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Using a sand hourglass timer for board games

I first ran into hourglass timing in the baduk community.

One problem has been that to set up the timers, you need to take pretty much half of the total time. So with a 5 minute glass, it takes 2½ minute to reset it.

Today I came up with this variant:

Start the game with the hourglass placed between the players with the bulb that has the most sand on top. There can be any sand ratio, it doesn’t have to be in the middle nor all in one end. Any ratio is fine.

Before there has been any claims, turns are defined by the moves on the board. If you’ve made your move and let go, it’s your opponent’s turn.

During your opponents turn, you can claim the currently lower bulb is yours (which means that the upper bulb belongs to your opponent). Starting from and including that turn, turns end by a player flipping the hourglass so that their side is lowest.

There can only be one claim made per game. So there are gonna be a couple of turns where the hour glass doesn’t belong to anyone and the sand just runs in one direction. Then after the claim is when you start flipping it back and forth.

You lose when your bulb is empty.

If, at the start of the game, you can’t agree on which side has the most sand, just have each player claim the bulb that they think has the least, right from the start of the game.

Aaaand the word “bulb” now sounds weird to me. Thanks, English…