsyourturn) by the fact that people say ‘good luck’ as if they would want to have bad luck themselfes (in a head to head match, “good luck” for one players seems to be “bad luck” to the other...).

    I prefer, in English to say ‘enjoy the game’ or ‘have fun’. In Dutch it could be translated as ‘veel plezier’, in German ‘viel Spass’, in French as ‘Amuse-toi’ (ou ‘Amusez-vous’).

    In go the Japanese use to say something as ‘free your mind’ or ‘empty your mind’ if I’m right...

  • Ronald Lokers at 2004-11-01

    In my experience a lot of players don’t say anything at all... and I ashamed to admit that nowadays I often don’t as well.

  • Tasmanian Devil at 2004-11-01

    I agree Hjallti! I never say good luck to my opponents! :-) It’s OK to lose if my opponent plays better. But I certainly don’t want him/her to win by luck.

  • Fred Strauss at 2004-11-01

    I usually say "Enjoy the game"
    The japanese phrase is Onegaishimasu
    In games like backgammon (on other sites) good luck is appropriate, you wish the other person good fortune, because dice are involved. That doesn’t mean you don’t want good luck with the dice yourself :) In something like go, luck has nothing to do with it and wishing someone luck can even be considered an insult.

  • Crelo ★ at 2004-11-01

    I like “Have a nice game!”. This doesn’t imply any winner, only the satisfaction to play with all your will and mind.

  • Hjallti at 2004-11-01

    I don’t see how ‘good luck’ in backgammon can mean anything else then bad dice for your own, since the dice of both players can be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for each of the players.

  • Fred Strauss at 2004-11-01

    There is a certain amount of skill involved with backgammon, but you do get horrible dice rolls which you really can’t do anything good with. The less this happens for both players the more the game is about skill. I’m no backgammon pro though, that’s just an amateur’s take on it :)

    Having said that, good backgammon players are ones who have flexible strategies, they leave themselves in situations where they can do something good with just about any dice roll.

  • Jupp at 2004-11-01

    “Hi - let's have fun with a good game.” I like to say this. But one of the LG-players seems to be disturbed by this and reacted unpolite, calling this mechanical.

  • Fred Strauss at 2004-11-01

    Jupp: That person has already failed to play for fun :)

  • Jupp at 2004-11-01

    Fred, I did see it this way. ;)

  • Hjallti at 2004-11-01

    Fred, I reckon your explanation was supposed to answer my question, but I guess I didn’t make my point to clear, since your answer has nothing to do with my question.

    In my view it is strange to wish someone ‘good luck’ in a head-to-head game, like backgammon, go or any two player game, because ‘good luck’ for your opponent looks to me to be exactly ‘bad luck’ to yourself. (I’m aware that skill is important in backgammon).

  • Fred Strauss at 2004-11-01

    Hjallti: I was trying to explain that in the case of backgammon, your opponent getting good dice is not necesarily bad for you. Both players can get good dice. Bad dice for your opponent however takes away the need for skill on your side to win

  • Mikko Saari at 2004-11-01

    “Have a good game!” is my standard greeting. Sure, I wish to win, but winning is better when your opponent plays a good match. Winning because your opponent made a silly mistake is less fun – thus, I wish my opponent plays well and gives his or her best!

  • Hjallti at 2004-11-01

    Fred, If my opponent has good dice, I have ‘bad luck’ regardless if my throw just before or right after is good. I agree on your point that both can have ‘good dice’, but disagree on the fact both can have ‘good luck’. It seems to me that either you have good luck and he has bad luck, or both have almost the same luck, or he has good luck and you have bad luck. I don’t think an average amount of luck can be considered good luck.

  • Fred Strauss at 2004-11-01

    Hjallti: You agree that both players can have good dice but don’t think they can both have good luck? In my opinion the only element of luck in backgammon is the dice. Everything else is calculated risk and skill.

    But, like i said, this is the opinion of an amateur

  • Hjallti at 2004-11-01

    Hi Fred, I didn’t start this discussion to go deep into ‘luck’ issues, but I think you missed my point... Which being my point, could be utterly defective anyway, but I believe right now...

    I guess my main point is that the dice at a certain moment are for one player, but the luck involved is for both... you can be very lucky that your opponent throws 2-1 at the moment any other dice would finish the game, and any dice wins it for you next turn.... (or unlucky with 6-6 in the opposite case)...

    To simplify it the are 3 possibilities in every dice role (in fact there 21 different rolls, so 21 possibilities):

    1. good for the on-move player
    2. normal
    3. bad for the on-move player

    Case 1: good luck for the onmove player/ bad luck for the other player
    Case 2: neutral luck for both
    Case 3: bad luck/ good luck

    What I want to say is that in each move there are only dice for the onmove player, but there is luck for both involved. So wishing your opponent good luck means wishing yourself bad luck. Well anyway, that is the way I see it...

    Skill in backgammon (or StreetSoccer) involves trying to minimize case 1 for the opponent, and maximize it for yourself. (note that in both games 6-6 or 6, in general the best dice, can from time to time be very bad!) Putting it this way means that you wilfully try to create bad luck for your opponent, but that might be abusing the word ‘luck’.

  • xed_over at 2004-11-01

    I don’t believe its about the literal meaning of the words, but rather the intent of showing good sportsman like conduct to your opponent.

    We often use words and phrases that if taken literally could in fact mean the opposite of what we intend.

    This topic has been well covered in Dragon Go Server’s forum, and I personaly liked Bjørn’s initial response.

    Say what you wish, or don’t say anything, but enjoy the game.

  • FC Schalke 05 at 2004-11-01


    maybe You find a solution for Your problem if You don’t reduce “luck” to the dices. So “luck” can be a good time while playing – even if You have the worse dices. Having a good fight is good luck for both – and losing is necessary for having fun with wins.

  • Iluvatar at 2004-11-01

    I guess I say “Good luck” in 45% of the games, nothing at all in the other 45%. Then maybe the rest of the 10% I may say “Have fun” or “Hope we'll have a good game”. That’s a nice polite way to start a game. My friend introduced himself this way in a game: “How dare you challenge me... You know I'll kick your ass!” :-)

  • Hjallti at 2004-11-01

    I got drag in a deep discussion... sorry guys, I just wanted to get some perspective on this, and I started to pointlessly to discuss “luck”. I still feel for myself it is strange to wish someone “good luck” as opponent in a 2 player game, but that is only my point of view. I keep with hoping that we both have fun, and I express it that way.

  • Rune Berge at 2004-11-01

    The most satisfying wins (imho) are when you win even though the luck is with your opponent :)

  • Tasmanian Devil at 2004-11-01

    I find that the most satisfying wins are when my opponent is relatively strong (and should not need any extra luck).

  • Hjallti at 2004-11-02

    Sometimes a close loss (against Michael in Dots, or David J. Bush in hex) is more satisfying that a clear victory against a weaker player.

  • Abigail at 2004-11-02

    Many people here say they say “good luck” at the beginning of the game, but most of my opponents say “gl”. Which I find annoying; if you can’t be bothered to type out full words, don’t say anything at all. I keep quiet at the beginning of the game, and if I enjoyed the game, I thank my opponent for the game. But if I have an opponent that makes a habit of dragging out the games (for instance, taking more than a month to reach your first (auto)-bid of a GWG match) I don’t say anything.

  • ypercube ★ at 2004-11-02

    Yep. some ppl say gl and some answer gl 2u2!
    I’m sorry if some otehr find it annoying.
    But I sure like more other phrases like en guarde!

  • josh downer at 2004-11-02

    I used to wish people good luck before a game until someone took exception to it. I did not mean it literally but simply as a gesture of friendship before the game (much more fun playing with friendly people).

    As someone has already mentioned, it is probably best to believe that your partner is being polite in their own way and enjoy the game.

    Having said that, perhaps it would be more interesting and lively if people began their games saying something like, "You seem a decent fellow, I hate to kill you."



  • josh downer at 2004-11-02



    I just had a read of the debate on dragon. Interesting. Where I come from, we often say things a little differently. Sometimes this causes confusion. The classic expression would be to say “not bad” when you mean “good”. “good luck” could be interpreted as “I hope you don't have bad luck.” That is the way of my culture.

    Given that there are many cultures represented here, we are all bound to encounter expressions that appear odd. We may think that it is not something we would normally say. However, I believe it is better to give someone the benefit of the doubt; assume they are trying to be polite.

    I have also heard someone moan about people saying “thank you” at the end of game if he made a silly mistake. He assumed that they were thanking him for making a mistake. While the ambiguity in the statement is there, is it really worth getting upset about it?

  • Hjallti at 2004-11-03

    Well, Josh that is the first time I get a explanation making ‘good luck’ acceptable. (allthough in backgammon or soccer I do sometimes hope I get exactly the dice causing bad luck to my opponent).

    On the “thank you” issue, it startled me at first even the little less ambigue “thank you for the game” puzzled me once because if in our culture you would say this it would actually mean “thank you for giving away the game”.

    Anyway I always start with the idea that people try to be polite, and answer as such, but I will never answer ‘good luck for you too’. Anyway I started this tread to hear different things like “en guarde” !

  • Figilano at 2004-11-03

    I think it’s ok to wish the opponent “good luck” in any game, especially where dice are involved like in Street Soccer. Winning because your opponent has bad luck with the dice is not satisfying, as is loosing by rolling just 1s or 2s, so a game of Street Soccer where either side has bad luck with the dice is annoying for BOTH opponents.

    You can discuss the fact if “good luck” is an insult in games that are based on pure thought, as proved by this thread – but then again the sense of humor is different to every person, and a more “aggressive” - even if meant in a funny way – move like “en guarde”, “how can you dare challenging me?” or “I'll crush you!” is more likely to confuse people than the rather common “good luck”.

    Anyway, if this thread is about opening lines, let me try to get a few... thinkthinkthink

    “Mommy! I'm scared!” (if playing someone with a rating that’s more than 200 points higher than your own ;)

    “When we parted the last time, I was but the learner, but soon you will call me MASTER!” (if playing an opponent who won the last match)

    "May the force be with you"

    “IYDKMIGHTKY!” (for any Type O Fans out there)

    "Please refrain from throwing pieces or the board around if you are loosing. :

    "Let’s play this one serious – the winner will get 5 points and a higher rating, ok?"

    I usually send a message if I got the first move, as a sign of respect – if you don’t play loco-ai, you most likely play a human being, and humans communicate. ;-)

    If my opponent has the first move and doesn’t send a message, I rarely send one.

  • Hjallti at 2004-11-03

    I agree with the point that winning or losing due to (bad) luck is no fun. That is in fact exactly the reason I will NOT wish someone “good luck” in the beginning of the game (in this sentence I use “wishing good luck” in the narrow meaning of “hoping that the opponent has good luck” during the game).

    I can live with people wishing good luck in a broader sense, but I still get puzzled by it...

    It’s funny that people use the same argument to defend opposite points of view :-)

    In fact I would like to use “clear your mind” in GO if it wouldn’t be considered provocative by some. So I’ll stick to ‘enjoy the game’ or ‘have fun’.

  • Edward at 2004-11-04

    I Just say “ Lets go play and you will be a loser ! ”

  • Door1 at 2004-11-04

    Hmmmm, Now I’m going to be paranoid to say any remarks for fear that my opponent will badly interpret anything I say. I would have to also apoligize for saying “Good Luck”, for I just said this in the hex forum, when I only meant it as a coutesy to those still playing to wish them well. We need to be carefull how we interpret what other people say because we don’t know what they intend. I take anything said as better then nothing for nothing said seems to be rude. Now there I go interpreting what they meant by saying nothing :)

  • Hjallti at 2004-11-04

    Sometimes you are so focused on moving that I forget to answer in a nice conversation, it is rude but unintentionaly!

  • xed_over at 2004-11-04

    sometimes I’m so focused on the conversation, that I make a bad move in the game :(

  • Roel at 2004-11-06

    Sometimes I am so hasty that I play a bad move AND forget the conversation.

  • FC Schalke 05 at 2004-11-06

    And we all like the forth variation: Good moves and conversation! :)

  • Forza Azzurri at 2004-11-12

    I suppose the right thing to say is “may the better player win.” In which case you cover all bases, and wish neither good luck nor bad luck on anyone. But I feel that there may be people out there that may not wish to hear such a stark and too honest remark and take it as an insult. Of course that depends on the game…chess players are notoriously impolite since chess is a very aggressive game even bad players want to win at all costs…I don’t know too much about the other games since I don’t play them, but I hear that backgammon players are very polite and cordial to each other…which is nice in itself.

    The problem that I have many times is that there are some players that never stop chatting after the greeting, and that can sometimes throw your concentration off the game. I sometimes feel they are doing it on purpose for that reason, although I don’t doubt that many are just a bit TOO friendly.

  • pitirre at 2004-11-12

    because i usually meet with the same players, round after round, i tend to say;

    “here we go again”.

  • safe at 2004-11-20

    There goes the neighbourhood :)

  • Kleese2 at 2004-11-20

    Get a life.....!?

  • Gregorlo at 2004-11-22

    what do you mean, Kleese2?

    Do you say this when starting a game?

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