Questions regarding Du[licate Spades/Addressing Post

TrashCanCharlie
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Questions regarding Du[licate Spades/Addressing Post

Post by TrashCanCharlie » Sat May 27, 2006 7:47 am

Recently someone posted about "Duplicate Spades" and the skill level involved. Something was mentioned about carpenter tools and that if you had the tools you can build things of a higher quality but yet the skill level required remains the same.

I have to differ with that notion. First off, although "Duplicate" does not appeal to the masses in the Spades world, mainly because it's the new kid on the block, the skill level required is much higher.

Basically playing spades and or any other competitive game, the winner is quite often based from mistakes made or not made. Granted we all get odd cards from time to time but generally mistakes are the deciding factor in many others.

Will mistakes beat you? Yes, and NOOOOOOOO!

It's not the number of mistakes that you make that beats you, instead it is "How costly were those mistakes?"

Jay can make ten mistakes a game that don't net a loss, Jack can make but one that cost his side 100 points and lose!

So, we generally should as good spades players weight "The Cost of Being Wrong" and also look for ways to "Load the Dice" in our favor where it becomes a win/win action. In other words, I make this bid or play and if the opps guess right I break even, if they guess wrong I gain tremendously. That friends is called "Loading the Dice."

As far as some of what the poster listed, I agree with much of it. Skill at spades is skill at spades, is skill at spades. However, we cannot compare the skill needed to drive a racecar on a dirt track with that of Indy 500 either. Different skills are needed at both and having a faster car doesn't mean you will become a better driver. Each requires a totally different skill set and you may succeed at one and fail horribly at the other.

What I can say about Duplicate is this, It makes you ten times a better player because "Each and every trick becomes very, very, very, important." You cannot carelessly drop a trick and not face a huge penalty. This creates a huge need to pay closer attention to detail, communicate much closer with a partner, work more skillfully on developing partnership skills. It becomes much harder to just grab any ole partner and sit and win against those that have worked these agreements and conventional theory out in the most detail.

In other words, Duplicate will either make you ten times the player you already are, or you will play some and quit when you cannot cut it.

Personally, I can play the regular version of spades blind, crippled, drunk, distracted, pick up partners, and still fare well. However, I cannot do likewise playing duplicate in any fashion. I have to be razor sharp to stand the heat!

I speak from years of experience as well where scores of per cent of one, yes ONE point separated the top ten finishers in a main event!

The leader board looks like

62.4%....1st
62.2%....2nd
61%.....3rd

That friends is less than one hiccup and on any given hand it could occur. During 24 or more deals you can find that tenth of a percent on any of those deals and that dear readers is what Duplicate is all about! Perfection and perfecting. It's not for everyone, it's certainly not for the faint of heart, it is however all about the eye of the tiger, be the best you can be and typically the players are not Socialites! Instead they are the finest card players in the world with but one common goal, expertise, becoming better, students of the game, partnership development, ambassadors to the sport.

If you have not tried a Duplicate format I'd recommend you do but only if you are not the typical run of the mill spades player. It is a sport that requires a highly competitive spirit and one that has been known to be somewhat unsocial or at least labeled as that when it was mere concentration being used. Talking during a game might be wonderful for some but for the duplicate player it's called "Noise." "Noise" being anything labeled as a distraction when someone is trying to remember every single card played and what signals pard was sending via cards played. A single slip of that concentration level is all it takes. Granted, do not get me wrong, I learned to play tennis and tried to be the best I could be, however, I miss the days in the back yard knocking the ball around without a net, just having "Fun."

When you do approach that higher level some of the fun may become something else. Fun is not the word I would use..............When I hear someone say...."I only play for Fun!" Please do not partner me! I play for a host of other reasons, fun is something I like to do while having a group over sipping a beer or two without being serious. Rating is offered here so playing for fun is something many are not interested in. Granted, it is fun, it is challenging, but many of us take it to a higher level and prefer the serious side of the game only.

Best regards,
Jay Tomlinson/TheCanMan

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Post by gary » Sat May 27, 2006 10:37 am

back to the post and wat it means were can i play this form of spades duplicate so i can try it out plz

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Post by Tater » Sat May 27, 2006 10:37 am

Now we know why we can't cut and paste :wink:
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Post by TrashCanCharlie » Sat May 27, 2006 11:59 am

As of yet Gary I do not think any site has dedicated themself to producing a Duplicate Spades format. Espades was the closest thing and actually had quite a following at one time. It was not perfect but it was a start in a good direction for those wanting more from spades.

Right now, some events are held live that involve Duplicate. I ran some successfully while in college in the seventies that were well attended and received. Joe Andrews has ran some as well that did very well during the past few decades.

As of late I've heard news that several promoters are trying to reintroduce the format experimentally via some of the live events hoping it will catch on in the online world.

Jay

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Post by gary » Sat May 27, 2006 4:13 pm

come on enuf with the card shuffling issue get over it jonas and co are tryin their best to sort it on a small budget cause i cant imagine their making huge profit if any profit u need to give it a rest ur whinning is gettin so borrrrrrrrring

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Post by omni_555 » Sat May 27, 2006 5:09 pm

Jay, your initial post here was one of the most informative I have read about the concept of Duplicate Spades. Of course, it did not give a lot of detail about HOW that game is carried out, but it DID answer a lot of questions about WHO should be looking into trying it.

Personally, I fall into a category somewhere between the casual, always-chatting players and the serious Duplicate players. I would compare it somewhat to the following three games: Chinese checkers is (as I see it!) a game mostly for kids or for adults who are just looking to pass a little time with a fun game while socializing. Regular checkers is a more serious type of game that most people can easily master and play while still enjoying a little socialization. Chess, on the other hand, is a similar type of game that requires more concentration and much less of the socialization aspect. According to this list, I see myself as more of the "checkers" type of Spades player. I usually hate it when I get involved in games with the "Chinese checkers" Spades group, and I usually don't have the patience, concentration, etc required to compete with the "chess" Spades group.

As you stated, Dup Spades is more for the serious player who wants to perfect his mastery of the game. Just like most sand-lot baseball players would not enjoy being put into a competitive Major League baseball game, neither would most "regular" Spades players enjoy the concentration required and the level of competitiveness required to play Dup Spades.

But there is a place for everyone, and that is as it should be! 8)
Playing games should be FUN - seek out your own level! Don't frustrate others unnecessarily. 8)

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UMM

Post by KaBoooM » Sat May 27, 2006 8:50 pm

Well Gary whomever you are. If your bored reading about the shuffles then dont read it. This is the place to chat about it and thats hogwashhh about the low budget or whatever you were talkn about is bull. I played in world play and never ever did I have the consistently bad deals that have been dealt here. If you enjoy getting them kind of cards thats great. I myself enjoy a good game that some skill is involved.

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Post by Vidurr » Sat May 27, 2006 11:07 pm

Let's try a different analogy.

BillyBob is a skilled NASCAR Driver.

Miguel is a skilled Formula One driver.

Which takes more skill ?

For me ? It makes no difference. They each require skill and one could argue either side.

Which requires more skill; Duplicate or Regular Spades ?

Again, I think it is a meaningless debate. The two games are different. One could argue either side. But should that be the prime focus of the debate or discussion ? I don't think so.

A better approach rather than debating skill level; would be to focus on the differences in these two types of spades games. Galt and Joe did some of this in a previous post many months ago.

If the "goal" is to gather support for duplicate and educate spades players; I think debates over skill level only further the divide.

Comparisons of the two games and pointing out specific differences in how the games are played and scored is more instructional and far less divisive.

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Post by TrashCanCharlie » Sun May 28, 2006 2:25 am

Quite interesting since thus far not one single icon has really created a universal scoring methodology for duplicate spades LOL. What is really meaningless is a discussion on scoring at this point when no such standard yet exist!!!

We might instead discuss the skill required for each game and frankly I wanted to point out to you since you felt YOU could do wonderful in each one of these games if the tools were provided.

Again I have to differ with your thought process. Joe is in the medical arena, so is Jack. One is a general physician and the other a brain surgeon. I surely would hate the general physician operating on my brain no matter what tools were offered him? Catch my drift yet?

I made my thoughts known because I have played duplicate for 34 years, honestly, the duplicate players are at minimum twenty times better players than the reg bridge players I know, the skill levels at minimum twenty times higher. For what reasons? Drive, desire, the level of the competition, etc etc etc.

Discussions about scoring are not worth the time at present because the standard does not exist, discussion about changing said scoring would not accomplish much either since NO STANDARD exist.

Providing duplicate games and the reasons why on and offline spading communities should delve into the arenas might be.

At present all we could do is discern what the general differences are, what's involved in both, but calling a spade a spade is pretty hard to do at this point when most can't agree whether it's really a spade or a heart?

A discussion might occur only when a pilot existed where those that ride, decide, those that ride at present are few and far between because riding is just not available in any real format and regularity.

At best it would be like comparing the game "Rook." Only four hundred variants exist and each variant has a subset that changes and or modifies the game as they see fit without universal standard.

Until some hard and fast rules exist regarding "Scoring" that is universally accepted as the norm any discussion about scoring is merely a waste of time.

All we can do is make the populus aware of the concept of "Duplicate" and how a general approach to the game can be used. With that said, I think the name duplicate sort of says it all, meaning "Same!" "Twin" "Like."

Duplicate provides a means and mode to view how others bid and play exactly the "Same" hand/s. By viewing said hand/s we learn, we become more skillful because we can play regular spades until the cows come home completely unaware of our mistakes because nobody is playing the same hand and or showing us just what we could of actually done with the cards held. Take twenty others however playing that same hand and taking fifty or more points with the same cards and our eyes just might be opened making us privy to just what we could of done and should of done in regards to cards held.

Discussions are far more likely to exist about hands when 100 players have played the "Exact" same Hand, and meaningful discussions at that. Discussions pointing out things that will never enter into the standard spading discussions and forums until such a regular game exist and enough players making a venture into it.

The best we can do and hope for is for some real experimentation into this new arena, some trials, some positive and or negative feedback etc etc. The game just isn't presently provided for that to occur. All one might be able to do at present is discuss the game of bridge versus duplicate bridge and honestly that would not even provide enough info to make a super argument pro or con for duplicate spades because the differences between the two games are massive.

Instead, let's move forward in a quest to get the powers to be to extend a trial format into this new and exciting frontier, let's walk before we run, let's allow play before we dissect it and or discuss possible scoring, rules, etc.

Jay

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Post by Vidurr » Sun May 28, 2006 3:06 am

We can only agree to disagree.

My reference to scoring was the difference in how duplicate is scored. If that is a meaningless discussion, then so be it.

My opinion is that you have to SELL your idea. To say to a gamesite or players, give me Duplicate, because I want it, is not enough. To tell players that duplicate requires more skill is useless without any understanding of the game. My point was why debate skill when education is still lacking ?

Is there inconsistency amongst current spades sites on how they score games ? Absolutely. But we all know each site set up their own method to their madness. There is no controlling body. Everyone wants their own piece of the "spades" pie.

I think the spading community as a whole would have greater impact on HW due to their (HW's) size and they do seem responsive. Zone and Yahoo are so big, that influencing them is probably out of question.

It was suggested a few months back that Galt and Joe help to work through a Competitive Spades League at HW. Set the table, room, and rules as you like them. Stats are kept seperate from the traditional HW lobby.

I think endeavors such as these, help to bring the players together into an influential group. You have to start somewhere, otherwise everyone just writes their own individual opinions. Individually there is no way to influence HW. A League of 100, 200, 500 ???? competitive players would definitely have some support.

Good luck in your endeavor.

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Post by DOLL » Sun May 28, 2006 12:04 pm

Jay , Great post I also love duplicate spades it is a game of skill. Joe Andrews runs duplicate spades whenever he attends one of our events. Some people are afraid to try it because they see it as another form of "ALT Spades" which it is not.

Just Ice, They have boards made up in duplicate with N, S , E & W. You play the cards that are in the board. If your North your P is South. after each hand it is scored then you play the next board the object is to try and play each hand better then the person that had the same hand before you but you aren't allowed to look at how they bid or what they scored until the game is over or at least all boards are played out. One hand you might look at and think its a great Nil hand another might see it and bid 1. If you make your nil your obviously going to get more points then the person bidding 1 on the same hand. Not sure if this has helped or confused you. It's a great game I love it and wish more would play it. I sure play when ever I can.

I'm sure if you come to the Spades Connection or Grand Prix you will find the game played there. These are the only places I've heard it played at also.
Nice post Jay.

Thanks,
Happy Spading !
DOLL

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"Feasibility"

Post by Joe Andrews » Sun May 28, 2006 8:10 pm

I have enjoyed the debate regarding Duplicate Spades (TM). Jay Tomlinson, a Bridge LM is highly qualified to critique the intracacies of this variation. I wrote about the Duplicate concept in my original Hearts Book (1983) and my first Spades Book (1997). I also conducted several "live" Duplicate Spades events, at the original Indianapolis Spades events (1997 - 1999) The average size was 11 tables (44 players), and the games were well received.

The Duplicate concept also works quite well for Euchre and Hearts, and has been tried at Cribbage events, as well.

During the past few years, I have directed some smaller "live" Duplicate events at the Spades Connection gatherings, with favorable response.

Duplicate Spades is a very difficult game to conduct at a "live" event; however, at a site such as Hardwood, Duplicate Spades could be very efficient, and scores / results could be posted within a few minutes after the conclusion of a game. The joys of automation!

It will be interesting to see if the general Spades population is willing to explore the Duplicate variation. Certainly, the skill factor is raised; however, it does take a while to get used to the individual boards (separate hands), as opposed to the 500 point game. I like the idea of a comparison game, and the elimination of the random luck of the deal.

Then again, "on any given day" (have we heard that before? - LOL)

Time will tell........

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Post by _S_X_Eian_ » Mon May 29, 2006 7:42 pm

I have played duplicate and although it does require alot of skill I think there has to be alot of things changed with it. When I played I only remember 1 hand because it screwed me over they always seem to stick. Ever since it has left a bad taste in my mouth

I had the lone 6 of spades and a decent nil hand otherwise no high cards. I couldn't make 1 if I tried. I bid nil anyway wondering how the hand would turn out. East had no hearts and west had no diamonds and between the 2 of them they had 4 spades each (7 through A). Having only 1 spade I had 4 of each of these side suits. I think you can see where this is going. They start cross trumping 8 hands straight each with a different spade higher then my 6 and I can do nothing but watch as my nil is set.

Now this being said I think that duplicate can definately have merit. It is hard to achieve this in a live setting but kudos to Joe for trying it at many different events. In an online setting I think it could work great if a scoring system was created. You have a group of people play the exact same set of randomly created hands and see who comes out on top. Problem arises when all the east/west play the same hand how can it be prepared with the hands the north/south play. This is why it is so hard to set up because you have to have equal opportunities for both sets of decks. They are far from random. If they were random North/South could be dealt team 10 bids 9 out of 10 hands and east west wouldn't have a shot. Now I know you are compared to the people who play the same hands as you but you do have to have a winner somehow. If you can find a good mix between random hands and proper scoring it could work. Online is the best place to try this

Here is the way I see it. If you take a deck and deal out a random hand. Take each positions hand and recreate it 10 times for 10 tables. Take the 10 E/W and the 10 N/S (insert fair scoring system here) you have a good duplicate game. Online you can generate those random hands at a live tourney it would take forever to do and therefore I random deal book of some sort is used. I am no expert just stating from memory. I know hands are set up a specific way from a specific book and in some situations they are set up to screw over a specific person.

Its been awhile it may have changed just stating my opinions from my experiences

Todd

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Random Hands, Duplicate

Post by Joe Andrews » Tue May 30, 2006 2:56 pm

The ACBL (American Contract Bridge League) uses computer deals for its "live" events, and there are rarely any complaints.

When I directed the 11 and 13 table events at the Indianapolis "live" Spades events in the late 90's, I obtained the hand print out sheets from the ACBL (I was also an ACBL club Director, as well).

This allowed me the opportunity to examine the hands, and for the most part, the distribution of suits and HCP (high card points) was reasonable.
The ACBL Random Deal Generator is very fair, and seven cards suits are most unusual. Because I was not playing in my own "live" Duplicate events, the hands were useful, and each could be included in the appropriate boards (along with the respective travelling score). In this way, if someone questioned the hand after it was played, the layout was there.

Players also had the chance to see the hands after the game was over, as I posted them on the wall. Lots of "post mortems" to be sure, and a great teaching tool for the participants.

I believe that Duplicate does have a future in the Spades World. I hope that I will be around long enough to see it become a reality.

PS. The Nil hand described by Todd with the stiff Spade low spot card and the cross ruff in the red suits by the E/W opponents is a most extreme layout, and would occur perhaps once every five years. A fun hand indeed!

Keep up the great commentary, folks. Maybe HW or another site will consider Duplicate Spades.
Last edited by Joe Andrews on Tue May 30, 2006 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by SilverSpadesTongue » Tue May 30, 2006 4:23 pm

Just a quick reference to Xian's experience in duplicate. It does seem you were set up to fail on your nil the way it was dealt. However, im sure 99.9% of players would all have nilled. So are you any worse off? Well only if the opponents on other tables did not utilize the cross-ruff, and they made their nils.

The whole point about Duplicate is that its trying to create a level playing field in terms of cards dealt, and reduce the luck of the deal. If every N/S and W/E get the same cards, then there can be no complaints as to the cards received. Just about how good your opponents defended. Should one complain about a NIL set up to fail even though it was a logical bid? not at all, unless of course your player base is that UNEVEN. I think thats the major issue of duplicate. The player's skill level in a duplicate competition, can really influence an individual DEAL. The only way logic and skill can be your weakness, was if there was a CONSERVATIVE player sitting with that nil hand. For unknown reasons, it felt SAFE to them not to nil, and thus they may have gained top rank for that hand.

I think that duplicate spades would fair much better if the deals were NOT random, but strategially thought up, in the better player's favor. Although in an online non-tournament perspective, where HIGH volumes of duplicate deals are played, of course RANDOM deals are just practically obvious. whos gonna spend then time creating massive quantities of DEALS? well whos gonna pay for them? i dont think it would happen.

If there can be a guaranteed playing base where all SIMILARLY skilled then duplicate would work much better.

Having said all that, i would like to see a FREE duplicate spades site. When there are several formats of Spades available, those people like me who appreciate variety, would thrive on yet another format of the game.

I will also say that certain formats of the game HONE specific areas of the game more than others. Those who play more CUT learn to play tighter on their own, learn how NOT to be endplayed much more, while duplicate players learn how to bid more aggressively to get more from their hand, and then play at a higher level with their partner to bring home very aggressive contracts. While Suicide helps you to expand your tactical strategic area of the brain.

Its difficult to rate one format of the game being more difficult than another, because they do differ quite a lot. Bidding changes, Leads, risks, etc etc...

The better players can RATE highly in ALLLLLL formats of the game, NOT just specializing in 1 and calling that format the most difficult.
God grant me the serenity to accept the plays my partner makes, the courage to educate them on the better plays and the wisdom to know when im wrong LOL

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