Saturday, February 10, 2018

new Hearts Option called "Tournament Rules" skips the no-pass hand

This morning, the site was updated to apply some modifications.

In Hearts, shooting the sun now only applies a penalty of 39 points to other players (as compared with the previous 52 points). It appears that a majority of players dislike the large sunshot penalty, based on a previous vote. This is an attempt at a compromise.

Also, a new Hearts Option is available. It is called "Tournament Rules". When using this new Option, the no-passing round is skipped, so you always get to pass cards. Further, if you are stuck with the Queen of Spades as your last card to play before hearts have been broken, you are not forced to lead with it. Instead, you can play a heart.

If you select "Either" for the "Tournament Rules" Option, you will be seated at either type of table. You can see what type of Options apply at your table by clicking on the "table info" link in the lower left corner of your table. Also, "Tournament Rules" tables will show up with a "tr" in the list of tables. Note: in order to "create" a table that uses Tournament Rules, you must select "Use Tourmament Rules" in the "New Hearts Option" panel, shown below. For the regular Hearts Options panel, set "Tournament Rules" to "Yes".
new Hearts Option "Tournament Rules"

Finally, in 3-5-8, the "Fan Cards Wider" Setting is now functional. You can fan your cards wider or narrower.


Anonymous said...

Sorry but this wasn't needed. It was fine before.

Marya said...

Well, that's the great thing; anyone who does not like the new Option can continue playing as before. I do not think this will hurt anyone's enjoyment of the game as it is.

Anonymous said...

Used to be when some one quit which they do all the time to avoid a loss tho I know you don't believe this or if they are dropped by their internet or for whatever other reason a bot would fill in. I set up a game using the new tournament rules a person quit and no bot filled in so we sat for 3 or 4 minutes until a person came. Why does a bot not fill in?

Anonymous said...

Exactly! Thank you Marya for the compromise

Marya said...

Hi Anon, The only explanation I can think of is that you might have your Options set up to play without bots? Whether or not bots are allowed at a table is a completely separate Option.

There's a blog page which describes how to set up your Bots Option. Just make sure that the "Bots" Option is set to "Either" or to "Yes".

Marya said...

Hey Constance,

I'm really hoping that the new Option will take off once people understand how it works. I've spoken with people who are completely against it, and also with those who are lukewarm (they will play either way), but so far haven't chatted with anyone who really likes it.

I did play a game this morning where the Option was in place. As of right now, I can see that about 70 games have been completed using this Option. In comparison, about 700 games have been played without it!

I didn't mention it in the blog post, but I didn't have time to make this Option available at ranked tables. I am hoping to have that as a possibility by the next update, although I can't promise it.

Anonymous said...

Since i only play ranked games, i guess I'm out of luck

Anonymous said...

Please don't add this to ranked tables. Its nice to have one standard rule set for ranked elo's for consistency.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marya, AlexUK here :)
Just to share a little thought about Euchre. I've been playing it quite a lot recently, and I get the impression that the impact of luck in it is HUGE compared to other games like Hearts and Spades and Pinochle. I mean, you can always get good and bad cards in any game, but I think in Euchre it's a massive factor, much more so than in the others. So what I propose is, can you make the games longer? If we play, say, to 15 instead of 10, that will reduce the impact of luck because it will give good and bad cards more of a chance to even out. Just an idea.

Marya said...

Hi AlexUK!

I think there's a skill factor in Euchre, too, but it can certainly happen that your team gets a run of bad cards, which leads to a loss. I think that with most card games, the luck factor evens out, so what really matters is your stats over time.

I could see that it might be fun to play an extended game of Euchre, but I have some doubts that it would be popular. One of the appeals of Euchre is that the game is short. So you can play a quick game and get on with your day.

The other objection that I have is that pretty generally, I don't like to add non-standard rules, unless there's a big demand for it (as happened with the recent "Tournament Rules" addition to Hearts). Early on, I did add a non-standard Option to play the game of Spades without a bag penalty. This Option gets used, but not nearly as much as the standard Options.

The problem with adding quirky variations to a game is that they tend to be less popular, so it's harder to get a game started when they are used.

FWIW I've actually considered adding a shorter version of the game of pinochle (e.g. to 250 points), to give more people a chance to play. Pinochle tables can take a long time to finish, and it seems people are more likely to dive in and out of them.