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What would you like to see in a Pinochle Playing Site?
#21
Note that there's two quite separate and distinct parts...the history itself, and you're talking about a 'playback' function.

The history part is fairly easy to keep...on the *client* side. The client has to turn it on. Then some method can record all four hands, the bids, and the plays, and to be sure, those could be posted here for comment. The playback functionality seems possible enough, but also way more trouble than it's likely to be worth. But the history itself is client-side by necessity, at least OUTSIDE of a teaching room. In a teaching room, you could easily have a 'replay mode' for the just-played hand.
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#22
Wow, what a great thread! I have a ton of comments and feedback, but I'm going break it up into 4 different themed posts, which will follow this one. The following themes will be used to separate my thoughts into somewhat more logical groups:
1. Comments on previous posts in this thread;
2. Ideas for novice and/or "teaching" tables;
3. Ideas for advanced or "competitive" tables; and
4. Ideas for ratings.

I apologize in advance as the first post (and perhaps some of the others) will be somewhat lengthy, disorganized, and repetitive. I made notes on the whole thread as I read it...so the intent of this post is to provide comments on the previous 2+ pages of thoughts and ideas, some of which were already mentioned by others in their replies, which I hadn’t read before I made my note on the subject.
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#23
Comments on previous posts in this thread:

[I apologize but since I'm not able to use the quote feature properly, I'm just going to manually copy and paste the text from the previous posts.]

In general, I loved most of the ideas and thoughts in this thread.  Here are some specific ideas I think would be beneficial:
  • (Mick) no live-count of 2nd round points
  • (Mary) 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 ***Maybe this could even be a feature added to PowerPinochle's site...
  • (Toreador) - pretty much the whole post from 08-29-2014, 10:59 PM; specifically,
    • No penalty for partner who forfeits
    • Teaching tables
    • Hand constructor
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Other thoughts and comments:
(Toreador)  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.

- That's what I thought when I first read this, but coupled with
  • 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. (Mick)
it would probably work.
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(Toreador, in response to Mary) 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.

- Absolutely agree!
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(Mick) 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)

Other reasons this would be a bad thing to implement?

- I’m not in favor of this type of system.  There are too many variables that make up the final score.  For example, was the score 445-300 and the partnership with 300 got a double run and double pinochles?  Was the score at one point 480-120 and the partnership with 120 battled back to 480-445 before the other partnership took a risky 75 bid and got lucky?  How does the competence of your partner and opponents figure into either of these scenarios?  (More thoughts on this in my post titled "Ideas for Ratings" below…)
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(Toreador) OTOH, I wouldn't mind seeing average margin of victory/average margin of defeat, somehow incorporated into rankings

- I think this should be included in statistics, but not rankings (which I take to mean ratings).  But maybe that’s what you were trying to say.
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(Mick) I'd like to hear a suggestion for how to calculate a rating score.

Somebody show me a formula!

- No formula, but I do have some suggestions on inputs to the equation, in addition to the ones offered by Toreador, in my below post.  (Note that some of mine are the same or similar to Tor’s because I was jotting things down as I read through the thread…then I got to his post and…well, great minds….)
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(Mick) Being able to isolate each of those 7 skill areas may help players to identify where they skill deficiency are.

- Excellent point!
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(Mick) For me, I want a way to download the hand history of any game I played.

- Yep, I had that on my list too.  I think it would be good to see the bid history and melds shown also.  In addition, I thought it would be great if you could easily share all this information with others for feedback and/or discussion.
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#24
Ideas for novice and/or "teaching" tables:

[Keep in mind the original post to this thread is "What would you like to see...."  I realize that some of these features may be impractical or extremely difficult to include in an actual site...but then again, Walt Disney said "If you can dream it, you can do it."]
  • During bidding round, player would indicate which suit they would call trump if they got the bid and it would show the probability of partner having x meld (maybe in increments of 10) and overall probability of making bid if that suit were trump
  • Option to show meld values if each suit is called trump (to avoid miscounting by newbies)
  • Option to show count of trump cards played, or even specific trump cards played.
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#25
Ideas for advanced or "competitive" tables (and other general features)

[Keep in mind the original post to this thread is "What would you like to see...."  I realize that some of these features may be impractical or extremely difficult to include in an actual site...but then again, Walt Disney said "If you can dream it, you can do it."]
  • I don't mind the “chess timer” so much, but only the last person to finish reviewing meld should have time taken off.
  • Option to require players to click their meld cards to declare meld.  If too many incorrect cards are clicked, knock a few points off the player’s rating. (This would be to prevent people from just clicking all the cards in their hand every time, without affecting the score for that game – which is another alternative but probably not entirely fair).
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#26
Ideas for ratings
  • “Smarter” ratings based on situational play (I don’t have specific ideas…it would just be better than most of the current ratings systems based largely on competence of your partner and/or opponents.)  I like a lot of Toreador's ideas.
  • Ask each player to rate the others at the table after the game has ended, on a scale of 1-5.  (Obviously these ratings would be anonymous.) Use these ratings to help determine competency, which could be used in determining the “smart” ratings.
  • Rating tracker over time (like a line graph)
  • Ratings based on how many bids made by 1, missed by 1, hands in which you got shut out (didn’t save meld), and hands in which you shut out your opponents.
  • Ratings based on points made playing and NOT on points made via meld, or skewed more to points made playing over meld points.
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#27
Other miscellaneous ideas
[OK, I lied...I have a couple more suggestions that didn't fit into any of the above categories...]
  • Include other variants (including single-deck)
  • Multiplayer pinochle app; possibly connected with web-based version, so players can play join games either on the app or on the web.
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#28
I was just reading ToreadorElder's post over @ comments about PlayOK thread.

(05-29-2014, 04:38 PM)ToreadorElder Wrote:  So *expect* accusations of cheating all the time, if you actually make a tactical play that works.

I would like to hear clever ideas on how to reduce cheating (elimination is always going to be impossible).

When you play Monopoly and want to build houses on your properties, the rule is that you must build evenly.  No property can have greater than 1 extra house compared to its neighbors in the group.  Can something like this be applied to force players to play with different partners?

The rule wouldn't have to be as rigid as my Monopoly example, but maybe the Competitive Lounge would have a way to bar you from playing with the same partner over, and over, and over.  This doesn't impinge too greatly on freedom, right?  I think the player base would welcome the rule so long as it was known to be done as an anti-cheating tactic (greater good).

The Question is: Could this be put into practice as a cheating suppressant without negatively impacting the enjoyment of the game? and how?

*My notion of splitting tables into 3 Lounges (Educational,Social,Competitive) would mean that Educational & Social Lounges would not incorporate such a rule; only the Competitive Lounge where performance records are maintained.
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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#29
(10-08-2014, 05:01 PM)TigreLXIX Wrote:  Ideas for ratings
  • “Smarter” ratings based on situational play (I don’t have specific ideas…it would just be better than most of the current ratings systems based largely on competence of your partner and/or opponents.)  I like a lot of Toreador's ideas.
  • Ask each player to rate the others at the table after the game has ended, on a scale of 1-5.  (Obviously these ratings would be anonymous.) Use these ratings to help determine competency, which could be used in determining the “smart” ratings.
  • Rating tracker over time (like a line graph)
  • Ratings based on how many bids made by 1, missed by 1, hands in which you got shut out (didn’t save meld), and hands in which you shut out your opponents.
  • Ratings based on points made playing and NOT on points made via meld, or skewed more to points made playing over meld points.
  • Asking other people to rate the opponents doesn't work, IMO.  First:  they'll rate based on social aspects, not on play.  Second, the best they can do is rate based on THEIR knowledge.  If they'd make bad plays, they won't think anything negative when their partner does.  (For example, South is declarer;  he plays AH  during his early trick cashing.  West has AH AH  plus a few;  East *has melded aces.*  West gets in when South exits...then cashes HIS heart aces BEFORE trying to reach East.  South ruffs.  DUH.)

    What are you trying to capture with bids made (or missed) by small margins?

    On online cheating:  it can't be stopped completely, or at least, can't be stopped with probably illegal intrusion/monitoring.  Me, I call mick up on the phone...wanna play?  Sure.  We both get online AND stay on the phone together.  If we're using regular phone service, or cell service, you CAN'T catch that.  The intrusion part would be, we hook up on some messenger package...THAT, conceivably, could be caught...but not legally.

    I know poker sites go to considerable lengths to monitor for collusion/cheating...but now, we're talking real money at stake.  And I'll also bet that they DON'T do this on the relatively low-stakes tables.  But they also review server and play logs, and can track, ok, who's playing with whom.  But that can't stop the cheating BEFOREHAND...only when there's extensive pattern and practice.

    Some people only WANT to play with a few partners, so IMO, yes, it's GREATLY impinging.  It takes a great deal of time, discussion, and practice to iron out bidding and play situations.  A good player gets MORE hurt, playing with a weak player, than a mediocre player does.  And, why do you as a site operator, have any right to say who I play with?  Sure, it's your site, but to me that's just unacceptable.
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    #30
    Couple other thoughts...
    clicking on cards to be used in the meld is simply *tedious* and slow, IMO, and error-prone. It's a "this is NOT fun" requirement.

    There is actually little or no similarity, I believe, in the code to run through a web site, or within a phone/tablet app, so trying to do both would be a LOT of work. You have to maintain parallel APIs across 2 potentially *seriously* different coding languages/approaches, and of course, it requires that much more development (and maintenance) time. I do know that the poker sites were moving to this before Black Monday, at least in a VERY limited way, but they would recoup any investment by increasing the play options. EVERY hand played (pretty much), they make some money. I don't have any solid idea how much it would cost to set up a web site for playing pinochle, but I'd bet you would TRIPLE the cost, at least, if you try to support phones/tablets as well...and that's for *one* environment (iPhone, Android, Windows), not all of them.
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