"On line" vs "Live" Play....

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Joe Andrews
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"On line" vs "Live" Play....

Post by Joe Andrews » Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:15 pm

Spades - A Modern Phenomenon!

There are many "on line" sites for the game of Spades. And there are very few "live" Spades Tournaments. The game of Bridge (which is in the same "family" of classic card games such as Spades and Whist) has the OPPOSITE situation. There are thousands of local Bridge clubs, and many Sectional, Regional, and National level "live" Bridge events. On line Bridge, though popular, has nowhere near the numbers as "on line" Spades has. Interestingly enough, the ACBL (American Contract Bridge League) was founded in 1937 - the same year that the game of Spades was created!

Of course, Spades has benefitted from the internet, whereas Bridge started as a "live" community, and has had seventy years to grow its player base.

Is a "live" Spades tournament a truer test of skill than an "on line" Spades tournament?

Is the deal of cards at a "live" event more "random" than the deal of cards with a computer RDG?

Do the occasional rare / exotic distributional hands affect the outcome of a game?

Is there an accurate way to measure a player's strength at Spades? (An ELO Chess ratings type formula seems to be the methodolgy used by most on line sites.)

Is Duplicate Spades with multiple tables a way of determining the stronger players?(Another approach is "Team of 4" play).

Is single elimination, one game per round, winner advances - a good way to conduct tournaments, or is a Swiss - Pairing system with many rounds a better approach?

Any thoughts on this?

Have a good day..... :P

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Dust In The Wind
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Re: "On line" vs "Live" Play....

Post by Dust In The Wind » Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:26 pm

Hello Joe, just giving opinion here.... out of order though #1 I will answer last.

2) Deal of the cards - with RDG there are a set number of patterns that cards can follow and those are essentially choosen randomly for each hand, there would be no set pattern in a true RDG and would record hands played so that the same hand would not appear 2x in the same game. Skill is in using cards distribution to maximize points gained per hand. Does NOT mean the most skilled player will win said game. Same can be said for shuffled cards when reflecting on the winner. The distributions here maybe different in the way the cards are a) Shuffled, individuals have individual ways to shuffle cards within the rules of the T, I personally shuffle in a way to maximize the mixture of cards (within reason, I don't wear the face of the cards) b) cut or no-cut if cut is an option that effects the distribution depending on where the cut is made (same can be said if cut option is used with RDG) c) the shuffled cards except in the case of a fresh deck has more of a chance of "weird hands" in that the way the cards come back to the shuffler, they are stacked in books taken and how they pick them up. Lots a vairiables there when it comes to intial deck before the shuffle even begins (I tend to pick up cards to pre-shuufle them prior to). Does any of this help? In my opinion no..... whether a RDG or hand shuffle the cards you get are the cards you get, there are no mulligans in Spades (in you don't play golf that's a "Do-Over) and how you play them makes the difference (oh and luck). So live play verses online in this respect I fell it is even, other will disagree I'm sure and we have all debated this before.

3) Rare hands/exotic hands - I think I have seen more rare hands in hand shuffle than online but pretty close so I don't see an advantage here. If the rare hand comes at the end of the game it is usually the game buster. If it's at the beginning it can be overcome by not saying "Die/dead". The nice thing about online with this type of hand is that I can replay it over and over again.... live one time is all you get unless there is a camera on the table recording it. So even online verses live.

4) Measuring a players strength - an individuals strength may be their partner in partner and will not reflect the true value of the individual. The only way I know true strength of an individual is by round robin and pairing amoung several partners or one-on-one play (Chess is done that way). Over a test of time, with luck somehow evening out the true stronger player will emerge. People that have the same partner over a long period of time have a bigger advantage over players with less time, so are they still that strong if using a new partner or on an individual play? I think I can safely bet that won't be as good minus their partner. To me the only way to test an indiviuals strength is one-on-one BUT card distribution would have to be factored it also as degree of difficulty to maximize points. As far as online verses live if ALL factors of any cheat are eliminated that either can have (both have ways) I feel Live is the truer test of skill. There are reasons I feel this way, but this has already become lenghy.

5) Duplicate Spades - I have not played this either live or online. What I have read about it has interested me in thsi type of play and think this would be a good test of skill for partners (have not seen this as a way to play individuals but sure it could be done). "Team of 4" term I have not run into but can guess what that is, but will hold on that rather than guess. I can see this being a great use at live events.

6) Single elimination/Swiss - I sometimes really hate single elims, one bad hand can make the difference and your out of there, why I prefer Swiss or dbl elims, one bad hand (or mistake) will not cost you everything. I like the pairing with many rounds, it's how you select pairing. Having random pairing in one part of the T, round robin in another, Partners as you select another, can be enjoyable for all that show and even things out in some of the events. The more types of events that you sponsor in a BIG T will bring the most players (in my opinion) with many coming home with awards rather than the few. Very hard for 1 or 2 players to dominate all events.

1) Ok Live verses Online - Live I feel requires more skill in the way of the "read" facial expressions, nervous twitches, playing the cards (how you pick from your hand and put the card on the table), etc. Sometimes people cannot perform under the spotlight, at home a different thing in your "at ease wear" (whatever that may be and not going to speculate). Live is a truer sense of card play for what card play was meant to be (again in my opinion). I think it is a LOT harder to cheat in a live event (sorry I will notice a cell phone and that your talking to your partner across they table, not saying anyone does that) than online and in that case a truer test of skill (and if you did cheat in a live event and get away with it then that did take some skill, but you will get caught sooner of later I believe). Also in the fact that in a live event you MUST pay attention to the cards, the program won't let you renige (spelling I think, never had to spell it just say it), in a live event you must be careful not to yourself but also that the opts. don't get away with it.

I wish I could say that card games would become the rage, but I wonder how many modern homes actually have a real deck of cards in their house now (UNO does not count as a real deck) and how many parents teach their kids card play now compared to 20, 30, 50 years ago. Yes online is the big event and how most new players are introduced to card games now. The blood and guts games have taken over the bulk of the hours now and cards are a second thought to most young players. So how do you promote something as really enjoyable as cards either live or online??? HHHmmmm maybe we can have some cards that when your trump the other cards bleed!!!! Or each time you take a trick (except when going nil) a dagger is sent flying towards a target..... I do think more live events in more areas would help and maybe those playing will bring their kids.... naw bad idea... ok have a kids T with the adult T.... that might work keep the kids busy and learning and breeding them to become card players....


PS - Sorry you asked and I tried to respond, much more I could put in here, trying to just get some ideas out there. Good Luck Joe and I hope someday my crazy schedule will allow me to attend a live event, I know I would enjoy it win or looooooo (ops I dont say that word)

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