People "sandbagging" free game....why?

It might just be me, but seen quite a few of those on OGS. People who have like 3-4k account, but they ONLY ever play free game and when you look at their history, they have like 90%+ win.

So realistically, they probably are 1-2k … but for some reason refuse to play ranked game so they keep the lower ranking so they can spam even game again weaker player giving them easy win. You look at their history and they hardly ever play anyone over 3k for example.

I mean, yea…this is not technically sandbagging as this is free game. But still think this is a very poor attitude and sportsmanship. Even if a free game, when you challenge a 4k for example, you expect to play again a 4k…and having wrong rank on purpose for the pleasure to bully people around who expect a fair game is just, wrong.

Even played one of those person? what do you think about it?


Yeah, I’ve played a few. The worst is when they get auto-handicap haha.

I’ve just turned off unranked altogether:


Wonder what moderation’s opinion is about this.

I see this as a kind of behaviour that can be seen as a form of harassment. And therefore can be reported.

Also reportable as Other (poor sportsmanship).

I will argue that this can happen without actual mallice. Like from my experience sometimes it is quite hard to get a game around your rank (especially as OGS Dan) or you have limited time and are not sure if you can finish your game (and you don’t want to play a bot)

I usually offer free games if one of those two things happen and yeah I also got DDKs without handicap and beat them, but from my point of view they knew what they got into when they accept an unranked game without handicap. I will not play softly if you accept such a game because I would consider this poor sportsmanship.

I will accept that this experience is a little bit different because I also play quite a few ranked games but still I can imagine that this behaviour can happen without the intention to hurt anyone.


Players on OGS are not obligated to play ranked games to get and maintain an accurate rank.

So when you’re looking for an opponent of a specific level, I’d advice you to check if they play ranked games regularly. If they don’t, their rank may be inaccurate. It may even be off my much more than 2 ranks.

IME OGS generally doesn’t consider such players sandbaggers (at least that was the case when I was still a moderator). If you want accurately ranked opponents, it’s best to play ranked games against players who also usually play ranked games.


Never said they are obligated to do…of course, playing free game with a wrong rank is perfectly legal as long as rule go.

The discussion is not on the legality, it’s on the morality :stuck_out_tongue:

Yea, guess it can. But there is some case of this where the player in question have not play a single ranked game in month… and they play multiple game virtually every single day.

Very hard to imagine it’s a matter of not having the time to play ranked of whatever. You look at the graph and there is a few ranked game month ago to get the desired rank… and then it’s basically a steady bar with only free game from that point.

I mean sure, at the end of the day don’t really matter as it’s not like their “victim” lose rank or anything becasue of it … But to be honest on a ethical standpoint that is kind of bullying. It feel like the same behavior of people who enjoy cheating on a FPS game (for example) because of the rush of easily beating the game.

I fail to see the severe issue here.

The moderation team does not consider it problematic, since indeed the games are unranked. Any discrepancy between rank and playing strength can only be corrected through ranked games, thus when this occurs with a player who doesn’t play ranked games, there’s not really anything we could (or, I believe, should) do.

Bottom line is, if you want fair games, you should play ranked games.

In the end, the moderator team is here to make sure that people play by the rules, not that they play by whatever morality we personally think is superior. If a player wants to mainly play against weaker opponents, who are we to judge them for that?


If this was a professional or semi-professional competitive league where entry and classification depended on rank and performance, it could be a problem, but from what I know OGS is not it.

Based on how you (the OP) have described it, I don’t think there is any moral issue. Aside from the fact that the games are unranked, the person’s rank and history are transparent. Real sandbagging, both here and in its original meaning in a game like poker, requires concealment. Your hypothesis that these players are one or two stones stronger than their rank is highly questionable. Players generally don’t get stronger by playing easy games against weaker players.

To protect yourself, you can restrict the rank on your open challenges, take a few seconds to check your opponent’s history, and cancel the game if you don’t like the history. Similarly, you can check the history of players making an open challenge before accepting it. Alternatively, you might consider such incidents to be an opportunity to get a free lesson from a stronger player without the risk of losing rank over it.

There are many reasons why players might not play ranked online. I, for one, don’t like online play and have played most of my games IRL on weekends. Some players may have reached a rank that they are satisfied with while believing that further improvement is unlikely; therefore, why should they risk their rank by further ranked play, where they are subject to great depredations by real sandbaggers. Real sandbagging is an enormous, unsolvable problem on OGS as on all other servers, but I have written extensively about that in the Forums, so I will not repeat myself here.

What I did not see so far in the discussion, is the possibility that the player likes to play teaching games. So you can see it as a gift to the community.



Here maybe?


Every evening, millions of tired workers switch the TV on to put some very low level things including a flood of advertising. Because they want to relax.
Will you fight against and bring your ethic to them?

I guess this is a joke.

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Still it would be better if a player’s rank was labeled with a “?” if he didn’t play enough (let’s say 5) rated games in the last 6 months.


That’s an interesting suggestion. Not sure it will be very popular as i have the feeling that players are quite attached to their ranking.

In such a case, it would be easy as pie to lose some games against a VPN-concealed alt account. In other words it would turn some non-sandbaggers into real sandbaggers. This is a solution to a non-problem IMHO, as explained in my previous post.

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I’m not talking about people who really want to be sandbaggers. They wouldn’t need VPNs for that. Those who don’t have a firm intention to conceal their rank wouldn’t waste their time playing against themselves or looking for other tricks.
On the contrary, I’d view that as an incentive to play ranked games. That’s how KGS works: after a few months without ranked games, my rank gets a “?” so this forces me to play a ranked game every 1-2 months on average.

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KGS sucks. Don’t copy anything it does, especially its rating policy. :joy: