Free vs. Derived Information

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In looking over the definitions of Free Information and Derived Information in the Magic Tournament Rules, a couple questions come up.

"The number of any type of objects present in any game zone" is considered Derived Information.  I cannot count the number of times I have been asked by players "Cards in hand?"  I see this happen at high level play so much that I assumed that players were actually required to report this, so people couldn't cheat and hold more than 7 cards in their hand.  Am I correct in interpreting this portion of the rules that a player is under no obligation to actually answer this question?  It's simply courtesy, but not something that you are requred to tell your opponent?

An issue came up at the prerelease where a player played a double-faced card that the opponent was unfamiliar with.  Most of the time, if someone plays a card that you're unfamiliar with, it's fine to ask to read the card before proceeding.  Yet in the case of double-faced cards, it was unclear if the opponent is allowed to see the other side of the card.  Is the "night" face of a double-faced card considered free information?

Slightly related to that is the fact that the Oracle content of a card is considered "printed on a card," but also categorized as Derived Information.  I've been told multiple times that players can ask a judge for the Oracle wording of a particular card.  Yet the Tournament Rules plainly state that while Judges can help players determine free information, they "must avoid assisting players with derived information about the game state."  Doesn't this conflict?

Thanks for your help. 
In looking over the definitions of Free Information and Derived Information in the Magic Tournament Rules, a couple questions come up.

"The number of any type of objects present in any game zone" is considered Derived Information.  I cannot count the number of times I have been asked by players "Cards in hand?"  I see this happen at high level play so much that I assumed that players were actually required to report this, so people couldn't cheat and hold more than 7 cards in their hand.  Am I correct in interpreting this portion of the rules that a player is under no obligation to actually answer this question?  It's simply courtesy, but not something that you are requred to tell your opponent?


That is correct.  If you do not wish to tell your opponent the number of cards in your hand, you have the alternative of handing it over and letting your opponent count them.
402.3. A player may arrange his or her hand in any convenient fashion and look at it as much as he or she wishes. A player can't look at the cards in another player's hand but may count those cards at any time.


An issue came up at the prerelease where a player played a double-faced card that the opponent was unfamiliar with.  Most of the time, if someone plays a card that you're unfamiliar with, it's fine to ask to read the card before proceeding.  Yet in the case of double-faced cards, it was unclear if the opponent is allowed to see the other side of the card.  Is the "night" face of a double-faced card considered free information?


711.1c While a double-faced card is in a public zone, each player may look at both faces.


Slightly related to that is the fact that the Oracle content of a card is considered "printed on a card," but also categorized as Derived Information.  I've been told multiple times that players can ask a judge for the Oracle wording of a particular card.  Yet the Tournament Rules plainly state that while Judges can help players determine free information, they "must avoid assisting players with derived information about the game state."  Doesn't this conflict?


I suppose the wording of that part could use some improvement.
No, I am not a judge. That's why I like to quote sources such as the rules that trump judges.
Thanks for your response, Argus.

Slightly related to that is the fact that the Oracle content of a card is considered "printed on a card," but also categorized as Derived Information.  I've been told multiple times that players can ask a judge for the Oracle wording of a particular card.  Yet the Tournament Rules plainly state that while Judges can help players determine free information, they "must avoid assisting players with derived information about the game state."  Doesn't this conflict?


I suppose the wording of that part could use some improvement.


Is there a spot where someone can make suggestions like this?  In reading over the Tournament Rules, I also noticed multiple misspellings of cardnames on the banlist for Modern.  Is such a thing appropriate for the Rules Theory and Templating forum?

Thanks for your response, Argus.

Slightly related to that is the fact that the Oracle content of a card is considered "printed on a card," but also categorized as Derived Information.  I've been told multiple times that players can ask a judge for the Oracle wording of a particular card.  Yet the Tournament Rules plainly state that while Judges can help players determine free information, they "must avoid assisting players with derived information about the game state."  Doesn't this conflict?


I suppose the wording of that part could use some improvement.


Is there a spot where someone can make suggestions like this?  In reading over the Tournament Rules, I also noticed multiple misspellings of cardnames on the banlist for Modern.  Is such a thing appropriate for the Rules Theory and Templating forum?




Yes, the RT&T forum is the right place. 
 
Keep in mind that the vast majority (ok I'm guessing there) of tournaments attended by average Magic players (FNM, pre-releases, game day etc.) are held at "regular" REL where there is no such thing as derived information. Everything that would be derived is instead considered free, so if your opponent does ask how many cards are in your hand etc. you just have to tell them. In competitive and professional level events (city/state/national champs, PTQ, etc.) go ahead and let them (hopefully mis)count for themselves, but that usually won't fly at your local LGS.
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