What makes a good game? [TUTORIAL and HINTS] (part 16)

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

Postby marekjoz » Dec 27, 2017

14. Being chased is better than chase with a bad team

It was written here a few things how a team tries to chase a low player and increase his score. It requires however a coordinated team play. If a team is not good enough, i.e. one of the players in the team does not understand the principles of the „low play”, then the frustration arises and bitter words appear.

It means, that very often here it is better to be chased than be in the chasing group, as the roles may never replace there - the low will win and never gets caught. The conclusion is, that after a few rounds of the game it is very important to be as low as only possible. The first 3, 4 rounds create the first chasing group and it is extremely important to be the low in this moment., The less experienced players participate, the more important it is. Very often you can evaluate your situation at start, as you probably may already recognise skills of particular players.

Sometimes the outcome of such situation is, that the inexperienced player reads a lot bad words from players in a team trying to catch the low. The problem is, that he maybe never knew, that he was in any team, trying to catch any low.
Now you have a few options:
1. make gentle remarks, suggesting that there may be lack of a knowledge, skills and experience
2. say really bad words
3. stop playing with this player
4. do nothing

My experience is, that even after choosing option #1, you read in exchange that the player knew already all and you should maybe go and f… y…

Personally i really like to play with all who play good games, are not arrogant or cheaters, want to learn and evolve but also have not problems admitting if there was something wrong or asking what was wrong at least.

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

Postby marekjoz » Dec 30, 2017

15. Crime and punishment

Now something about psychological aspects of the game which a lot here don’t take under consideration at all.
I have understood, that in order to be successful here, you need to:
- understand the game
- have some skills
- have a lot of luck
- know how to deal with others

Understand the game - in most cases my previous entries here were about it: what it means to good pass, do not play spades to low, give a moon from time to time etc
Have some skills - ability to focus, remember, count cards, count probabilities of distribution etc
Have a lot of luck - good cards and errors of others’ during critical moments make it a half way to the success. You do not have much influence on a dealer, so we may skip this step ;-) You can influence other players and make them make mistakes but it won’t be covered much in this part.
Deal with others - you do not play in every game alone but your outcome is dependent on others’ play.

So let’s get to the latter in more details. I was playing in many games, where instead of rational, objectively reasonable decisions players made strange moves, basing on their emotions and willingness to take a revenge.

In a game you should rather focus on making the best decision in a very moment considering your cards and the scoreboard. It is rare, when you would need other decision factors like ranking of particular player, weather conditions or how many hours did they sleep at night. It happens however, when you get so angry, that it is more important to you to harm your enemy, than to play low. Yes - enemy. Not a partner in a game or opponent, but the enemy. When you make yourself an enemy in a game, you have it much more complicated as your trust to others and others’ to you is now limited.

It does not cost much to avoid making enemies. When you are low at 10/20/20/50 and it is no difference for you if you wait for second low or not, because your cards allow it but you dump your Queen on the high, then in most cases this player becomes your enemy to the end of the game. It is because he feels, that it was injustice, you gave him away any chance to win and you should have waited for the second low. And you know what? He is right ;-)
Now the question is if he should have been trying to punish you for this or just let it go. In a long term pros and cons analysis, the fine for a bad behaving player seems to be better, so it does not surprise me, when players make irrational moves against each other.

In this post I just want to share my observation, that when you only can play fair and not strictly against any other player it is only better for you, as the probability of taking this personal is less, so that you make yourself an enemy also decreases.

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

Postby marekjoz » Jan 18, 2018

16. Count remaining cards to find out how to play

Thank you for warm words from those, who enjoy this small series of short tutorials. In neither way I do it is to express my advantage. I just still think, that when the level of the games here will be better, all of us will enjoy those games more so it is in my own interest to make it happen. The better you play, the more fun I have playing with you and I am sure also that you more will enjoy your games!

It will be easy for average and advanced players (who will find it for sure this somehow disappointing) but I am sure that beginners might find it interesting.
Let’s consider the following situational case when only 3 cards left in everybody's hands, QS has not been dropped yet and you do not know where she is. 2 low hearts only played before and you want make it best for you. How do you play it?


…W..xxx …………..xxx…E

……..….Kh Qh 3h

As you can see, 12 cards remain including the Queen. 2 hearts played so it means there are only hearts and a Queen left. So the player who has the Queen, also must have exactly two hearts. There is also an ace somewhere. You have the King of hearts and the Queen of hearts. Ace of hearts can take only one of them and it means, that you will take for sure at least 4 points. What are other possibilities? If ace of hearts will take your 3 of hearts, then you take also the other hearts on your king and queen of hearts. There are 24 points of total. (13 qs + 11 hearts). There is no way you could take all (ace of heats takes something) and no way you can take 0 points (as explained earlier). So you have one or two takes.
The following combinations are then possibie:
- 4 points - 4 hearts taken on a king OR queen of hearts
- 8 points - 8 hearts taken on a king AND queen of hearts
- 16 points - 3 hearts AND a Queen of spades taken on a king OR queen of hearts
- 20 points - 7 hearts AND a Queen of spades taken on a king AND queen of hearts
It is also possible, that in the second round, the person who has the queen takes with his higher heart (ie jake) anything what was played what was lower and would be forced to play Queen of spades taking it of course at the end. So there is a possibility, that you take nothing, but it requires a good distribution, much luck and error of the player, who had the queen of spades. Let's play for sure, not counting on luck.
How to play it to take only 4 points? The key is your 3 of hearts. Observe, that the queen of spades will be dropped in the last round here after two rounds of hearts. If you will still have 3 of hearts in the last round, there is no way, you could take it, as only one heart is lower than 3 of hearts (2 of hearts) and there are still two hearts left, so one of them will be higher. This is how you can find out after this deduction, that you have to play high hearts earlier and keep the 3 of hearts to the end. Depending on the other cards, which accompany the Ace of hearts, the outcome may be such, that either you take on king OR queen of hearts collecting 8 points or either on the king AND the queen pf hearts, collecting collecting 4 points. Without having it considered earlier, you might be willing play 3 of hearts at start, which would be your biggest mistake here.

This was just an example presenting the approach to solving such puzzle. In reality your situation rarely will be clear as here. There will remain cards of other suits and more combinations will be possible. However when you can observe who had what and what already had not, you can find out at the end how to play to achieve a maximum result.

You cannot beat the cards and if you have bad cards, you can do nothing about it. You can however find an optimal order of playing your cards and know your best possible outcome which you can achieve at current moment with cards you had.

You cannot beat the cards if you have bad cards, but you can beat others by playing it better than your opponents, who had better cards but played it badly.

A good game will be there, where everyone had played at maximum possible result with cards, he had. The satisfying game will be there, where you win knowing, that you have won with your opponents not because you had good cards, but because you played better with your worse cards than your opponents.

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