Friday, October 2, 2015

rankings added to hearts card game

You can now play ranked Hearts card games at World of Card Games. There are more details at that link, so take a look there if you are interested.

I've added two different rankings - an "Elo rating" and a "Skill rating" -
Elo rating and Skill rating
If you are eligible to play at a ranked table, you'll see the "ranked" table in the list of tables panel. Click on a seat to be taken to the table.
a ranked table in the list of tables with 3 seats available, note purple color
Bots are unavailable at ranked tables until near the end of the game, so I expect that it may be difficult to get a ranked game going, especially for players outside the US time zone [Edit: as of Oct 3 2015, bots may be invited as soon as someone drops out]. I don't think it makes a lot of sense to rank individuals against bots, though, since they don't have expert levels of skill.

There are several advantages to playing at a ranked table: because quitting a table has a more serious penalty than simply taking a loss, it can be hoped that players will be less likely to quit. In addition to your Elo rating taking a hit, quitting gets you banned from ranked tables for 4 hours. This means that you should find more reliable players at the ranked tables, on average.

I'll be playing at the ranked Hearts tables on and off during the day, and look forward to hearing from people about their experiences with it.

If you experience any problems or bugs after this update, please let me know. There were some major changes!

41 comments:

  1. Well, this is an unexpected, interesting development. :)

    I have a possibly stupid question for you:

    At the time of writing, I see one ranked table in the list, with nobody sitting at it. If I join the table, and then quit after a few minutes of waiting because nobody else has joined, will I be penalised?

    As yet, I 've not tried it, just in case.

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    1. Hi SunShot, it is not a stupid question!

      Answer: no, you will not be penalized for taking a seat at a ranked table, and then leaving - unless the game has already started. So if you join a table that is "ranked" (as seen in the list of tables - screenshot in the above post), and it starts, and then you leave - that is when you get hit with a penalty (and lose to all the remaining players).

      I am trying to figure out how to make it so that there's less of a wait. I realize no-bots tables are unpopular... I got in 3 games so far this morning. Fun but takes some waiting.

      Marya

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  2. FWIW, I was looking at the table list and saw 2 ranked tables with a player at each one. I wish I had taken a screenshot and sent it to you, but did not think of it at the time. If I see it again, I will certainly do that. You were at 1 table and drdammit at the other table.

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    1. It might be a bug or maybe drdammit has disliked me :) ... dislikes do apply to ranked tables. So two ranked tables can appear at once!

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    2. I had a problem with my last comment and was not able to complete my thoughts about the ELO rating system.

      Would you consider polling the experienced players to get a consensus on whether or not to have only 1 winner, 3 losers - no relative wins? I think most experienced players would object to relative wins because it discourages cooperative play when necessary as well as encouraging late game decisions to play for 2nd place.

      We are conditioned to think of 2nd place as more skilled than 3rd or 4th place, but this is not the case in hearts. In fact skill is much more than placement in the game. It involves cooperating against low as well as protection of high. It involves closely watching the score evaluating whether or not to moon or to pass a moon as well as dumping the Q or eating the points.

      May I provide an example: Scores are 90, 60, 50, 40. I am 50 and have the Q in my possession. The hand is drawing to a close and I can either dump her on 90 or keep the 13 points myself, giving me 63 points and extending the game , or ending the game but giving me a second place win with 50 points and an increase in my ELO rating. An experienced player, knowing that 2nd place is equal to 3rd and 4th, will eat the points.

      I'm sure many players can come up with other examples based on their experiences which require seemingly conflicting decisions. With the current ELO system, these complicated decisions will now be weighed against the benefit of 2nd place rather than the risk of placing last.

      Players who quit because they are about to place last are not worth playing with. I think the penalty of a 4hr ban as well as a loss should discourage regular players. If not, perhaps subtracting additional ELO points for the abandoned game.

      Thanks for hearing me out

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    3. only because you treat the Queen of Spades like a hot potato...

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    4. Constance @ October 3, 2015 -

      Regarding a poll: Anyone with an opinion is free to respond here.

      Many other game sites use Elo ratings - even for Hearts - the way that I have done, so I haven't done anything radical with the ratings. I'd be surprised if the majority want something different, but if they do, I'm willing to consider a change.

      An experienced player, knowing that 2nd place is equal to 3rd and 4th, will eat the points.

      That is what I would do. Personally, I only value coming in first. I also don't care about ratings in the least. But it appears to me that the majority prefer a consolation prize, and want ratings that give them that.

      Players who quit because they are about to place last are not worth playing with. I think the penalty of a 4hr ban as well as a loss should discourage regular players

      I hope you are correct about the ban being useful. I don't see subtracting extra points for quitters. You are already taking a loss to 3 other players, which is a big hit. It's penalty enough.

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    5. Anonymous @ October 4, 2015 at 1:25 AM - your comment about the hot potato queen sounded like a response to some other comment but I have no idea what. You need to write more if you want to be understood.

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  3. "Object of the Game:

    To be the player with the lowest score at the end of the game. When one player hits the agreed-upon score or higher, the game ends; and the player with the lowest score wins."

    from www.bicyclecards.com/how-to-play/hearts

    If a game ends and you have more points than someone else, you lose.

    In your rating system, low score should be given a win against three opponents, as you have it, but losing players should be given nothing more or other than a loss against one opponent, no matter what the relative order of their loss.

    - drdammit



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    1. Marya, of course people are free to comment on the blog, but how many folks read or comment on a regular basis? Since you have the email addresses of all registered players who play Hearts, could not something be sent out to them with the defense of both ELO methods? I will be happy to be the apologist of the 1 winner - 3 losers method. Perhaps you or another proponent of relative wins can write the pros of that method. If your method proves to be the consensus, then I will end the debate.

      Just because other Hearts sites use the relative win methodology does not make it the correct way to play. It has, in fact, changed the way Hearts is played. Players will certainly start out playing for 1st but as the game progresses, and should the scores become skewed, it will become a battle for the "consolation prize". You will see more "hot potatoe" behavior with the Q and much more ducking of tricks that carry points.

      You may not care about the ratings yourself, but I think most will care about them. Otherwise, what is the advantage of playing at a rated table where you have to wait longer for it to fill? You can do the same by checking the option of 'registered only', which also reduces the likelihood of quitters.

      Your site has so many advantages, not to mention the excellent graphics. Ratings will just be another one that should undoubtedly draw others. But please let your site be the one at which players are encouraged to play Hearts correctly, not a site that simply duplicates others

      Constance

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    2. Constance -

      Just because other Hearts sites use the relative win methodology does not make it the correct way to play.

      I certainly agree with you there. But I'm sure there are many people who play in real life and who use exactly the same strategy to avoid coming in last near the end of the game. It's not just the Elo ratings which encourage this behavior - it is human nature to look at the scores and think that coming in "second" is better than coming in "last." I suspect that Elo ratings were generally adapted to give players what they want, the consolation prize.

      You may not care about the ratings yourself, but I think most will care about them. Otherwise, what is the advantage of playing at a rated table where you have to wait longer for it to fill? You can do the same by checking the option of 'registered only', which also reduces the likelihood of quitters.

      I have not gotten feedback from most players that they want rankings; it's the opposite. A few players have strongly expressed an interest in them.

      Presumably people who play at rated tables want the rating, and now they have one. In addition, they know that players who quit are penalized with a 4-hour wait - something that several players have requested. So this will make those players happy was well.

      Since you have the email addresses of all registered players who play Hearts

      I've never contacted anyone who has not contacted me, with few exceptions. I don't have any plans to do this.

      There is one thing that both you and drdammit could do, and I don't understand why you don't. If you feel strongly about your position, why not recruit as many players as you can to request that the rules be changed in your favor? Tell people what you are suggesting, and ask them to post their request on facebook, email me, tweet, post on the blog.

      I've noticed that when players want a new feature or a change to the site, they often recruit others to their cause. And I appreciate it. There is no way for me to tell if people want a change unless they let me know. It's not up to me to contact everyone to make sure that I've done things the way that they like - I assume if people feel strongly about it, they will let me know. You and drdrammit have done so on this issue, but no one else has. This makes me wonder if anyone else gives a hoot. I don't plan on making changes to the site to satisfy one or two people; my time is too tight these days. If I get enough comments from a group of players, I will consider making change.

      Marya

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    3. Okay. Connie dropped it as soon as she read your comments (above).

      I'll drop it too if eveyone else remains silent about it. I actually do give a hoot, though, that your ratings system is as bad as MSN's.

      )

      -drdammit

      p.s. and if i'm really the only one who gives a hoot, let me have this one then, why not? ... use Elo in the only way that makes sense for the game of Hearts: plus three for the winner, minus one for each of the the three losers, and not, please, plus three for the winner, plus one (net) for 'second place', minus one (net) for 'third place', and a whopping minus three for 'fourth place'.



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    4. >> But I'm sure there are many people who play in real life and who use exactly the same strategy to avoid coming in last near the end of the game. It's not just the Elo ratings which encourage this behavior >>

      My argument is that this strategy constitutes poor play. When I am at at a table with three good players, which does sometimes happen at WoCG, I know that all of them have the goal in mind of being the player with the lowest score at the end of the game. That it is true that some people are consoled by the notion that they lost by less points than one or both of the other losers does not mean they have shown superior skill ( it may mean exactly the opposite... if they have, for example, given points to third or fourth place in order to secure second; during play, such play is roundly condemned, and for good reason).

      -drd

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    5. p.s. I like it very much that your bots finally make it a point to generally pass hearts. That makes them tougher opponents than many of your guests, and even members. But they're still messing up regarding spades, as you know, of course (just reminding you), sometimes keeping high spades or passing low ones, neither of which makes any sense for a robot.

      humbly yours

      -drd

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    6. Two more things:

      (1) Please consider making it a table option to allow someone who moons to subtract from their own score even if adding would not end the game.

      (2) Please consider making it a table option to assign a value of -10 points to the Jack of Diamonds.

      -drd

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    7. drd @ 10 AM - use Elo in the only way that makes sense for the game of Hearts: plus three for the winner, minus one for each of the the three losers, and not, please, plus three for the winner, plus one (net) for 'second place', minus one (net) for 'third place', and a whopping minus three for 'fourth place'.

      I'm not clear that I understand your rating description - and I'm not sure you understand how Elo ratings work.

      Movement in the Elo ratings depends on the rank of the player that you are playing against, relative to your own Elo ratings. They are designed to account for relative skill. E.g. if a player with a high Elo rating loses to a player with a very low rating, they will take a much bigger hit than if they lose to someone with comparable skill. A player who is learning therefore has a chance of improving in their ratings over time.

      The system you describe would not weight the rankings in any way. If I had a low rating and won over a higher rated player, I'd still just get 1 win, which in many cases would hardly affect my overall ratings.

      If a player builds up a thousand wins and a new player comes along who is more skilled, it will take them at least a thousand games to show that by their ratings - at least, that is how I interpret the ratings system that you want.

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    8. My argument is that this strategy constitutes poor play

      In most card games, "poor play" will lead to a person losing the game. Players who have poor strategy are motivated to improve their strategy because it should lead to more wins.

      Are you saying this is not true in Hearts? If so, what does that say about Hearts - that everyone has to play according to the way that you prefer in order for the game to be played "correctly"?

      Delete
    9. drd @ October 11, 2015 at 11:35 AM

      Both of those options are on my to-do list.

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    10. drd @ October 11, 2015 at 11:29 AM - sometimes keeping high spades or passing low ones

      It is perfectly okay to keep high spades depending on what you've got in your hand. If you see them passing low ones, I'd like to know (I haven't seen this) as it's probably a bug.

      I've added a "hand-replayer" to Euchre. It helps for bug reports with the bots, or general strategy discussion. If there's an interest, I'd add it for Hearts as well.

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    11. drd @ October 11, 2015 at 10:00 AM -

      and if i'm really the only one who gives a hoot, let me have this one then, why not?

      Because you and Constance clearly care so deeply about this issue, I have certainly considered it. However, making a change which is opposed by large numbers of players, and also motivates people to quit games, is worrisome. It is possible that people are not speaking up because they like it just the way things are. I have made changes in the past and had to revert them, and I really don't like spending time that way.

      I have suggested to Constance that she recruit a few other players to your cause. Have you even tried this?

      I should point out that when we communicated about the new rating system earlier this year, I mentioned that I was planning to use Elo ratings. I never got a word from you that you had an objection. So why have you waited until the development process is over and done to make your objections known? If you had cared that much, why not give me feedback then?

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  4. How is eligibility determined for one to be able to play at a ranked table?

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    1. Hi Anonymous @ 8:24 AM - Eligibility is described at a web page at the website - http://worldofcardgames.com/hearts-card-game-rankings.html

      The #1 thing is that you have to be registered, and then you also have to have played a few games at the site to become an "experienced" user of the site.
      - Marya

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  5. >> and if i'm really the only one who gives a hoot, let me have this one then, why not? >>

    That was a joke. As for your your response, I have no argument, but I will ask you to please leave Connie out of the insults. She has dropped the issue, as I told you yesterday, this as soon as she read your answer to her post here.

    And, of course, it is not a big deal... someone called me "dr drama" the other day ... there might be something to that, I don't know.

    But I will spare you and your readers here anymore of that, I promise.

    Peace.

    -drdammit

    "Life is too important to be taken seriously."
    - Oscar Wilde

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    1. I didn't realize that I was being insulting. I apologize. - Marya

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    2. I don't want an apology. I want cash. See you in court.

      -drd

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    3. p.s. i want a table where everyone is trying to come in 1st... people who play for 2nd or 3rd are what I, and many others, call "bad players"... they have the right to play poorly, to display, as I would argue, a lack of competitive spirit, but they need only to be corrected if they expect a rating system that rewards poor place... try this one: "second place only counts at Yahoo, stupid."

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    4. ummm... Marya, please replace "place" with "play" in the above, or just delete the comment (nothing that great about it anyway)

      -drd

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    5. I cannot edit user comments. People will understand what you mean.

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  6. Recently registered. The registered hearts player games are good and competitive.

    If it is not a secret what is your player name? I just want to know when my competitor knows the rules better than anybody else and can change them when it suits her (just clowning around on that comment).

    6tomatos

    (yeah, I know - there should be an 'e')

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    1. Welcome to the site, 6tomatos! I'm glad you like the ranked games - I do too. Things can get a little rough in Hearts, but you gotta take the good with the bad.

      My name at the site is... marya :) I hope I'll meet you in a game one of these days!

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  7. Hello ! Where can we find the current total results of the ranked games ?
    Thanks

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    1. I'm not sure what you're looking for... maybe the daily records? It has a leaderboard.

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. Could you give a step by step for euchre dummies on how to play a ranked game please? I'm lost.

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    1. Hi Anon @ Apr 22 2016 - ranked games are not yet available for Euchre. There will be instructions on the blog once rankings get to Euchre. There are two pages at the site that describe ranked Hearts games and ranked Spades games, if you are interested in learning about ranked games in general.

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  10. Hello. I have been playing against nothing but "bots", trying to get back to pinochle after more than 40 years away from it. However, now when I go to the site it throws me into a game that has already started. I don't feel I am "back in the groove yet" to play against "regular" players. Have I done something weird that won't let me play against just the "bots" for now?

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    1. Hi Anon @ May 3 7:59 AM - It sounds like something went wrong with your Options. Please take a look at this link, which tells you 2 different ways to play with bots only: http://worldofcardgames.blogspot.com/p/how-to-play-against-computer-at-world.html

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  11. HI, JUST WANT TO NO HOW CAN I GET MY WORDS IN WHITE LETTERS SO I CAN SEE WHAT I SAID TO OTHERS TY

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    1. Hi Anon @ May 16 6:21 PM, I hope you will see this comment. Please check out this link: how to chat at World of Card Games. It explains how to chat. I suspect you are just not hitting the Enter (carriage return) button. You can send me an email if that page does not help - marya@worldofcardgames.com

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