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Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:52 am
by Debils_Abdicate
I have only played spades here in HW, but I have been thinking of having a go at hearts here. I have seen several (passionate) posts on lowman game and read the game described as "always" trying to give points to lowman.

Say the score is something like: 40, 43, 46, 60 (my score is 43) and I have a chance to dump the Q on a player other than the lowman - and if I don't do it now I will probably get stuck with her. My best chance to come in 1st is to get rid of that Q. The 3 low scores are all close enough that they could almost all be described as lowman aren't they?

Re: Lowman

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:20 pm
by Senality Rains
another good post, the term lowman, is used , even amongst the most die hard "lowman player's" loosely, people who will eat the q , if they can not get low man are very few and far between, there are some, but not many at all, . I can see your scenario, and we can only play any genre or style with what cards we have in our hand, I agree, if there was a risk , and i mean an almost inevitablity that if you didnt dump her on first opportunity, you would take her, then i would too, THEN try and not take any and hoop the hearts on to lowman, the scores are close, you can work your magic with the hearts, its that close, the q is not the deciding factor.

Its a gamble, but thats the beauty of hearts, every move you make in hearts is a gamble.

Re: Lowman

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:28 pm
by Mr 3000 Nics
I totally agree with Mod on this 1. It amuses me that when playing a game of hearts and lowman actually gets the q of spades that round then the 2nd and 3rd place players dump say 11 or 12 hearts on 4th place then thats ok and that's not dumping lol.the q of spade is only 1 card but all the hearts add up to the same value of that 1 card.So can anyone tell me why its not ok to dump the q of spades on anyone except lowman for most people but it's ok to these same people to dump all your hearts on whoever is not lowman including the 4th place player :?: :shock:

Re: Lowman

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:03 pm
by Debils_Abdicate
Essentially, here is my question. When you are playing "lowman", is it your "obligation" to always go after lowman even when it will hurt your chances to WIN the game (i do NOT mean come in 2nd or 3rd - I mean WIN = FIRST PLACE).

In the example I gave I think it would increase your chance of winning the game to put that Q on any of the other players if you will "probably" eat it if you do not. I did not say "almost inevitably" - just probably.

This game is nearly tied. If I take the Q, my chances of winning go down considerably. If I get rid of her and let's just say that the hearts are equally distributed among all 4 players (well, nearly equally LOL), then my chances of winning are still not bad. Obviously, I would prefer to put the Q on lowman or at least the player at 46 points, but if I wait for the optimal scenario I will probably take her myself.

So, is playing "lowman" some esoteric obligation that goes beyond WINNING the game??

Re: Lowman

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:38 pm
by Senality Rains
Peronally i stand by what i said, its the sort of player i am , i cant help it, no one has told me to do it, its just my style to put q on low , UNLESS I feel i am going to tram it, the game isnt quite over, there is another hand in it at least, and the further away from me the next lowest score is the better, So its in MY best interests to hit low with the q and as many hearts as possible.However, IF i thought wow, its now or never and i will tram, then its gone on who ever, it keeps me in the running to challenge for 1st, even if i missed low this time.
it matters not what game i am playing, there is no distinction to me, lowman game, cut throat game, its always in MY best interests to hit lowman.
So the answer to the question , is yes, it is an obligation, but to no one but yourself.

Re: Lowman

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:31 pm
by Dust In The Wind
I will not hold the queen in this situation either and if my pards (the others that are not lowmen) know I have the queen try to give me an opportunity to place her where she needs to be. No I will not eat the queen UNLESS that is the only way to extend the game for a win.

One thing about any card game is very rare will you find a rule or set of rules that will hold for every situation when dealling with the card distribution, score and play of those at the table, you have to adapt and wing it sometimes.... even if the queen loves ya, you might have to give her away!!!


Re: Lowman

Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 6:48 am
by dadiomac
Some hands are like flipping a coin.... drop the Queen and hope that high man doesn't have to eat it. As far as what someone was saying about it being okay to drop hearts on highman.... it's alot easier to control where the queen of spades ends up versus 13 hearts. If highman takes the majority of the hearts then most likely nothing could have been done to avoid such a thing.

Re: Lowman

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:55 am
by Sailing_Away
Some grey areas can certainly be up for debate concerning what should good low man players do in certain situations (such as if the top 3 players are close enough in score any can be considered "low", or if your only choice is to dump on non-low and take 12 points or hold it and take 24). If only all the complaints about poor low man play was about such situations!

This scenario unfolded yesterday: I was high and across from low, who led spades (which had already been played before). I had two spades in my hand, the 2 and the K. Rather than duck it and have the likely scenario where low would take that trick and then lead another spade (which would have made me play the K as my last spade, and take the Q which the player to my left or right likely would have had as their only remaining spade), I decided to play the K so I could take the trick and lead a card of another suit designed to hopefully set low up to take the Q.

Well, that was ruined, as the player on my left (who was in distant 3rd) CHOSE to dump the Q on me.

Frankly, such play gets neither me nor the player on my left anywhere good. All it does is increase the chances low man will win.

If players don't believe in the 3 vs 1 strategy of getting low above all else, then this game just turns into who got the luckiest deals.

That's not fun at all.

Come on people! I know some of you are more skilled than that. You can't all have such miserable lives that the only coping skill you have is to get satisfaction from knowing that, while you came in 3rd, you made 4th place lose.

Re: Lowman

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:59 pm
by larryboy1956
Lowman has never been part of the rules of HEARTS. The real game as the rules states, is dirty and sometimes mean, you do what it takes to win....that's it, that's all.

Re: Lowman

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:59 am
by omni_555
The problem with playing an honest game of "lowman" is two-fold - SKILL and TRUST.

Firstly, ALL players in the game must have the skill and experience to understand what is going on. If the player to my left who is holding the Queen doesn't understand that by playing my King into him that I am going to try to lead a suit in which I am hoping he is void and that lowman probably has to take with a high card, then he will gleefully dump the Queen on me if for no other reason than to ensure he doesn't eat it himself. He is playing a short-sighted game that is actually REDUCING his chances of winning rather than INCREASING them. And a great many players - even relatively skilled ones - tend to think this way, feeling that if they can hold out long enough they can eventually take down lowman by themselves, or have others do it for them. I could go on and give multiple examples of this here, but they all add up to the same conclusion - some players just don't know the game well enough to play it well...

Secondly, there is the trust issue. Some otherwise good and knowledgeable players have been burned so many times in the past that they just say **** it! and play their game to minimize the chances of getting screwed over themselves. (I pretty much fall into that category, having been burned more times than I can count when trying to set up a "smart" game play to target lowman.)

On a slight tangent, PnP is another of my pet peeves. 90% of the time when I try NOT to pull the Queen that I had passed off, I will end up UNNECESSARILY getting her dumped on me by the same player I was so careful NOT to try to pull her from!!! And then when I have NO CHOICE but to lead a Spade (Hearts not broken and holding only Hearts and Spades) I get attacked by the other players en masse accusing me of PnP'ing and spend the rest of the game fighting a 3-on-1 battle while they unite to make sure that I don't win!!! (Oh, if only they would put those same ideas into play to attack lowman!!!)

Bottom line, go into any game with the intent to relax and have fun - nothing more serious than momentary pride (and maybe a few ranking points) is on the line anyway. The only way you SHOULD expect to play a game that honors the lowman strategy or PnP is if you are playing with 3 other people you know are reasonably skillful and who you know will ALL honor the "table rules". Cause let's face it - that's what we are talking about here - table rules. There is no GAME RULE that is actually BROKEN by practicing PnP or by dumping the Queen on highman. :cookie: :cookie: :cookie:

Re: Lowman

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:47 am
by Sailing_Away
I can understand the points raised, larryboy and omni. The other part of this is we have a tourney which it's format is to only advance winners and enough 2nds to complete the semifinal tables. It wasn't this way before, and all 1sts and 2nds and some 3rds advanced to the semis. We also changed the points earned from 10 for 1st, 7 for 2nd, 4 for 3rd and 1 for 4th to 5 for 1st, and 2 for everyone else. Thinking we removed all incentives to play for 2nd or 3rd as only the winner is ensured of advancing, you'd think even the unskilled players (or skilled players who say "**** it!") would understand that such a revenge game doesn't help them finish any better than the one they are trying to bury.

Ultimately, I'd like to come up with ideas for a format or other process that would make all players, skilled or otherwise, see the incentive for playing for first which will lead naturally to playing lowman.

Yes, it's true there is no hearts rule that says you have to play lowman, and PnP is sometimes actually part of playing lowman if you pass the QoS to low. And sometimes you have to deviate from lowman in order to have the best shot of winning, but at least 90% of your game has to be lowman if you are playing for first. Most of the time the game when the game is cut-throat, the one who ends up the early low man goes on to win.

What more can I do to make people see this?

Re: Lowman

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:51 pm
by omni_555
Ur preachin' to the choir, Brian!!! I think that everyone can see that playing 90%+ of your game to target lowman is the obvious path to a win (ie 1st place). The problem in a lot of cases, however, is human nature. For example... It is mid-game. "Billy" is in 3rd place, and could get stuck with the QoS which would make it harder for him to win. He sees a chance to dump the Q, and takes it, thinking that as long as there is time left that he might get lucky and out-maneuver the other players. He knows that all 3 of the other players are also trying to win, and fears that they will shaft him if he doesn't do the same to them first. ...That is why I say that you can really expect a "good" game ONLY if you are playing with people who ALL respect the same gaming conventions as YOU do...
and PnP is sometimes actually part of playing lowman if you pass the QoS to low
And how many players would agree with that statement - even die-hard lowman players??? Personally, I do, but I would bet that MOST players out there would still consider this a breach of game ettiquette and label you a PnP'er... (I have been booted from tables by the host at the end of a game for doing exactly that on several different occasions...)

Again, the bottom line here is that you can only expect YOUR "type of game" to be played if you know that everyone at the table is on board with it. Otherwise, adjust to whatever play style each player has and try to overcome it. After all, unless YOU are being targeted specifically and unfairly by one or more of the players at the table, WHATEVER happens during play is just something else to create a challenge for YOU to overcome to win the game...
Ultimately, I'd like to come up with ideas for a format or other process that would make all players, skilled or otherwise, see the incentive for playing for first which will lead naturally to playing lowman.
How about this?... Create a league where everyone who joins agrees to a set of gaming conventions, and agrees to abide by the decision of some arbitration group in the event of a dispute... Maybe the SCE programmers could even come up with some way to program these conventions into the game as optional table settings.

Re: Lowman

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:53 pm
by Sailing_Away
Maybe the one thing that has a chance of working is the "create a new tourney" idea. If the tourney is so infiltrated with people who dump on anyone (usually high), there's no shot at teaching the masses the better way to play the game.

I give up trying. :(