Wednesday, June 24, 2015

spades - what would you bid? #2

I took part in another tournament this morning. It was fun!

During the game I was presented with a bit of a puzzler. I was dealt 7 Spades but most of them were pretty low.

what would you bid with 7 Spades?
I wound up bidding 3, while nana bid 6. Notice the scores and bag situation. I've posted more details on Facebook here:

You don't have to be a Facebook user to see the Facebook post. I am curious to know what you would have bid, and why - you can comment here, or on Facebook.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

spades - what would you bid?

Here's a screenshot from a recent Spades card game. Check out the scores: we are nearing the end of the game. My team needs to give 1 extra trick to our opponents in order to roll them. I have no Spades at all:

click image to enlarge
When I first got this hand, I was tempted to go nil, but I didn't like the situation in my Clubs cards; not even one really low card.

So I bid 1, hoping my partner and I could roll our opponents. I really didn't think I'd be able to take much with this hand, given that I had no Spades. Since I had no Spades, I knew everyone else was holding more Spades than usual, on average. I was counting on those Spades to win most of the tricks.

Alas it was not be! Here's the final score:
we got rolled!
I was surprised when I wound up taking 3 tricks! Of course, if I had bid 3, I probably would not have actually been able to take them. Our opponents gave me 2 tricks. They discarded a card on one of my Hearts instead of playing a Spade. And when I played my King of Diamonds, they didn't take it with the Ace.

Not only did our team not roll our opponents, we got rolled ourselves. We each wound up taking 2 extra tricks (IIRC our opponents had a total bid of 6).

I'm making this post because I'm curious to get comments about what you'd bid with the hand above. You can see the situation. It's near the end of the game, and I'd like to bid 5 so that we could possibly end with a win, but there's no way I'd get 5 points out of my hand. Possibly I should have bid 2? But we still wouldn't have won, even if we hadn't rolled. Anyone have a better idea?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

block chats and kick players

A number of players have requested that they be given the ability to completely block chats. Maybe they find them distracting, or just don't type fast enough to chat effectively. They just want to play cards, that's all.

That's fine with me, and I hope that they are not being given a hard time if they don't chat... it's everyone's right to remain silent, isn't it, after all?!

Now, these players can easily ignore chats by checking the "Hide All Chats" checkbox in their Settings area. You find your Settings by clicking on your user name in the upper right corner. The new checkbox is encircled in green in the screenshot below:
use "Hide All Chats" to block chats at World of Card Games

Other players tell me that there are one or two players whose chats annoy them. They'd prefer to avoid these players' chats. There's something for these players, too. There's now a little "volume" control beside each player other than yourself. If you want to block a single player's chats, click that volume control. It stops the player's chats from being shown. If you want to undo this action, use the "Manage Chats" area shown under your Settings in the screenshot above.
use the "Hide Chats" icon to block an individual player's chats
Please keep in mind that just because you cannot see a player's chats does not mean that they are not chatting!

Finally, there's also a new feature that has been added specifically for players of the game Twenty-Nine. I've had a number of people tell me that they want to be able to kick players from a table. This is the internet and there are times when someone comes in who is extremely ill-behaved. Everyone at the table agrees that this is the case, and wants them out, but their only recourse is to dislike the player and leave. This is more painful in Twenty-Nine than in other games because Twenty-Nine is a very long-lived game. Imagine playing at a table for 1 hour, when a troll comes in and starts harassing you...

For these people, I've added back the "kick player" feature. If there are four human players at a table and three players have all disliked the same, single player, then that player is ejected.

If you wind up being ejected, you may very well know why. I expect that this may get used to eject slower players in addition to trolls. I'm sorry that this can happen, since I don't think slow players should be penalized. Personally, though, I'd rather not be sitting at a table where 3 other players don't like me. So I think it's fair enough to add this feature now.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

hearts options - feedback requested

I'm asking for feedback about new Hearts options. If you've played Hearts at World of Card Games, you may have noticed that there's an option to "Allow First Turn Hearts":

allow first turn hearts option
The default rules require that you cannot play Hearts on the first trick. However, if you choose this option, it is allowed, provided that you do not have any Clubs in your hand.

Over the last two years, I've had requests for several other options:
  1. Someone would like to see the Omnibus Hearts option, described at Pagat: it applies a bonus to the player who takes the Jack of Diamonds. That person gets 10 points deducted from their score, even if someone else shoots the moon or sun.
  2. Someone has a house rule that disallows passing the Queen of Spades. The idea is that by passing the Queen of Spades, two players know where it is, giving them an unfair advantage over the other two players. I haven't seen this variation before.
  3. Another user would like to see a shorter version of Hearts, in which the maximum score is perhaps 56. This would let people play a quick game when they don't have so much time.
  4. A player requests that when the Queen of Spades is played, Hearts should not be broken. Only when the first Heart card is played should Hearts be broken, allowing others to lead with Hearts.
  5. Someone is interested in seeing a redeal option which would work as follows: if a new player takes a seat that has a high score, then with the agreement of all players, the game would be reset. I'm inclined to oppose this option, because it seems to me that it's about the same as having everyone leave the table and start over.
What do you think? I cannot promise that I'll have time to implement any of these in the near future, since I have a number of issues to address that are high on my to-do list. However, it helps to know if a majority of players want a specific option, so I can prioritize accordingly.

If you have your own favorite option that you don't see here, post it in the comment section!