Monday, October 7, 2019

Multiplayer Points System 2019 Revisions

Beginning on October the 8th, 2019, there are some necessary and exciting changes coming to the Cribbage Pro Multiplayer Points System. Previously, you would lose points based on how much you lost a game by. There was also only a relatively minor penalty if you were to quit or disconnect, which made it possible to quit and lose fewer points in some circumstances. That loophole has now been fixed!

The biggest benefit to everyone from these changes is that now when you lose a game, you will not lose any points! However, if you quit, forfeit or disconnect for any reason before the game is over, you will lose points. If a player disconnects (not a forfeit, but loss of connection), there will also be a five minute wait time before you can create or join a game.

These changes have been made for many reasons, the primary being keeping play “fair” and encouraging those who have been playing for a long time, but have had minimal “leveling up”. A loss will still be recorded in the statistics for play, but won’t be a point loss on your Top 50 Leaderboard standings.

The loophole of disconnecting has been unfair, and we are excited to have improved the fairness of the game for everyone through these changes. Technology is generally good enough now to keep a connection, but as always, be sure you have a solid connection before a game is started.

Thanks to everyone for their great suggestions which we have used here to implement these changes. Keep the suggestions coming and best of luck in all your cribbage games!

UPDATE: Thanks to those who have contacted us with your suggestions for improving the system. Please know that we are actively working on developing and testing a new true ranking system that we hope will work alongside the existing points/level system. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Gold Purchases Switching to Cryptocurrency

Starting Monday September 23, 2019, We Are Switching Cribbage Pro Gold Purchases for Contest Play From PayPal to a Cryptocurrency Based System

Much Lower Costs!

If you have used PayPal in the past to purchase Cribbage Pro Gold, then you will know that we had to include some of the PayPal fees in the purchase price. That cost was not small, but now it is gone! For example, you had to previously pay $5.95 to purchase 5 Gold with PayPal. This change eliminates that purchase price difference entirely!! If you want 5 Gold, you pay $5 USD in cryptocurrency (USDC). The only fee is a small transaction recording fee imposed by the cryptocurrency itself (around $0.06 to $0.10 currently).

Why Cryptocurrency

The world of cryptocurrency has grown and matured significantly over the last few years, and it is now ready to form a stable means of exchange on the internet. Cryptocurrencies can nearly eliminate all the fees and many have significant improvements in privacy for all parties involved while also providing quick transaction times. The new system we are using for payment processing is also not an intermediary, so they don't participate in the transaction in any way and have no control over it. This means that your purchases can now be directly with us, and it eliminates the excessive fees.

How to Get Started

You will need a few things to get started before you can purchase any Cribbage Pro Gold, but essentially it is just these steps (using Coinbase as an example):
  1. Create or sign in to your Coinbase account
  2. Convert USDC at a ratio of US$1.00 for 1 USDC with no fees
  3. Purchase Cribbage Pro Gold, send elsewhere, or convert back into dollars on Coinbase

Breaking it All Down

If that list above all makes sense, you can stop reading here. For those that want more detail before jumping in, continue on.

For this initial release, we will be accepting only the USDC Cryptocurrency. This is what is known as a "stable coin" that is tied directly to the United States Dollar. This is an important distinction from some other cryptocurrency, in that every amount you deposit will hold its value and not fluctuate. In the future, we may add other stable coins or cryptocurrencies as they become supported.

First, you need a Cryptocurrency Wallet that can hold USDC. It is important to know that not all wallet services can hold USDC, so you need to choose one that does. The wallet linked above is provided by Coinbase, which is one of the most reputable and easy to use services for cryptocurrency available. We strongly recommend you consider their services, particularly if you are new to cryptocurrency.

Once you have a wallet ready, you will need to purchase some USDC Cryptocurrency to place in that wallet so you can use it wherever it is accepted for payment. You will want to be sure to purchase enough to have the balance you expect after any fees are paid as well. At Coinbase you can buy USDC with no fees using a bank account transfer, but there may be a fee from your credit card company if you select that purchase option. If you are looking for a recommendation, then go with a Debit Card for the fastest processing and relatively low fees, or use a bank transfer method for no fees (at Coinbase) if you can wait a week or two for processing. Most services will also require that you verify your identity prior to purchasing. This is because these are regulated financial services, and they are required to do so, but the process is usually pretty quick (an hour or two for them to process it usually) and selecting a reputable company will also make sure it is properly secured. If you have used PayPal for purchases in the past, then you probably went through a verification process with PayPal at one point or another as well, and this is pretty much the same thing.

Once you have your wallet and some USDC in it available to use, you can use the regular purchase option provided to you in the game to purchase Cribbage Pro Gold. You will see that all purchases are now listed with an exchange rate of exactly one to one - meaning 5 Cribbage Pro Gold will now cost exactly $5. That said, there will be  a small processing fee imposed by the cryptocurrency itself when you actually make the purchase. This is usually just a few cents (around $0.06 to $0.10 currently for 5 USDC), so you will need just slightly more than 5 USDC in your wallet if you want to purchase 5 Cribbage Pro Gold. These fees collected by the cryptocurrency are what keeps the cryptocurrency alive and viable/working (it is the cost of recording the transaction).

Once you have started the purchase process, you will be shown a wallet address to send the cryptocurrency to. Every wallet may handle this step slightly differently, but essentially you copy that address into a "Send to" in your wallet app/service and enter the amount that you wish to send (if you are using a mobile app for your wallet, you may be able to scan a QR code instead of copying it). The amount you send must be as much as the amount shown. Many wallets will handle the fee calculation and show it in the total, but be sure that the total amount sent out of your account can cover both the fee and the purchase amount. The service will wait for all that to complete before the transaction is finalized. The process to finalize the payment and finish the transfer is usually just a few minutes (expect around 5 minutes for USDC, but it depends on how busy things are at the time). Once it is completed, the Cribbage Pro Gold will appear in your account in the game.

As always, if you have any questions, please let us know by emailing us at We probably can not help with specific cryptocurrency service questions, but will always try to assist in whatever way we can. Change is never easy, but we do hope that you will find these changes an overall improvement for everyone.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Update On Deck Shuffling Randomness Audits

All the way back in 2010, I did a post on our company blog about the shuffling used in the game, and the audits that we conduct to help make sure the game is being fair to everyone all of the time. Over the past few months, we seem to regularly be getting emails and other communication from those that play Cribbage Pro, that they feel something has changed in the way the decks are shuffled and the overall fairness of the game in that respect. We do regular audits of the system to make sure it has not been compromised in any way (either by a bug we somehow introduced, or some malicious act by someone else for example). The output of those are generally really boring and just show the exact same thing we posted about back in 2010. Still, it has definitely been a while since that post and I felt it was time to both expand our audit and report on it again publicly. I understand that for many this will not change their feelings about the fairness of the game, but for those who like to see the data it can be helpful. Our hypothesis that we test when we do these audits is: If the deck is shuffled fairly, then a given card will approach being equally represented (have an equal chance of appearing) in any position in the deck when sampled over a sufficient size of decks and grow to a balanced representation as that sample size grows closer or exceeds the maximum possible decks in a 52 card set. In other words, if that doesn't happen in our testing of this hypothesis, we have a problem.

In order to do this most recent audit, I decided to expand the amount of data we pulled in (the sample size) as well as to present it here in some improved and easier to understand terms. To the first goal, instead of looking at hundreds of thousands of decks (which is still quite a lot), I wanted to get to the "millions" level. This sample then was pulled from all decks used in online multiplayer game over the end of the year and into the new year (end of 2018 into start of 2019), and represents around 3 million shuffled decks (2,902,476 to be exact). The shuffling used in multiplayer is identical to single player, but we use that because we don't have your device upload your shuffled deck to us every time you play. To do all that work, I had to rebuild how we pull the data in and process it for the audit, as this is quite a large amount of data to sift through and analyze and the old method simply couldn't handle it.

Just as before, the idea is essentially the same. We take a "marker card", and analyze how it shows up in each position in the deck over this sample. Using that information, we compare it against what would be expected of a random and fair shuffle. This sounds harder than it actually is in practice, as once you have all the data at hand it is just a matter of doing a lot of basic math. You can do more complicated math of course, but honestly I have not found it helpful (if you have something you want done, let me know). This time around we stuck with using the Ace of Hearts (abbreviated as "AH") as our marker card, because, well, we have used it before and any card is technically as good as any other in this type of study (we spot checked several other cards to make sure there was not some sort of crazy anomaly with the AH as well).

The first thing we do in these studies/audits, is to total up the number of times a card is found in each possible position in the deck. This means asking how many times the AH show up in deck positions 1 through 52. That provides us with a total count of each occurrence for each position. Using that number, we can do several things, but the most helpful and easiest to do first is a simple average. If you take each of those "counts" as individual numbers in an average across the 52 positions, you should get a number close to the middle of the deck if the cards were shuffled in a balanced and fair way (on average). Since this is an average, and we are studying a very large maximum possible combinations of decks which is 52 factorial (mathematically that is represented as "52!" - which means 52 * 51 * 50 * ... * 3 * 2 * 1), the resulting average will likely not be exactly the middle of the deck unless you get very close to your sample at least matching if not exceeding that 52! number. Since I have never written that out long hand in a blog post I will do it here, because it is important to understand how big it is. 52! is:


Click here for a decent further explanation of exactly how amazingly huge that number is.

OK, so now that we have established that although 3 million decks may sound like a lot, it is actually very small in comparison to that much larger number. Still, the result is very encouraging. Our average for this sample came out to exactly 26.5022 That is very close to exactly what we expected, and honestly I could probably just leave the audit there and call it done. Still, it is sometimes easier to spot differences and variances when viewed in a graph, and this also shows us each independent position in the deck and the total count for each. An average doesn't show if possibly we have a problem where this card always falls in the middle or always on each end of the deck for example. Here then below is the graph of each possible position in the deck (1 through 52), and the count/number of times that marker card (the AH) was found in each position. Note that the yellow line indicates the "middle" which is the total number of decks divided by 52 (2,902,476 / 52 =  55,816.85) in order to have a reference point in this large scale.

I think that graph pretty much summarizes the entire audit. Feel free to zoom in and spot the fluctuations. In the entire set, there is no statistically meaningful variance between each position in the deck and the "middle" - which is of course why the average is so near to the middle of 52. There are certainly still small movements from position to position. The final take away can be summarized as so: On average, there is an equal chance of any card appearing in any position in the deck. This is how we are defining a fair and random shuffle, and our hypothesis has been confirmed by our experiment. If anyone would like to see something different about this data, feel free to drop us an email at with your suggestion and I will see if we can find a way to get it to you or update this post here.