(From the 2021 US Chess scholastic bughouse rules)
1. Teams are composed of two players. No substitutions are allowed.
2. Each team match consists of two games, one for each player, against the other team.
3. Each team decides which player is to play white and which player is to play black in each game of the two-game match.
4. The time control is Game in five minutes, with no delay (G/5; d/0)
5. Each player is responsible for providing a clock. If players in an individual game do not have a clock, both players receive a forfeit loss for that game.
6. The game is clock-move. A move is not completed until the opponent’s clock has been started.
7. Each match is concluded as soon as one of the players on a team wins the game.
8. Illegal moves lose if they are properly claimed.
a. Illegal moves must be made immediately, before the next move is completed.
b. Before play begins, both players should inspect the position of the pieces and the setting of the clock. Once each side has made a move, all claims for correcting either are null and void. The only exception is if a clock is set for over five minutes, then the tournament director (TD) may reduce the time accordingly.
c. Illegal moves unnoticed by both players cannot be corrected afterwards, nor can they become the basis for later making an illegal move claim. If the King and Queen are set up incorrectly when the game begins, then the player may castle short on the Queen side and long on the King side. Once each side has made a move, incorrect setups must stay.
9. When a piece is captured, it is passed to the partner only after the move is completed.
10. A player has the option of either moving one of the pieces on his board or placing on the board a piece received from the partner.
a. A captured piece may be placed on any unoccupied square on the board, with the exception that a pawn may not be placed on the first or last rank.
b. Pieces may be placed to deliver check or checkmate.
c. If a player promotes a pawn, the pawn must be left on the board and the player must clearly indicate to the opponent to what piece the pawn is being promoted. The promoted pawn will be laid on its side to indicate that it is a promoted pawn. A promoted pawn, which has been captured, reverts to a pawn and not the promoted piece.
11. A player may not attempt to hide pieces captured by either player in the team. The first attempt will result in a warning and the second attempt will result in forfeiture of the game.
12. Partners may verbally communicate throughout the game. It is legal to make move suggestions to partners. It is illegal, and grounds for forfeiting the game or the match, if a player physically moves one of their partner’s pieces.
13. Each player must press the clock button with the same hand used to move the pieces, except that a player may use both hands during castling. When capturing, only one hand may be used. The first infraction will result in a warning, the second in a one-minute penalty, and the third will result in forfeit of game.
14. Players should not touch the clock except for pushing the button after making a move or to straighten it.
a. If a player knocks the clock over, the opponent gets one minute added to their clock.
b. If the opponent’s clock does not begin, a player may press the opponent’s clock button and then re-press their own side. Call the TD is this procedure is unsatisfactory.
c. Each player must always be allowed to press the clock after a move is made. Players should not keep their hands on or hovering over the clock.
15. Defining a win. A game is won by the player:
a. Who has mated the opponent’s king. When on move, a player may wait until the partner supplies a piece that accomplishes check or checkmate provided the player’s time does not run out.
b. Whose opponent resigns.
c. Whose opponent’s flag falls, at any time before the game has otherwise ended, provided the player points it out and stops the clock while their own flag is still up. An illegal move does not negate a player’s right to claim a win on time provided the claimant does so before the opponent’s claim of an illegal move. If the claims are simultaneous, the player who made the illegal move loses.
d. Who, after an illegal move by the opponent, captures the king or stops the clock and makes the claim.
16. Defining a draw. A game is a draw:
a. By agreement between the teams only during the game.
b. If both flags are down and no claim has been made, unless either side has delivered a checkmate before the flag-fall is noticed. Announcing the properly delivered checkmate nullifies any subsequent flag-fall claims.
17. If a player displaces one or more pieces, he shall replace them on his own time. If necessary, the player’s opponent may start the player’s clock without making a move to ensure the culprit uses his own time. It is unsportsmanlike conduct to knock over pieces and press the clock. The first offense will result in a warning unless this causes the opponent’s flag to fall, in which case the opponent will get an extra minute added. For the second offense, the opponent will get an extra minute added to his clock. The third offense will result in forfeit of the game. The TD may administer other penalties for subsequent similar infractions in the event, to include expelling the offending player.
18. In case of a dispute, either player may stop the clock and summon a TD. In any unclear situation, the TD will consider the testimony of both players and the testimony of any unbiased and reliable witnesses before rendering a decision.
19. The TD shall not pick up any clock, except in case of a dispute.
20. NO ONE may speak about or otherwise interfere in a game. If someone interferes—e.g., calling attention to a flag-fall or an illegal move—the TD may cancel the game and rule that a new game be played, and the TD may expel the offending person(s) from the playing room. Calling flag-falls, illegal moves, etc., is the responsibility of the players. TDs will not do so.
21. Only a TD may rule that a clock is defective and authorize a clock change.
22. Excessive banging of pieces or clock will not be tolerated and the offending player may be penalized with loss of time.
23. Insufficient losing chances claims cannot be made in Bughouse games.
The Official Rules of Chess and the current online edition of “Rulebook Changes” shall be used to resolve any situation not covered by these rules.