What makes a good game? [TUTORIAL and HINTS] (The End)

For all support and comments on the game "GrassGames' Hearts".
marekjoz
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Re: What makes a good game? [TUTORIAL and HINTS]

Postby marekjoz » Dec 22, 2017

7. Do not try to moon all the time

This in most cases is practiced here by newbies, although old foxes do it from time to time as well. Like trying to moon 4 times in a row.

True is that it is not so usual to succeed a moon, when players defended it good. Pure luck at dealing and a bad pass help a lot but when playing against advanced players, such approach does not make a lot of sense, as you will not succeed much more frequently than lose it.

It really totally does not pay off at the end of the day. The best tactics is to have both paths opened - go for a moon and get back safely in case you see it won’t go.

When you will try to moon all the time, other players will get bored as such play would bring any fun only to you. You do not want to be the one, who they would not like to play with, do you?

marekjoz
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Re: What makes a good game? [TUTORIAL and HINTS]

Postby marekjoz » Dec 22, 2017

8. Identify where the Queen is

Easy to say, more difficult to achieve. There are hints, which you can use, to identify her.
First of all - who leads spades? Who repeats leading spades? Why something else was played than a spade? Was there an opportunity to drop a Queen by a player (if would have a Queen) but a player has not done it?

Observe and calculate options.

Let’s assume „W” player is low. You passed him 3 cards, no Queen included. You have 6 spades. Will you lead a spade or not? I would say - if you have 6 spades, then it is a low probability, that „W” also had many spades. How many spades is it ok to keep a Queen and not to pass her? I keep her when have 4 other spades. In other case I pass her. Now - what is the probability, that when you have 6 spades, the other player also has at least 5 spades? In my opinion very very low. If so, then even if „W” had a Queen before a pass, most probably already has passed her. You did not have her. All this means, that a Queen is somewhere else and by playing spades, you only help the low.

In accordance to the second tutorial here, when someone has not led a spade does not mean, that it was not suitable for this player. Maybe just cannot play spades, because it would be playing spades to low!

A good indication for a spades shortage or Queen location is avoiding playing spades by a player who is „before” a low as it is usually the best position to play spades.
Last edited by marekjoz on Dec 23, 2017, edited 2 times in total.

marekjoz
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Re: What makes a good game? [TUTORIAL and HINTS]

Postby marekjoz » Dec 22, 2017

9. Try to cheat your enemy

Tricky title does not mean you should feel encouraged to start an another account and try to play under another name :-)

The best pat in hearts is, that it is a game on an edge between a common trust among members of a team trying to catch a low and trying to get in lead at the same time. You need to build trust, use other players to fulfil your intentions and to make them playing for you and get in front of them at the same time. You need to make your goal to be their goal too.

Ok, so what about this cheating? Well. Somehow it depends on the side you currently at - either you are low or try to catch the low. There are other stages of the game like the balanced score and the big final, when the rules slightly change. But assuming you have an interest to make another player make a false move, make him think wrong, anticipate wrong etc., you should simply present your cards, hand and position otherwise, than it really is.

In example you are hunted as current low. The player who has a Queen is at your left. He has no more clubs. One round of clubs was played and 3 clubs were dropped. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 of clubs were not yet played. You have all of them. Instead of playing 3C, you may lay 7C. It would make the low thinking, that it was your lowest club and would make him drop the Queen. You win in this round as you have cheated your enemy and make him think that you and your other opponents had other cards, than they really had.

Just use your imagination how else you can trick other players ;-)

marekjoz
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Re: What makes a good game? [TUTORIAL and HINTS]

Postby marekjoz » Dec 24, 2017

10. Do not play a suit, which low already hasn’t

This a very simple rule. When you play a suit, which low already does not have, you help him to get rid of the cards, which are somehow problematic for him. He maybe did not have a Queen, but could have high diamonds, in example. By playing clubs, which he already did not have, you just simply help him get rid of dangerous diamonds. In most cases, if it occurred, that he had not clubs anymore, he also probably did not have a Queen as well, because ehe would have dropped her already (or feels so safe, that catching him might be impossible at all). If you have built enough trust among players, you can easily and safely play other suit as it would be the only chance to catch the low. By playing the suit, not in possess of the low, you just help him and complicate your situation at the same time.

It is not that, it is convenient for you play such a suit. It is really a serious mistake. If everyone would play like that (you in this round and the other player in the next round), then both of you are losing.

marekjoz
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Re: What makes a good game? [TUTORIAL and HINTS]

Postby marekjoz » Dec 24, 2017

11. Do not open hearts for low

Hearts are not possible to lead until someone drops a heart first - these rules are here mostly played. Imagine, that the low is the one, who takes the first point. Now he can lead a heart and you do not know, if he tries to moon, or is just kidding. It forces someone to take 4 points to stop him and he gained an advantage for a low price.

If it is possible, open hearts for a high player, as maybe if could also help him to moon, if it is required by you.

marekjoz
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Re: What makes a good game? [TUTORIAL and HINTS]

Postby marekjoz » Dec 25, 2017

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.

BTW - great to see, than even Dean read it, although I am sure he never would find here anything interesting for him. As we all know, his input into this community is far beyond any human imagination and as he already knew everything, maybe he even could add something from his own experiences.

Sharing knowledge - as far as I know - should be beneficial for all and could be made by all having something valuable to say.
Come on Dean, time for enlightenment from you.

bohonu
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Re: What makes a good game? [TUTORIAL and HINTS]

Postby bohonu » Dec 25, 2017

Marek,
I have never been on the forum before, but if you teach players how to play "Hearts", you have done a great service to participants.
I will reread what you shared, you make some great points in each article it is a great Christmas present to Hearts players all over.
Thank you for taking the time to make "Hearts" a whole lot more fun in each game.
I look forward to playing more good games with you in the near future.
Happy New Year,
Bo

slothcat
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Re: What makes a good game? [TUTORIAL and HINTS]

Postby slothcat » Dec 26, 2017

Thanks for posting this tutorial Marek. It is a great public service for this "community" of hearts players. I found it to be a very clear explanation and accurate in the details. I salute your willingness to take the time and mental energy to put it down for all to read.

marekjoz
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Re: What makes a good game? [TUTORIAL and HINTS]

Postby marekjoz » Dec 26, 2017

12. Contradictory requirements and unclear conditions

Thank you for good words, as you never can be sure if your actions would be interpreted in accordance to your intentions. I hope Iceman would repair those texts after he returns from Spain, as English is obviously not my mother tongue.

I assume, that 99% of players here would be more than happy to improve their skills and quality of their play as it only gives more fun to all who want participate. An average Hearts game takes about half an hour. It is your time and it should be so much enjoyable as only possible. Investing an hour to will improve your skills and bring you benefits sooner than you could ever expect it.

There are already a few rules and hints I have already published here. There are a lot more. The problem is, that sometimes they can be contradictory to each other and you have to make a difficult choice which way you go.

As an example I will show you what happened today. The score was like 7/14/31/33. I was playing on the „S” position having a Queen, two other spades and 33 points. Player „W” had 14 points. Should I risk taking a Queen with short spades which would make the score 7/14/31/46 or rather give a Queen to the next low (who was almost a regular lo) to make a score board like 7/27/31/33? At this moment you risk two things:
I. You take a Queen and nobody would ever notice your sacrifice at play
II. You give a Queen and they call you a „selfish player never playing low”

Another example: sometimes you need to decide if you have to choose:
1. play spades to low or
2. suit which low already did not have or
3. suit which a Queen holder (not low) already did not have and you risk taking her right after

If you play with good players, with a trust among all you have no fear to play the best option which makes a game „the good game” - the third option. You can do it only when you trust to other players, that they knew what they did and they would choose the best option at the moment to make the score board as even as possible, of course from from their point of view and with their cards in hands.

It is a normal thing, that sometimes the only option is the bad option.

By the way...
I am not writing these all because I would think, that I knew everything and have the right to give others any advices. It is rather because of an observation, that a lot of players lack this knowledge and experience and sometimes also ask for advice. All I want to achieve is to share my experience as others could see it useful for themselves. If you disagree, just do not read or do not apply ;-)
Last edited by marekjoz on Dec 27, 2017, edited 1 time in total.

marekjoz
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Re: What makes a good game? [TUTORIAL and HINTS]

Postby marekjoz » Dec 26, 2017

13. Communicate your intentions

Let’s assume - you have 4 spades with an ace and queen. One diamond. You are high. „W” is low and „E” plays a spade to you. What would you do?
Sometimes it is better to keep an Ace to the end to avoid exposing that you also had a Queen. But sometimes it is better to clearly communicate to others in your team, that you had a Queen too. By playing an ace there, you clearly show, that low did not have a Queen (he would drop her on your ace). After taking it with an ace and playing a diamond, you ask your team to repeat a diamond. Good players in your team would take a diamond and play a low one again if they had one. If they would not, it is an information to you, that they had not low diamonds.. or just did not know how to play or were watching tv ;-) If "E" would repeat a spade to you, well... May be too late for a cure for him ;-)

There are many ways to communicate to your team things like that. Consider a team like a temporary group of players in a game linked by a common temporary goal. Good players find a common goal. Bad players just drop their cards…


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