Thursday, August 27, 2020

Season 2 of Multiplayer Competitive Matchmaking!

Wow, that went by fast! Here we are in Season 2 of Competitive Matchmaking, and it still feels like the first season started yesterday. Before I jump into some changes/tweaks in Season 2, I want to take a moment to congratulate the top players of the first season, and of course go over what they won for their prize. Congratulations to everyone who made it into the Top 50 Leaderboard for Competitive Matchmaking! A particular congratulations to the top 3 players, kb92129, PegSurfer and our top finisher Nytric456!! Each of the top 3 also reached the final CR Level of Grand-Master! I know many have worked very hard to get to where they placed, so congratulations to everyone no matter where you ended the season for such a great competitive season. If you didn't make the Top 50 this time, now is your chance to start fresh and go for the gold!

Speaking of "gold", everyone who finished the season in the Top 50 ("Recent" list, not "All Time"), were awarded both a special in-game "board peg" as well as Cribbage Pro Gold that can be used in the Cribbage Pro Contests system and then redeemed for cold hard cash (awards must be used at least once in a Contest to be cashed out to USDC, see the full terms and conditions for details). The top finisher, Nytric456, is awarded the "crown" board peg, and all others in the Top 50 are awarded a "star" board peg. These pegs are shown to everyone when playing in online multiplayer games, so if you see your opponent has one of them you can know that they have earned it by finishing in the Top 50 in competitive play. The Cribbage Pro Gold awards are as follows (not cumulative):

  • 2 Gold for Top 50
  • 4 Gold for Top 25
  • 10 Gold for Top 10
  • 20 Gold for 3rd Place
  • 30 Gold for 2nd Place
  • 50 Gold for 1st Place

The first season included many thousands of players competing from all over the world, and the number of players grew every single day up until the very end. Season 2 is certainly going to be even more competitive than before, so hang in there and work hard to improve your game - and of course, have fun! With that said, here are some important changes in Season 2:

  • This new season will be a little shorter, at 90 days
  • All competitive players must play a minimum of 10 games per week to avoid a reduction in ranking. This is not really a "penalty", but it is a reduction in the systems confidence level of your rank if you don't play enough to calculate a rank accurately. The more time that you do not play, the less we know about how well you would perform relative to those who are playing. This 10 game minimum is likely a commitment that not everyone can make. However, this is "the big time" intended for the serious cribbage player, and the system simply has to have enough game play information to get rankings as accurate as possible. If you play just a few games per day, you will have over 10 in a week very quickly. I strongly recommend not waiting until the last day.
  • Starting in Season 2, we have "tweaked" the formula used in calculating the ranking change you earn when you win or lose a match (what you will see as your CR going up or down). These changes were done to try and more accurately represent the nature of the game of cribbage, and the inevitable "ups and downs" players can go through, so that the ranking can be a bit more fluid (although, probably just slightly more). These were not big changes, just some "tuning" that we think will help. I expect we will continue tuning this system for multiple seasons to come as we see how each change performs in the real world.
Those are the biggest changes coming in Season 2. We never want to change too many things all at one time, as doing so would make it hard to know what changes were having what results in the game, but if you have other suggestions that you have not shared with us yet, please do let us know.

I hope you all enjoy Season 2 of Competitive Matchmaking in Cribbage Pro!

The Leaderboard for Competitive Matchmaking will now show win/loss/totals for the current season only. You can view the lifetime totals in the individual stats for each player.

Here is what the score box area and pegs awarded look like for those who were awarded them:


Also as requested, here was the final Top 50 for Season 1:


As a refresher, the levels are simply a breakdown of the CR value like this:

Bronze - 1 - 1499 CR
Silver - 1500 - 1999 CR
Gold - 2000 - 2499 CR
Platinum - 2500 - 2999 CR
Diamond - 3000 - 3499 CR
Master - 3500 - 3999 CR
Grand-master - 4000+ CR

Monday, July 20, 2020

Increased Contest Prize Amount!

Contest Prize Amount Now 97%

We are pleased to announce that effective immediately, Cribbage Contests (games played for real cash prizes) will now award the winner 97% of all entry fees collected (previously 85%)! This is the largest prize awarded for any online cribbage game anywhere!

We have recently made several changes to our Contests system to help streamline it and make it more efficient. These changes significantly lower our cost to run and maintain the system, and so we are passing that directly to you. You will not find any online cribbage contest system anywhere that can give you a higher cash prize amount. If you have been thinking about trying out the Cribbage Pro Contest system, now is a great time to start!

Friday, April 24, 2020

Multiplayer Competitive Matchmaking!

After a lot of hard work, and great support and feedback from the community of Cribbage Pro players during "beta testing", we are excited to announce the full release of Online Multiplayer Competitive Matchmaking in Cribbage Pro!

The game of cribbage has often faced challenges in calculating player skill levels in both real world physical games and online digital versions. Accurately ranking players by their skill is a challenge in any game that involves a degree of chance/luck. We have tried many different ways of doing this in the past, and through that experience we have learned a lot. With that history as a teacher, and algorithms now available that have improved dramatically since we started, we are happy to announce our new Competitive Rank - CR (or "Cribbage Rank" if you prefer) ranking system.

Here are the new basic elements of Competitive Matchmaking:

  • Best-Of-3
  • Automatic Counting
  • 10 Sec. Turn Limit
  • No Chat
  • Start Automatically
  • Disconnect/Quit is Always a Loss
  • Classic (non-competitive) XP Level of 5+ Required
  • 5 Placement Matches Required for Ranking

We chose these criteria to make competitive matchmaking the best it can be. First, it is a matchmaking system so that it avoids players selecting only newer players to try and easily win points against, while also providing fun and challenging games. We went with a "Best-of-3" series as a good way to remove some of the chance/luck from the game (alternating dealer as expected). There are also other things our algorithm does internally to help offset the chance/luck factor. Automatic Counting was chosen because, although counting and math is certainly a skill, the skill we want to measure here is playing cribbage. We have found that although new players may miss points from time to time, a skilled player will win against an unskilled player in a best of 3 series no matter if manual counting and muggins is enabled or not. The automatic counting option enables us to set a shorter time limit of 10 seconds, which makes a best of three games series more practical. The shorter time limit helps move the game along so that the entire match can still complete in a reasonable time frame. We removed the chat for the same reason - to keep it fast and competitive without unnecessary distractions.

This new Competitive Matchmaking is also a "Season" based system. We will be having "Competitive Seasons", just like you would see in a professional sports season. This means that on a regular basis (currently about 3 months; Quarterly), a new season will start and give everyone a chance to come in and participate on equal footing to see if they can take the title of the best player of the season! We are also planning on awarding a special prize to the top finishers of the season! The specifics of that prize will be shared at a later time and may be unique for each season. You must play games every week of the season (2 per week minimum), or you will see a reduction in your CR as a result. This happens because of an increase in our uncertainty of your actual skill if you don't keep playing regularly against other players. Stale players will not be able to sit at the top. Make certain you are regularly playing competitive matches to hold on to your CR.

When you complete your placement matches, you will be given a CR value, and a corresponding named CR Level. The levels are simply a breakdown of the CR value like this:

Bronze - 1 - 1499 CR
Silver - 1500 - 1999 CR
Gold - 2000 - 2499 CR
Platinum - 2500 - 2999 CR
Diamond - 3000 - 3499 CR
Master - 3500 - 3999 CR
Grand-master - 4000+ CR

The system that is used to calculate your CR, and to adjust it when you win or lose (and as part of the matchmaking itself), is similar to the "Elo Rating System" but a bit more complex like a derivative of that called the "Glicko Rating System" (to clarify, it is NOT just the Glicko system). We have taken the ideas of those systems, and others that are derived from them in modern games/sports, and created our own customized system for cribbage games. Instead of repeating what you can read in each of those links to those systems, just know that we have a system that is very much like them that includes a "confidence factor" (or sometimes called an "uncertainty factor") and a few other adjustments specific to what we felt was needed after running various simulations/tests of the system. We will almost certainly make further tweaks and adjustments to those things as we review how the system is working from time to time.

There are some questions that are common with a system like this, so I'll clarify a few of them here. First, you will see situations where someone's win percentage may be lower than you (and/or have fewer games played than you), and yet they are ranked higher. This is because a skill ranking system like this is significantly concerned with the skill of the opponent you are facing when determining how many points you win or lose from each match you play. Someone who has faced many highly skilled players, and won, will not have to play as many games to move up. Similarly, if they are relatively lower skilled and play higher skilled, they will lose very little when they lose games. This system can then account for people who play a lot of games, versus someone playing fewer total. As long as you are playing games every week, that is enough for the system to calculate your skill with a high enough degree of confidence (just don't miss too many days). You will also notice that in your stats there will not be any "skunk" related stats for competitive matchmaking games, as currently all "best of 3+" series style games have no concept of a skunk in them. You always win or lose by the same minimum games in a series based system like this, for instance a best-of-3 is always won by whoever wins 2 games, a best-of-5 by whoever wins 3, etc. You can never win a a best-of-3 series by more than 2 games, or less than 2 games, so as such there is no way to "skunk" someone in a series.

Lastly, a disconnect or forfeit in a competitive game, of any kind, will count as a full loss in every respect. There is no mercy here in competitive play. Consider this like a professional sports league, and there will be no exceptions beyond the rare case where we can accurately determine that there was a bug of some kind in our system that caused the disconnect/forfeit (which you must fully report to us for investigation). To be clear, this does NOT mean that you will avoid a loss if you try to show it was your internet connection failing - that will still be a loss as there would be too many ways to cheat the system otherwise. We will determine independently if it was our code itself that caused the problem, and only then will a loss be reversed if needed.

This new Competitive Rank system continues to extend our goal of making Cribbage Pro the best option for serious cribbage players. We hope you all enjoy this new mode of play as much as we have during our testing of it. You should find the matches to be against similarly skilled players, so that the matches are both challenging and fun! As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know through email to

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Online Multiplayer Competitive Matchmaking Beta, with New Ranking Points System!

We are thrilled to announce that a new "beta" version of the game is available on both Android and iOS devices that includes a new game mode for online multiplayer games: Competitive Matchmaking! To join the beta, [UPDATE: BETA IS NOW CLOSED]

This is the much anticipated change for online multiplayer that introduces a new points/ranking system for this new game mode as well, so it also includes a new "Top 50" Leaderboard for competitive matchmaking. You will still have all of your points from the "old" multiplayer points system (and that system continues unchanged here), those points are just now called "XP" (basically, experience points). Similarly, your old level in multiplayer will now be called your "XP Level". The name for these games is now called "Classic", to show the difference between that and the new game mode called "Competitive Matchmaking". We have also removed the "Lobby Chat" tab, as frankly it was rarely used and taking up valuable space.

In competitive mode games, you will now see your Competitive Rank (CR) and the corresponding level for that (CR Level). Before you can rank in competitive play, you have to be at least an XP Level of 5, and then play at least 5 competitive matchmaking games (placement matches) to earn your rank. Once completed, you will be awarded a rank and level based on your performance in those placement matches against others of similar CR/CR Level.

Some of this may change as we go through the beta, but right now here are the basic rules of Competitive Matchmaking.

All Competitive Games Are:

  • Best-Of-3
    • A single game is just not enough of a sample to determine your skill versus your opponent
  • Automatic Counting
    • Your skill with selecting discards and playing your cards is what we care about
  • 10 Sec. Turn Limit
    • Shorter than anything possible through the classic games, so think fast
  • Start Automatically
    • Nobody is responsible for "starting" the game, all automatic
  • Disconnect/Quit is Always a Loss
    • Don't try to get away with quitting, dropping your connection, etc. It won't work, and you will lose as a result
  • Classic XP Level of 5+ Required
    • You have to play in the classic mode for a little while to familiarize yourself with the game before you jump into competitive play

Finally, we will be having "competitive seasons" with this as well, just like you would see in a professional sports season. This means that on a regular basis (actual timing TBD), a new season will start and give everyone a chance to come in and participate on equal footing to see if they can take the title of the best player of the season!

We are very excited to get this release out to you for beta testing, and really want your feedback and suggestions if you try it out. We do need enough players to join the beta so that we have enough players to regular do the matchmaking with as well, so if you join please also encourage your friends to join and give it a try too. We plan on running the beta for a little while to gather as much feedback as possible, before we release this out to everyone in the general release.