play by the rules

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play by the rules

To adhere to the rules, strictures, or conditions imposed by person or body of authority. If you want to write for this paper, kid, you're going to have to play by the rules! She's always been attracted to bad boys who don't play by the rules.
See also: by, play, rule

play by the rules

follow what is generally held to be the correct line of behaviour.
See also: by, play, rule

play by the ˈrules

deal fairly and honestly with people: You know how we conduct business here, and I expect you all to play by the rules in future.
See also: by, play, rule
References in periodicals archive ?
The best thing about Playing by the Rules isn't the story itself, but how it's told.
Playing by the Rules by Elaine Meryl Brown One World/Ballantine Books, June 2006 $13.
But a growing drug scandal has many fans wondering if all athletes are playing by the rules.
If investors punish fund families that are not playing by the rules, this will send a clear message that investors are the ones in charge.
But how can coaches talk about honesty, playing by the rules, the sanctity of records and tradition, then go out and conspire a fraud?