Sunday, March 30, 2014

new option! - no bag penalty variation in spades

[Note! This post has been edited to reflect some small changes to the options dialog that were made April 14 2014. The new changes are cosmetic.]

My mid-March post about a "no bag penalty" variation of Spades caused a little stir, with lots of comments. There were a surprising number of players who wanted to try it. So let's give it a whirl! Starting this morning, you can try out the new variation at World of Card Games.

To explain how the variation works, I quote Pagat: "Some play without any penalty for 10 sandbags - overtricks are simply worth an extra point each." It's that simple. You have to forget about being concerned about accruing too many bags. Their only effect is to give you 1 point each. Otherwise, they don't add up, and they don't roll over with a penalty at the count of 10.

To avoid disrupting the (apparent) majority who prefer playing with the usual penalty, I've added this option to private tables only. You may only play with the new option at private tables.

This is how you set up a private table:
  1. On the main page, click on the Spades "Options" button, which is at the lower left of the Spades panel. This opens the options settings dialog (a screenshot is shown above).
  2. Click the "Private Table" checkbox. Below this will appear the text "Name: none (change)". Click on the "(change)" link, and enter your table name (it can be whatever you want). If you leave it "none," then no one else can get into it - usually people do this if they want to play with robots, only.
  3. Click the "No" radio button next to the "Bag Penalty" setting.
  4. Hit the OK button in the dialog, which closes. Your options have been saved!
The next time you play Spades, you'll be sitting at a table with these options applied. Keep in mind that you will need to share your private table name with other people in order to play with them! So for those who are eager to try this out, you'll need to chat with others to find some recruits to sit at your private table and play with you.

I've also excluded these games from the Spades statistics, at least for now. I'm going to wait for feedback before deciding what to do about the stats. I may add them in later on.

I am interested to know what people think about the new option. Leave feedback in the comments section, or send me an email.

And as usual, please report any bugs, should you notice anything strange happening.


Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for adding this as an opt-in feature. Now everyone should be happy.

Anonymous said...

I still cant win, maybe you could bundle this with a "change bid" feature ? .....HagBoar

Marya said...

Hi Hagboar, not sure if you're joking :) How long have you been playing Spades? I don't believe it's any easier to win without the penalty for bags. So far as I can tell, this option leads to a quicker game. But you still have to be careful about bidding correctly. Bid too high and you'll get set, bid too low and you'll leave a lot of points on the table... but at least you don't have to worry about getting penalized for too many points. This all applies to your opponent as well, of course, so neither side gets an advantage! You do have to adjust your mind a bit to the new way the rules work...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

English is not HagBoar's native language, I think what he ment was that the game is easier to PLAY with out the bag penalties, and its always good to have a table for beginners. Perhaps a "change bid" button is what's needed by the few who bail whenever things go bad... but I think that suggestion too was in jest....... BW

Marya said...

BW - that makes sense, thanks! :)