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What would you like to see in a Pinochle Playing Site?
(08-29-2014, 11:59 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  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.

What I was thinking about when typing this was that I try to count cards, and think out my hand before bidding, etc. So (especially when I haven't played in a while) when I'm playing with players that don't think (even though they have a high rating, primarily because they have played a million games, not because they are actually that good), they tend to get annoyed and "yell" at me for not immediately playing or bidding, etc.

When I sit down at a table, if I would see that a player has a very fast average time to play a card, I probably won't want to play with them because they are going to whine about being slow when I'm just taking an extra couple seconds to think or count.
Thank you for the answer. I can definitely see the goal, trying to sniff out the brainless card-tossers. The question is, does this/can this? I think not. Figure that 3 times out of 4, more or less, you're dummy or defender. How often do you really need to think about what card to play? I'll assert that 4 times a hand, as dummy or on defense, is probably a high estimate. And I, for one, am working out what I'll do there *in advance* I'll often play the cards with a quick tempo even then.

I've been playing on PlayOK for a while now. Many games have 10 minute timers; you have a total of 10 minutes for ALL your actions during the game. Clock starts once it's your turn to act. So...if it takes me an average of 2 seconds per card, that's 40 seconds (2/3 of a minute) just for the tricks. Add whatever you need to actually bid. For 9 hands, 9 x (2/3) is 6 minutes of the 10. 9 hands, in my experience, is a pretty common game length.

I don't think I'm using as much as 6 minutes, unless I'm talking in the room, all that often. So the 2 seconds per play, is probably an UPPER bound. 1 second per card is probably a lower bound; you might be able to cash several aces, or lead the same suit several times, but there's read/react/move mouse/click times, and that will take *some* time.

1) I'm not sure there's going to be enough variation between players to be able to say much.
2) You can't distinguish between the card-tossers and the good players who are planning in advance; they take no time because they've already worked out what they're gonna do.
3) A card-tosser goes AFK for 40 seconds when it's his turn to play...plenty of reasons for this to happen, legitimately, from time to time. Even if it's only once every other game, this will markedly increase his average time per card.

So, rather than this...and some of the other points about stallers and give the players the tools to avoid the jerks...jerks by THEIR definitions, which is the only right one here. Yahoo's Ignore feature didn't work correctly as it related to lounge chat...which you might want to block, but you do that for entirely different reasons. I'd love 2 says, just never play at the same table as this person. This is for the stallers, cheats, game throwers, those who get seriously abusive *frequently*...they make the game so negative that they're bad to have even as opponents. There's another group, tho...just bloody darn poor players. Hand hogs. Card-tossers. Clueless ace-cashers (especially on defense) or those who can't count to 4 (playing locked-suit aces for no reason). Bidders who count on a passing partner to give them 25. Again, in your personal opinion. They're terrible partners...but they can be awesome opponents. Smile Could even have a 3rd button...hey, this guy was pretty good, I should remember him to play with him again. And, hey, I don't mind playing against someone like that; it's nice to have challenges too.

Finally, in the lounge (and on a table), use some form of highlighting to point them out. The staller/cheater about their names in boldface, in RED? The good players get GREEN, and maybe underlined. The weak players get italicized, or maybe use yellow. Red/yellow/green also is easy to remember...STOP, WARN, GO. Stoplight colors. Smile

This is only available to the individual player. You don't have to justify why, in your profile report, it shows 10 accusations/cases of cheating...which *could* be construed as defamation. Most likely there would be no monetary damages, but I wouldn't want to expose myself to the risk. Same with abusive-behavior notations...let each player decide what they consider abusive. Yes, a player's probably going to get burned 1 time, but I actually think the reviews are worse. I do know, from Yahoo, that most lounge talk like "don't play with redneck497...he cheats" is BS. The person making the accusation, 9 times out of 10 it seemed, was either an absolute, clueless idiot who couldn't read a hand, or a total paranoid about cheaters...or a cheat/staller themselves, and they're building a smokescreen. So you'd have to ask yourself: to support reporting "Offenses of Poor Sportsmanship & Outright Cheating" to borrow mick's phrase, you need to have a mechanism to a) catch or report them, and b) you better have an approach to evaluate the reports! Do you really want to get into this? If I'm not already beating the dead horse cuz you get my point...give the players mechanisms like this, and the problem is *mostly* solved.
I've been thinking some more about the Social versus Competitive Lounges.

So that there is a more gentle transition out of the Training Lounge, perhaps it would be better if the Social Lounge didn't keep track of your wins and losses. I don't think your first day out of the womb should land you in the colosseum pitted against the other gladiators. Might this risk being an unpopular Lounge?

Furthermore, how important is ranking? (I faintly recall asking this same question years ago.) Can't you come to a reasonable assumption of a player by observing the:
1. Games Played
2. Games Won
3. Games Loss
4. Games Disconnected / Timed-out

Is ranking purely used by people who need to feel superior to other players? Does a win/loss percentage satisfy this?

Rak and I used to play a fair amount of poker online. As an outside reference, there is an independent website that tracks your games -- SharkScope (give it time to page redirect & load).
mickmackusa @ PokerStars
rakbeater @ PokerStars
I have only just noticed the Ability column in the table. It is basically a weighted rating (max of 100). The weight is a reference to stake level.
I don't know how a pinochle site might derive a weighted ranking since there would be only one level. Any thoughts on this? ("Games Won" minus "Games Disconnected/Timed-out" divided by Games Played) ? This feels too simple for me.

...this is a bit of a rushed/rambling post, I ran out of time again.
It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. -- Mickey Mantle
Just basing on win/loss benefits the cheaters. It also, as you note, doesn't take competitive level into account. And how much can you read from a disconnect? They DO happen from time to time.

Yahoo had Social, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. You *definitely* want something between your Social and Competitive, whether it's 1 level or 2. Competitive will be unpopular if you turn off point-counting...except for those who find/build a point (and card) counter for your site.

I'll grant that ratings mean next to nothing; they *can* sometimes give you a hint about how someone plays, but it's not very reliable. If you *don't* do ratings of some type, tho, I'm not sure anyone is gonna take your site seriously. Ever play high-lo Omaha online, for play money? Suffice it to say, the betting is...ummm...ludicrous. Hold'em was maybe a *bit* better...but still awful.
Should point spread at the end of the game matter for ranking? If so, how much?
Let's say the final score is: 565 to 445 (Difference = 120 points)

Does point difference hold any legit bearing on player rating? or does Pinochle's innate luck with meld points factor in too great of proportion?

In the example, is 120 points too severe for calculating?
Is 50% of difference (60) better?
Doesn't seem to be right to calculate difference from 500 (55), IMO.

What do you think?

p.s this would actually impact end-game play. Players would be less inclined to "coast out" and would rather bid to win at greater distance from the opposition. Does this alone make it a bad idea?

Other reasons this would be a bad thing to implement?
It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. -- Mickey Mantle
On Yahoo at least, altho not on PlayOK, if the declaring side went over 500, the game's over, and Yahoo didn't count the loser's points from the last hand. If you try to make final margin a ranking factor, then how you handle this becomes significant.

Is a 120 point margin all that significant? 565-445 may well have been 495-445 going into the last hand. Does losing 530-100 show bad play, or just bad cards/unlucky situations? (The latter: South has a weak hand, but North has aces around and 5-6 total aces, but only a side marriage. If North is first bidder, he gives aces, and South can become aggressive knowing North has tricks for him. If West is first bidder and, say, opens 53...North MIGHT give 20, but that might not really help South, who won't know about the tricks. But North probably has to pass.) Or, just tweaking the score...530-150. The losing side got a pair of 75 hands...but the winning side pulled 20 each time, and had the 20 meld, so they got 80 from that. They, on the other hand, pulled 31 on each of their hands...and all of this, just from the cards. Granted, it's probably not common, but I think it's not all *that* rare.

Alternately, the losing side may have gone down on a board set, or any kind of drop auction (pass-50-pass-pass, pass-pass-pass-50, etc.) where they can't make the board or pull enough to save. Or South gets a nice hand worth 55 total (33 meld, 9 tricks)...but his partner has 6 meld and NO tricks, so his 65 goes down. Say the auction starts pass by North, 52 by East; South *should* bid 65, by my lights; 60's too low; 70 could be right; but 65 has, I think, more ways to BE right.

So even if you do this, you have to decide what is, or isn't, significant, in terms of margin.

OTOH, I wouldn't mind seeing average margin of victory/average margin of defeat, somehow incorporated into rankings, but this would require a rating system that considers overall performance. Both PlayOK and Yahoo use game-by-game rankings. Alternately, it might be indicative of playing style or bid/play level, to show the average margins along with the win/loss percentages, although I'll grant it might not be terribly clear. To wit:

--Some players take intentional sets, particularly with no marriage, when the opponents would go out. Sure, once in a very great while, they win...but more often, their average margin of defeat is going to be notably larger.

--The bad over-bidders who need 25 from their passed partners, with 6-7 trick hands, by pushing way too high. This would show up in all the stats

But generally, in a ranking system where each game's result has a direct translation to ranking points, using score difference doesn't really work.
I'd like to hear a suggestion for how to calculate a rating score. *if it is "good" (or could be good) for the pinochle site & pinochle player to have one. If you think it's not a good idea, please offer an alternative for the competitive pinochle audience.

What are all the factors to consider?

My hope would be that the rating number would be important enough to disincentivize all poor play.

Somebody show me a formula!

Simplicity is usually pretty important, but can be challenging to attain. A single value for comparison is the clearest representation. rakbeater and I did a large sample of Meld Tests and devised a formula that we felt (at the time) was pretty fair in the way that the tests were weighted. After test scores improved and many more tests were completed by the membership, we found that the "weighting" wasn't formulated as well as intended. luckylarrydavid scored just 2nd place in weighted Score despite smashing my Time by 20 second; with a Test that was merely 5 meld units fewer. Obviously, some post-commencement tweaking to do on that scoring system.


p.s. Does anybody know Yahoo's rating formula? Or is it their super secret sauce?
It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. -- Mickey Mantle
You probably can't punish poor play; the luck factor is more significant, more often.

Realistically, the ONLY way to get fair comparisons is to play duplicate, such that everyone you're comparing against, plays the exact same hands you play, under the same conditions (in pinochle, that'd be restricted to who dealt). OR, play a whooole lotta rounds, so the luck factor is minimized.

MAYBE you could do something long-term statistical:
% of hands you play (NOT the partnership, this has to be kept individually)
% of hands you bid that go set
% of hands you defend that go set
% of games you win when out-melded during the game
% of games you lose when you out-meld the opponents
% of hands you bid, where opponents save their meld
% of hands you defend, where you save your meld

I think it's pretty clear that all of these reflect skill...but how does one combine these into a ranking system? It also doesn't help that you'd really need quite a few games to get a decent sample size.
TE, that's a great list.
If you think of any more, please do an edit and add to that list.

Each list item will have a different likelihood of occurring (luck), but I agree that over time evident skill will shine through.

I would rather have a battery of percentages like your list, than a single ranking. A singular man-made valuation of list items would be doomed to be inaccurate, in my experience. Players wouldn't have to be so fixated on who they are playing against (Yahoo bred a snobby vibe where the upper crust of players wouldn't sit at a table of low rankers... I think statistically it was more punishing to the higher players to lose to lower players. Not to mention, the quality of play was generally worse among the lesser ranked players). In an environment where only you and your partnership's records are relevant, you can feel free to play against anyone and simply be selective about your partner if you care to.

Being able to isolate each of those 7 skill areas may help players to identify where they skill deficiency are. If you can't see the err in your ways, you are unlikely to fix them.

Does this mean that the very broad and basic Wins -vs- Losses is out the window? Because luck plays too high of a part? Or would you include that too? ...I suppose it wouldn't hurt to show it ...most people would want to know that stat, I guess.

This is a clear step forward in Power Pinochle's pursuit of the Utopian Online Game!
Good post, TE.
It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. -- Mickey Mantle
For me, I want a way to download the hand history of any game I played. When I played online poker, there were a few independent sites that you could feed the raw hand history into and it would animate your hand.

You could see the cards and actions made, step-by-step. You could just watch it play out or you could manually click for each action. This would be sooo helpful in seeking advice after the game. So many questions that are asked about Pinochle gameplay are highly dependent on the ENTIRE scenario. This would solve that problem.
It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life. -- Mickey Mantle

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