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What would you like to see in a Pinochle Playing Site? - rakbeater - 07-16-2014

Just for fun, because I'm not flush with extra money to actually follow through with this at this point in my life, but what would you like to see a in an online system/program/game?

Take the best, eliminate the worst, and add your own suggestions as to what would be your ultimate online multi-player pinochle playing system.

Mick's post got me thinking about it: http://www.powerpinochle.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=726


I would like to see a system where there is a section of tables for "speed" pinochle" (for all those non-thinkers who just want to click constantly) and then tables for those who actually need a little time to think for newbies or experienced, analytical players. I would also want the rating, games played, won/lost, games timed out/quit, and the key stat I would want would be: average time to make a bid and average time to lay a card. I would only want kibitzing to happen on "training" or "social" tables. I want the graphics simple but clean. Other thoughts?


Categorical Lounges - mickmackusa - 07-17-2014

Yeah, wouldn't it be great if the categorical lounge titles meant something?

Aspects that set each lounge apart from the other...

A. Novice Lounge: generous turn time allowance, kibitzing, chat, auto meld counting?, can view all past tricks played in current hand.

B. Social Lounge: basal turn time allowance, kibitzing, chat, can only see last trick played

C. Competitive Lounge: fair turn time allowance, no live-count of 2nd round points -- gotta keep count in your head like at an offline game, no ability to see any cards from taken tricks

How many different lounge categories are necessary? more?
Should turn time not be a determinant.
Perhaps the host of a table can simply select play speed @ B. and C. Lounges.

On principle, I think fewer lounges should be the aim. If you spread the audience over too many lounges, there may not be enough players in each individual lounge to keep the table filling rate up. Lounge overcrowding normally isn't too much of a concern, right?


RE: What would you like to see in a Pinochle Playing Site? - mary - 08-29-2014

(07-16-2014, 11:12 AM)rakbeater Wrote:  Just for fun, because I'm not flush with extra money to actually follow through with this at this point in my life, but what would you like to see a in an online system/program/game?

Take the best, eliminate the worst, and add your own suggestions as to what would be your ultimate online multi-player pinochle playing system.

Mick's post got me thinking about it: http://www.powerpinochle.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=726


I would like to see a system where there is a section of tables for "speed" pinochle" (for all those non-thinkers who just want to click constantly) and then tables for those who actually need a little time to think for newbies or experienced, analytical players. I would also want the rating, games played, won/lost, games timed out/quit, and the key stat I would want would be: average time to make a bid and average time to lay a card. I would only want kibitzing to happen on "training" or "social" tables. I want the graphics simple but clean. Other thoughts?
like the meld test which has really helped me, away to bid hands just like you were at a table, sitting in 1,2 3 or 4th seat . bidding , showing meld , getting the bid, seeing if we were doing it right. but that might be to hard to create


RE: What would you like to see in a Pinochle Playing Site? - ToreadorElder - 08-29-2014

Definitely separations based on 'experience.' It does help some. mick suggests the top-level lounge doesn't show live points won during the hand...treat it more like competition. I can see the point, but...for me, at least, there's always been a big difference between my focus level online versus at the table. I count cards FAR better at the table. So at most, I'd say, make it an option. Also: you can only see the cards from the *last* trick, both back on Yahoo and now on PlayOK. I think this is necessary; the cards just get swept up quickly, and playing online, we've got the potential for more distractions.

SIMPLE, clean graphics. Don't distract with florid borders and overly fancy cards.

If Force Forfeit is available, one thing I definitely want to know is how many games someone's FFd. There are good, valid reasons for FFing someone; throwing the game would be one. But this should be rather uncommon.

On the table timings...let these be table setting parameters, like PlayOK's total-time setting...EXCEPT perhaps in a speed pino room, which is a cool idea. There, maybe every action has to be completed in 15 seconds, perhaps. Not sure what that number should be. If you time out on a bid or play, you automatically start a count-down timer like PlayOK has. When THAT timer runs out, you lose. This lets you take 10-15 seconds...a normal amount of time for thought...per card, without fear of repercussions. It also supports "oh, I gotta answer the phone" situations, which is where PlayOK kinda falls down. (On PlayOK, everyone has N minutes, but the each player's clock operates like a chess clock. Player before you acts, BOP! Your clock starts right then and there.)

One thing that PlayOK does, that I hate: if my partner runs out of time, we BOTH take the loss. IMO this is unfair to me. On Yahoo, the person FFd got blamed and took the rating hit for BOTH players; his partner's rating didn't change.

rak: what do you see as the value for average time to call, average time to play a card? I tend to doubt they'll have that much meaning.

TEACHING tables. NOT timed at all. Never rated, never timed. One player is the designated Teacher (say, sitting South). He's got controls no one else does...to peek at anyone else's hand any time he wants, or to show (to the whole table) anyone's hand. So the 3 'students' learn to play 'normally'...they only have access to their own cards...but the Teacher can peek, then say...are you sure you want to do that? Then a discussion can take place. The Teacher also has a Retract Last Action (which can be done more than once, like repeated Undo in Word or Excel). In addition, the Teacher can go, hmmm, look at that, this is interesting. Finally, the Teacher has a button to reset (during the play...go back to opening lead, trick 1) if there's a teaching moment about the play. For example, declarer starts with, say,

ASASTSTSKSQSQSJSADADTDQDQDJDJDXCXCXCAHXH

The play starts AH, AD, AD, QS with nothing interesting on the first 3 tricks. Partner has 3 spades and 3 diamonds...but gets no diamond ruffs. OR, declarer can never set up a long diamond because he's exposed early on in hearts, and defense plays a forcing game (forcing him to ruff) and shortens his trumps to such a degree that a defender ultimately has more. The teaching point is that playing QD *instead of* QS at trick 4 has several ways to win, or at least break even...so he can replay the whole hand.

Another extension: on a teaching table, maybe there aren't 3 students. Maybe there's only 1, maybe 2. With 2, probably split the students, one as North, one as West. With 1, the Teacher could assign him any of the seats. Any seats not controlled by a student, are controlled by the Teacher...NO BOTS, at least here. This latter feature would let a student practice bidding in each set. As an alternative, the student(s) and teacher's seats are fixed, but the teacher can designate the dealer. Continuing with that theme, Teacher can let the game score naturally, or can set a particular score at the start of any hand...and any other conditions you could think of. These are all to practice situations...the score's 450-100 (you're losing) in first seat, do you open:

AHAHKHQHJHASTSKSQSJSJSJSADADJDJDACACACJC

CERTAINLY, this hand is PLENTY good enough to open 50, or show aces, or give meld. BUT...it's also got massive defense with no weak suit. Dealer might be in trouble. You bid, you win the bid, you make the hand, you pull 31. Great...awesome. Score's 450-180. Congratulations, you have to pull 31 for 3 more hands in a row to have a chance. You *pass*...maybe dealer's side is doomed to go set. Less than 20 meld, less than 20 tricks, or the combination of meld/tricks stays below 50. With that hand you've got...this is reasonably likely. NOW, the score might be 400-140; they lose 50, you gain 40...or even 400-170 if they make the board but your side pulls 31. Either of these latter cases means the opponents typically need to score with 2 hands, not one. Fine, you might need 3 out of the next 4 hands to be good for you, but that's a heckuva lot better than 3 out of 3.

Or another situation in brief: double bidder out, 460+ for each side. Does this change bidding? YES. So practice that situation.

A final point: it might be good to have a deal constructor...where the Teacher can set the parameters for the hands. 1st seat gets a 20 meld hand. 2nd seat (Teacher) gets a good, solid opener...but one where the only real choice is 53. 3rd seat has a nice hand, where he should jump...60, 65, maybe 70, depending on his exact hand. But he does have the 7-8 card trump suit and 2-3 side aces, so he'll be bidding. Now the fun part: 4th seat has 40+ meld...what does he do? Level matters, his exact meld matters.

This situation just doesn't come up very often, so you can't really assume it'll be dealt. That's why you've got a deal constructor. But that's a LOT of work that's totally separate. I honestly, seriously doubt I'd want to put the effort into a good deal constructor and put it on a free-to-play site, and I'd want to know there really was demand for it before I started to write it.

I'm sure I'll think of other things, but the Teaching Table idea would be a *big* point for me.


RE: What would you like to see in a Pinochle Playing Site? - mickmackusa - 08-30-2014

The Force Forfeit has a real reputation for being nasty.
I'd like to see a better way to solve what it is meant to solve.

So that I understand... what are all of the situation when the Force Forfeit is used?
1. Someone is cheating throwing the game?
2. Someone is disconnected and the seat isn't filling up?
3. Are there more?

For #1, players could send a message to moderators/administrators for investigation. A website with administrators that understand pinochle would be able to view the game records (assuming they save the hand histories, and I would) and identify bad sportsmanship. Then the admin could make a snap judgement and put a negative mark on the player's rank/profile or the administrator could contact the player and ask for justifications if uncertain.

For #2, let the program decide after ~5 minutes of the seat not being re-filled that the game is closed down. The remaining 3 players are awarded no win and no loss. The disconnected player acquires a bad mark on the rank/profile stating that the game was ended prematurely due to leaving table.

How about: instead of allowing players to end the game, players could mutually agree to freeze/save the game at the conclusion of a hand. If Uncle Bob, Aunt Lucy, Grandma Gertrude, and you religiously play pinochle on Friday nights between 6pm-9pm and a game to 500 isn't reached by 9, then you could save it until 6pm next week.

Would you apply this to Social Lounges only? or all Lounges?

[EDIT]On principle, I don't think I like the idea of someone else coming into a table to finish it off. Specifically when player ranking is impacted. The new player has to accept the current score, which may be a disadvantage, and do the best with what is left. The original partner may not know the new partner and this is likely a disadvantage. What happens when the fractured team wins or loses? Does the departed partner get any credit? what if that departed partner had the whole game stitched up and got disconnected just before completing? What if the fractured team loses? does the new partner bear the full weight of the loss? It just seems messy to me programmatically. My vote, on this theoretical / utopian pinochle site would be for "No Scabs." The game either gets Saved or Scrapped.[/EDIT]


RE: What would you like to see in a Pinochle Playing Site? - mary - 08-30-2014

(08-29-2014, 11:59 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  Definitely separations based on 'experience.' It does help some. mick suggests the top-level lounge doesn't show live points won during the hand...treat it more like competition. I can see the point, but...for me, at least, there's always been a big difference between my focus level online versus at the table. I count cards FAR better at the table. So at most, I'd say, make it an option. Also: you can only see the cards from the *last* trick, both back on Yahoo and now on PlayOK. I think this is necessary; the cards just get swept up quickly, and playing online, we've got the potential for more distractions.

SIMPLE, clean graphics. Don't distract with florid borders and overly fancy cards.

If Force Forfeit is available, one thing I definitely want to know is how many games someone's FFd. There are good, valid reasons for FFing someone; throwing the game would be one. But this should be rather uncommon.

On the table timings...let these be table setting parameters, like PlayOK's total-time setting...EXCEPT perhaps in a speed pino room, which is a cool idea. There, maybe every action has to be completed in 15 seconds, perhaps. Not sure what that number should be. If you time out on a bid or play, you automatically start a count-down timer like PlayOK has. When THAT timer runs out, you lose. This lets you take 10-15 seconds...a normal amount of time for thought...per card, without fear of repercussions. It also supports "oh, I gotta answer the phone" situations, which is where PlayOK kinda falls down. (On PlayOK, everyone has N minutes, but the each player's clock operates like a chess clock. Player before you acts, BOP! Your clock starts right then and there.)

One thing that PlayOK does, that I hate: if my partner runs out of time, we BOTH take the loss. IMO this is unfair to me. On Yahoo, the person FFd got blamed and took the rating hit for BOTH players; his partner's rating didn't change.

rak: what do you see as the value for average time to call, average time to play a card? I tend to doubt they'll have that much meaning.

TEACHING tables. NOT timed at all. Never rated, never timed. One player is the designated Teacher (say, sitting South). He's got controls no one else does...to peek at anyone else's hand any time he wants, or to show (to the whole table) anyone's hand. So the 3 'students' learn to play 'normally'...they only have access to their own cards...but the Teacher can peek, then say...are you sure you want to do that? Then a discussion can take place. The Teacher also has a Retract Last Action (which can be done more than once, like repeated Undo in Word or Excel). In addition, the Teacher can go, hmmm, look at that, this is interesting. Finally, the Teacher has a button to reset (during the play...go back to opening lead, trick 1) if there's a teaching moment about the play. For example, declarer starts with, say,

ASASTSTSKSQSQSJSADADTDQDQDJDJDXCXCXCAHXH

The play starts AH, AD, AD, QS with nothing interesting on the first 3 tricks. Partner has 3 spades and 3 diamonds...but gets no diamond ruffs. OR, declarer can never set up a long diamond because he's exposed early on in hearts, and defense plays a forcing game (forcing him to ruff) and shortens his trumps to such a degree that a defender ultimately has more. The teaching point is that playing QD *instead of* QS at trick 4 has several ways to win, or at least break even...so he can replay the whole hand.

Another extension: on a teaching table, maybe there aren't 3 students. Maybe there's only 1, maybe 2. With 2, probably split the students, one as North, one as West. With 1, the Teacher could assign him any of the seats. Any seats not controlled by a student, are controlled by the Teacher...NO BOTS, at least here. This latter feature would let a student practice bidding in each set. As an alternative, the student(s) and teacher's seats are fixed, but the teacher can designate the dealer. Continuing with that theme, Teacher can let the game score naturally, or can set a particular score at the start of any hand...and any other conditions you could think of. These are all to practice situations...the score's 450-100 (you're losing) in first seat, do you open:

AHAHKHQHJHASTSKSQSJSJSJSADADJDJDACACACJC

CERTAINLY, this hand is PLENTY good enough to open 50, or show aces, or give meld. BUT...it's also got massive defense with no weak suit. Dealer might be in trouble. You bid, you win the bid, you make the hand, you pull 31. Great...awesome. Score's 450-180. Congratulations, you have to pull 31 for 3 more hands in a row to have a chance. You *pass*...maybe dealer's side is doomed to go set. Less than 20 meld, less than 20 tricks, or the combination of meld/tricks stays below 50. With that hand you've got...this is reasonably likely. NOW, the score might be 400-140; they lose 50, you gain 40...or even 400-170 if they make the board but your side pulls 31. Either of these latter cases means the opponents typically need to score with 2 hands, not one. Fine, you might need 3 out of the next 4 hands to be good for you, but that's a heckuva lot better than 3 out of 3.

Or another situation in brief: double bidder out, 460+ for each side. Does this change bidding? YES. So practice that situation.

A final point: it might be good to have a deal constructor...where the Teacher can set the parameters for the hands. 1st seat gets a 20 meld hand. 2nd seat (Teacher) gets a good, solid opener...but one where the only real choice is 53. 3rd seat has a nice hand, where he should jump...60, 65, maybe 70, depending on his exact hand. But he does have the 7-8 card trump suit and 2-3 side aces, so he'll be bidding. Now the fun part: 4th seat has 40+ meld...what does he do? Level matters, his exact meld matters.

This situation just doesn't come up very often, so you can't really assume it'll be dealt. That's why you've got a deal constructor. But that's a LOT of work that's totally separate. I honestly, seriously doubt I'd want to put the effort into a good deal constructor and put it on a free-to-play site, and I'd want to know there really was demand for it before I started to write it.

I'm sure I'll think of other things, but the Teaching Table idea would be a *big* point for me.
for new people like me, we really don't understand a lot of the phrases used in speaking about the game. We don't understand how the game actually functions. I will show this to a better player and ask for help.
thank you


RE: What would you like to see in a Pinochle Playing Site? - mickmackusa - 08-30-2014

Lounge Categories:

1. Training Lounge -- special teacher privileges, no ranking, no timing, kibitzing, chat, single hand games. This lounge would be like the Meld Training program versus the Meld Test. Very bite-sized. Strictly used for teaching/learning.

2. Social Lounge -- all the features of a regular online game, timing, onlookers see only played cards, no chat (I just don't think it is necessary), NO ranking, allow "pausing" between hands for toilet breaks?

3. Competitive Lounge -- all the features of a regular online game, timing, onlookers see only played cards, no chat, YES ranking!

Table Host Setting:

1. Designate Scorechart? (or should Yahoo be used permanently)
2.a) Public Table - host allows anyone to sit.
2.b) Restrictive Table - host allows anyone to sit who meets specified ranking/profile criteria. e.g. >100 games played, <5 games timed-out/quit, average time to play a card <15 seconds, etc.
2.c) Private Table - host fills seats by invitation only.

Player Profile & Ranking:

1. Games Completed
2. Wins & Losses
3. Games timed-out / quit / disconnected
4. Offenses of Poor Sportsmanship & Outright Cheating
5. Average time to bid per hand
6. Average time to play a card per hand
7. What kind of formula would be used to calculate a weighted, numerical ranking system?
8. Forgiveness for past blemishes on record? e.g. Record has 1 mark for a game ending disconnect, but that was over 40 games ago with no repeat offenses -- is it time to wipe that 1 off the record? ...like an old traffic citation.


Please feel free to build on this.
I am finding this thread very fun.
Rep Up!


RE: What would you like to see in a Pinochle Playing Site? - ToreadorElder - 08-30-2014

Force Forfeit was how Yahoo did it. If a time-out was hit (3 minutes), any other player could FF. (There were also no-FF tables.) It wasn't automatic (as it is on PlayOK) that you lost. If someone said "afk, brb" (away from keyboard, be right back)...usually, ok, just wait for them to get back. The feature was there because without it...what would you do for someone intending to be disruptive and never play a card...the stallers?

Quote:So that I understand... what are all of the situation when the Force Forfeit is used?
1. Someone is cheating throwing the game?
2. Someone is disconnected and the seat isn't filling up?
3. Are there more?

On Yahoo, the only way to trigger the FF was to have a timeout. On PlayOK, the FF is automatic on a timeout, either for 1 play, or if your overall clock runs out before the game's over. You can't FF for cheating...how would the system ever know?

Offenses for poor sportsmanship/cheating...who decides? And what is poor sportsmanship/cheating? You're also asking, IMO, for serious trouble if you track anything like this, UNLESS you have really solid standards and consistency here.

Competitive lounge: what do you mean by 'no chat'? At the table? How does a partnership work out bidding misunderstandings?

More than one meld chart is just confusing, IMO. Not sure I really think the restrictive table's all that useful...certainly, criteria like <5 games quit, is NOT a good one. Play 5000 games, you can easily have 10 games you quit. Even on a public table, the host has the right to boot anyone, for any reason. Just pop up the player's stats, or make them readily accessible, and let the host decide.

I'm still waiting for feedback: WHY do you guys think 'time to play a card/make a bid' is at all useful/meaningful? What are you trying to identify or measure, that is significant? There might be something here, but I seriously doubt that this is the right way to do it. Just one example: I pass in first seat. My total time spent bidding...however long it took to count meld, then click. Short, in any case. My partner and an opponent get into a multi-round bidding competition, taking 5-6 bids each...total time could be substantial. If we assume that longer average bid time is 'bad'...then you just invite the bad bidding of tossing out 60 and 65 on anything that looks reasonable...just bash and bid fast.

You have to be more specific as to what you're trying to accomplish with these statistics.


RE: What would you like to see in a Pinochle Playing Site? - mary - 08-30-2014

(07-16-2014, 11:12 AM)rakbeater Wrote:  Just for fun, because I'm not flush with extra money to actually follow through with this at this point in my life, but what would you like to see a in an online system/program/game?

Take the best, eliminate the worst, and add your own suggestions as to what would be your ultimate online multi-player pinochle playing system.

Mick's post got me thinking about it: http://www.powerpinochle.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=726


I would like to see a system where there is a section of tables for "speed" pinochle" (for all those non-thinkers who just want to click constantly) and then tables for those who actually need a little time to think for newbies or experienced, analytical players. I would also want the rating, games played, won/lost, games timed out/quit, and the key stat I would want would be: average time to make a bid and average time to lay a card. I would only want kibitzing to happen on "training" or "social" tables. I want the graphics simple but clean. Other thoughts?
understanding how the game works 101
assuming the new player does not know much. at live games, when you are new to the game. what they teach you is how to meld, bid and play and count at the end. most of us do not know how to keep score and little else, when unknown phrases are uses at the table we just say - we don't know that part yet. it seems all I have going for me is, they say I have good card sense.


RE: What would you like to see in a Pinochle Playing Site? - ToreadorElder - 08-30-2014

mary, that's why we're talking about teaching rooms. Trying to play a game, while also trying to coach up someone very inexperienced? Those are conflicting goals.