Friday, December 2, 2011

Cribbage Pro Multiplayer Points System Revised

After a lot of analysis, quite a few good debates on skill versus luck, and a lot of feedback from many of the regular players of Cribbage Pro Online, we are happy to announce a completely new points system for multiplayer games that is now live effective immediately.  This new points system is a lot different compared to the old system, and as such probably needs a little explaining so that everyone can have confidence in what to expect when they play.

At the heart of the new system is points being given out based on how dramatically you win against your opponent.  Points are awarded based off of the cribbage board position, and more specifically based on the "block" or 5 point section that the losers peg is in relative to the winning player (which on a game played to completion is always the last block with the peg out hole of course).  We calculate the difference between that winning peg and the losers peg and determine how many "blocks" or sections on the cribbage board that peg is away from the winning peg.  Next time you play, pay attention to which score block you are in, as each 5 point score block section will change the points awarded or taken away, so every time you get a block ahead of your opponent, you stand to get more points awarded for winning.  If you are losing, then trying to get to that next block before the game is over could save you a lot of points as well.

Before we get into specifics, another big change is that the same number of points you can win is the same that is lost by the other player.  With that, pictured in the table and chart below is the breakdown of points awarded by that "block" mentioned above (there are 24 blocks plus a final hole for 121 on our game board).

You will see that special consideration is given to the "Double Skunk", "Skunk" and if you lose by only one point (designated as block "25").

Along with this new system for determining the points to be awarded when you win, or that are taken away when you lose, is a new "Maximum Points Possible" calculation.  This is a bit more complicated, but the picture you should probably have in your mind is that of a bucket of points that each unique opponent you play has to share points with you.  This maximum is based on each match-up you have, each opponent you play against, and is calculated based on two different systems.

The first maximum score limiting system is used when you have played 10 games or less against the same opponent.  For those first 10 games you play against someone, when you win we determine what I'll call a "game win delta" or a maximum number of games you have won more than the other player - your "play advantage" if you will.  So if you have won 7 games against them in the past, and they have only won 2 (a total of 9 games), your advantage is 5 games (losers games of 2 won subtracted from winners 7).  The breakdown of that maximum points possible in your match-up is as shown below.

So, if you are really beating up your opponent game after game, there is now a diminishing return on your wins.  What this really is doing is gauging your skill relative to that specific opponent and awarding you less if you are already the most likely winner and it will subsequently award you more if you were being trounced before but finally manage to get a win (as your delta or advantage will be negative).

That system of maximum points for 10 or less games will be the one that most people will encounter as they play because of the numerous people playing and possible opponents you will face.  However, for those that play more than 10 games against the same opponent, there needs to be consideration given beyond just a "games advantage", and this is where a percentage based system becomes more relevant and that is what is used.

Here is how the percentage system is used to calculate your maximum points possible.

As you can see, we calculate the win % of the person who lost the game (prior to adding in that loss) and use that to determine a maximum number of points won or lost.  If the loser wins 46% or more against the winner, then all the points are available, but from 45% on down that maximum will slowly drop all the way down to 5 points maximum if the winner wins nearly all the time (85% or more of the time to be exact).  So again, if you are always winning against that person, then it is expected that you will continue to win and there is a diminishing return on that win as you continue to prove yourself superior.

UPDATE: Also note that after the first 10 games you play against someone, all "skunks" will count as 2 games and any "double skunks" will count as 3 games when calculating this maximum points possible (not in your game stats or anywhere else, only for this purpose).

I'm sure there are those that will ask why we did all this, and why it is so complicated.  Well, we really didn't want to make it this complicated, but we were forced into it by simply examining the system we use today and coming to an understanding where it was simply not being fair to everyone.  Too many people were forced to play only certain levels of other players or risk being docked huge amounts of points for losing.  Similarly, someone who only plays their spouse may be able to accumulate points rapidly if they were a cribbage expert and the spouse not so much.

Is this new system perfect?  No, I highly doubt it is perfect, but I do believe it is a good step in the right direction.  What that means is that this will probably not be the last change you see to the points system, but hopefully it means that future changes will just be tweaks here and there.

If you have comments, thoughts or suggestions on this new system please let us know in the comments or email us at

Friday, July 1, 2011

Release 1.7 - Some Love For Single Player Cribbage

After quite a few releases that had a heavy focus on the multiplayer side of the game in Cribbage Pro, although we always give some single player improvements too, we are really excited to finally release version 1.7 which is almost entirely focused on just the single player side of the game (coming first on Android; iOS users it is coming soon hopefully with your iPad support too).

So without further delay, here is a run down of these new features in our now traditional bullet list style.

  • New Single Player Achievements System
    • You can now earn over 80 different achievements while playing Cribbage Pro on single player, and each achievement you earn gives you more points towards appearing in the "Top 50" leader boards.  That's right, you can even lose a game but have an achievement earned which off-sets that loss and still move up.  We think it's more fair then just earning for a win.  You showed skill in earning the achievement (say a nice 24 point hand) and that skill should be represented in the rankings.
    • Not all achievements are for showing your greatness, some of them just mark a milestone in your game play.  For instance, you get one for playing 100 games, then 1000 and then 2000+ at each level of difficulty.  You may also get a "19 Point Crib" achievement if you find yourself unlucky enough to have 0 points in your own crib. This is of course not a good thing, but just a common slang used in cribbage in general that we thought would be fun to add in to soften that harsh blow.
    • Right now there are over 80, and we have ideas for even more, but would like your suggestions as well.  So email us what you think might make a good achievement in the game and we will see what we can do to add it in for a future release.
  • Real World Rewards from Kiip
    • OK, so achievements are great and all, but what if they were not just points you could earn to get to the leader board but included other real-world rewards for significant game achievements.  Once we heard of Kiip and how it worked out with the timing of our achievements release here, we got really excited as we think you all will too.  If you have been lucky enough to earn one already or gift it to a friend, you know what we are talking about. For those of you who have no idea what Kiip is and why we are excited to bring it to you, check out their video on earning real rewards in games you are already playing.
  • "Top 50" with new "Recently Played" and "All Time"
    • We heard you all on this one a few times, and we are glad to be able to finally start to do something about the Top 50 leader-board for single player.  One of the big glaring issues was that someone who played the game over a year ago and did really well may be sitting on that list, but only now playing the game just intermittently enough to keep their spot.  This first set of changes in this release are starting to address this.  With the new "Recently Played" list being the default, players who have not played the game in a while will drop off the list and the list can change each and every day that ticks past giving the newer players who just found us a chance to make the list too.  Of course, there is still the "All Time" list to try and get to as well.  Note that we changed this for single player and multiplayer Top 50.
  • Some Graphical Tweaks
    • We made the "Count" box bigger, bolder, styled it and generally made it easier to read and we also made a few other tweaks to the overall layout which I'm betting nobody notices very much, but they were bothering us so we fixed them.
  • Improvements to Using
    • On Android we have been using for our random seed data in shuffling/etc. in the game for a while, but it was not as efficient as it should be and it would run out too fast at times and not be able to get new good random data (not a good enough internet connection, etc.) and be forced to fall back to using the devices random source (which we have to say almost universally terrible).  So in this release we added a few new technical adjustments to that system and how we utilize it to make the cards you get (and the cards the computer is dealt) as random as we possibly can as often as we possibly can.

We have already had a few requests for a list of all the possible achievements you can earn in the game, and when.  Right now we will not be releasing the full list (remember, that's 80+ so it would be a long list), but in a future blog post we will list out some of our favorites and/or ones that we are getting questions.  So more to come there.

As always, if you have suggestions, comments or feedback of any kind please let us know in the comments here on the blog or (particularly if you want a quick response) by emailing