Art of sandbagging

I watched a video of two sandbaggers playing IRL and started to wonder.

What some of the techniques masters of sandbaggery arts use during play?

Of course, it’s easy to steamroll your opponent but it’s a bit too obvious, it’s easy for your opponent to see he isn’t playing someone weak.

On one hand you need to play weak-ish moves but not too weak that you can’t catch back. And of course, one needs to choose natural-looking moves to play, when you plop down stones randomly opponents also start to suspect something.

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As for sandbagging irl, I’ve heard stories in China of the way high dans grab stones to make themselves appear like a weak player. This is to bait their opponent to bid more money on the game. It seems to work surprisingly well against a lot of people.

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What, apart from betting which isn’t really a thing around here, is the point of real life sandbagging? I mean online sandbaggers most likely have a “real” account and a sandbagging account. But in RL one would pretend that they (with their real face) are weaker than they actually are.

It makes sense to bait people to make money. Why do people do that otherwise, especially online? Also, just curious, how does game look like?

Sandbagging isn't a major, but a minor or specialization; not a class itself, but a subclass; and there are many variants:
  • The Hustler/Sandbagger, using his skills in sandbaggery for personal gain—Mr. Dake in Hikaru no Go, a SDK wanting to win a DDK Tournament prize, someone trying to win a quick bet etc.;

  • The Bully/Sandbagger, seeking pleasure in antagonizing the weaker;

  • The Troll/Sandbagger, who just want to watch the world burn, Mr. Wayne.

We even have some altruistic variants—such as the Teacher/Sandbagger, which comes with its own subdivisions, ranging from The Sibicker to The Secret Oriental Master.

I’m a newcomer to Go but such characters appear in all walks of life. And this is something I’ve learned after nearly thirty years: you never know what’s gonna come through that door.



Hustling is a big problem in almost any game, not just Go. When I was about 9 years old I almost got hustled for one reason or another, but I don’t quite remember what happened. At that age, my form of money was quartz crystals. :smile:

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I could say a few things on this subject, but won’t, as it would be helping the sandbaggers.