Sunday, October 5, 2014

server update - gin rummy bug fixed

The server was out briefly for an update this morning. Sorry for the interruption in games!

The update included a couple of changes. There was a bug in Gin Rummy which caused bots to time out, occasionally. Thanks to everyone who reported this! I found a problem which caused that, and fixed it. Please let me know if you see any other problems.

The drag-and-drop functionality in Gin Rummy has also been altered slightly, so you can now see the card that you've picked up to sort. I hope this makes sorting a little easier. Also, sorting now works on tablets - at least on the devices that I have available for testing. Let me know if this does not work for you.

Finally, the Hearts robots have been tuned up a bit, so they will no longer be so cooperative towards someone attempting to shoot.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

new game! - gin rummy


Gin Rummy - click to play!

 Gin Rummy is now available at World of Card Games! This is a 2-player game that tests your pattern-matching abilities and your memory. The rules are described at the Pagat website.


As usual, there's a tutorial to get you started (click on the "Tutorial" button to the lower right of the Gin Rummy panel on the main page). And you can play with robots if you want to get comfortable before playing with real live humans.

One thing that will help when playing is the ability to sort your cards via "drag-and-drop" functionality.

Give it a try and let me know what you think! Please let me know if you notice any bugs.

[Edit: I just noticed a bug near the end of the Tutorial - a warning message shows up which says "You are not currently playing a game!". I'll fix this eventually, but in the meantime, you can continue the tutorial just by clicking the "x" in the upper right corner of the message - Sep 28 '14 12 PM EDT]

scheduled outage

World of Card Games will be down for scheduled maintenance for a short time on September 28 (Sunday), at 2 AM EDT http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20140928T02&p1=179
 

Sorry for the inconvenience! As usual, a message will be posted on the site in advance, to give everyone some warning. The outage should only last about 10-20 minutes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

outage

The site was down for almost 24 hours today. I apologize to everyone for the long disruption! It's back up now, and I'm investigating what went wrong.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Euchre - is discarding the up card legal?

dealer cannot discard the up-card
In Euchre, after the cards are dealt, a card is placed face-up in the middle of the table. Each player in turn gets a chance to "order up" this card, making its suit the trump suit. If it is ordered up, the dealer must take the card, and then discard a card.

At World of Card Games, the dealer is not allowed to discard the ordered up card.

A player at the site recently pointed out to me a scenario in which it would be useful to be able to discard the up-card, even though it's a trump card:
Let’s say I dealt and turned up the 9 of Clubs.  You order it up.  I’m holding Ace King of Hearts and Diamonds and the Ace of Spades.  You will most likely lead the Jack of Clubs so I would like to bury the 9 and save the hand I’m dealt.
I did a little searching, and I found a post in a Yahoo Group which describes a similar scenario. I will reproduce it here for posterity:
I caused a little disagreement while playing in a game of Euchre in a Internet League I play in the other day. I was dealer, holding the Right, Left, Ace, Queen, and 10 of Hearts dealt me, with the 9 of Hearts as the upcard. The three other players passed, where upon I picked the 9 of Hearts up, but then discarded it, keeping the five highter trump cards I was originally dealt. Making a sweep with the five trump cards I held, one of the opponents asked at the end of the hand, "Say, where is the 9 of Hearts you picked up?", to wit I stated that I had discarded it, which brought a chorus of protests form both opposing players, stating that I could not discard the upcard that I had picked up! I have been playing Euchre for 40 years, have seen this done several times over the years, and noone had ever said anything to the contrary about the dealer not being able to discard the upcard if it is order up into their hand, or the dealer pickes it up themselves. I have checked several books on Euchre and searched the Internet sites I know of, but have found nothing said about this situation in any rules anywhere so far. So what is the rule on this - can or cannot the Dealer discard the upcard if it is order up in their hand, or they pick it up themselves, making the upcard suit the trump suit?
(Note that in the above scenario, the problem could have been avoided if the dealer had discarded the 10 of Hearts, which was effectively equivalent to the 9 of Hearts.)

I looked around to see if I could find any definitive rule on this.

The rules at Pagat do not specify that the up card may not be discarded.

The Hoyle site seems to indicate that you should not discard the up card, but maybe I'm reading it too strictly - "As soon as a player accepts the turned-up card as trumps, the dealer discards a card. The discard is placed cross- wise under the undealt cards. The turned-up card belongs to the dealer in place of the discard."

Natty Bumppo's page very clearly states that there's nothing wrong with discarding the up card.

Based on my little bit of research, I'm inclined to think I should change the rule at World of Card Games so that the up card is allowed to be discarded. Please let me know in the comments how you feel about this.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

robot strategy in spades has been reworked

Tom Servo says "want to play a game of Spades?"
In June, I took a stab at improving the robot strategy in the game of Spades.

I've taken more time to revamp the Spades bots, and those changes were deployed this morning. Both bidding, and choosing a card to play, have been substantially reworked. The bots are still far from perfect - there are some subtleties in Spades that I haven't handled, but I will eventually get to them. For now, I think that their new behavior makes them better players in general, and better partners, too.

If anyone notices specific bad habits that linger on, I'd like to hear about it. Feel free to write me at marya@worldofcardgames.com or just post the issue in the comments section.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

facebook page

I've created a Facebook page for World of Card Games. Not really sure how useful it will be... but here it is!
https://www.facebook.com/WorldOfCardGames

For those who are into Twitter, I've also got an account there - https://twitter.com/WorldOfCardGamz