Other Wise

In for a pound

Structures to toy with:

  • Tichu-style, the hand starts with a round of passing:
    • Two cards to each player
    • Review the passed cards
    • Two more cards to your partner
    • It is possible that’s too much passing
  • Played cards are arranged in a 2D grid. Each row and column of contiguous cards must either form a meld or a legal subset of a meld
    • Cards may only be played in positions in which they extend (potential) melds both directions
    • Cards may not be played in positions in which they conflict with potential melds in any direction
    • Are full houses legal melds?
    • Stairs?
  • One their turn a player may play a single card or pass
  • If they play a single card they may then do one of:
    • Play a second card adjacent to the first (any direction)
    • Play a PASS card
      • Each player has N PASS cards
      • PASS cards immediately pass control to the partner and are lost when played
    • Place or recover their BLOCK
      • Each player has one BLOCK
      • BLOCKs mark positions that may not be played in
      • Should a trick end while blocks are still in play they are lost
    • Pass
  • Suits should probably wrap, 10-11-12-1-2 style

Divination of intent and thence coordination seems the core problem of a partnership game. More standard partnership card games communicate richly by what is/is_not played when and how that pattern relates to the goals of the partnership. Not One More also supports extensive signalling in the card grid, but it is both extraordinarily rich and extraordinarily diffuse, making divination and coordination hard. The primary idea of the above structures is to add more discrete signalling methods between partners.

Deconstructed Uno

A chat with Ben Keightley on #bgdf_chat (I’m using the wonderful irssi instead of BitchX these days, so the formatting is a little different than previous log posts):

11:34 | clearclaw > You rarely play card games, right Ben?

11:35 | Coca_Lite > That’s right, I don’t play a lot of card games.

11:35 > clearclaw nods

11:35 | Coca_Lite > Not ‘traditional’ card games, anyway. I play a lot of Race for the Galaxy but I don’t think that’s what you mean.

11:35 > clearclaw nods. I’ve been noodling a sort of reverse climbing game

11:37 | clearclaw > The core element of the noodle is that played cards form melds against the other player’s played cards

11:37 | clearclaw > And the player of the last card that is part of the highest value meld is the current trick-winner

11:37 | clearclaw > The idea is to extend hand-management out of just to player’s hand to extend across all the hands of all the players.

11:37 | Coca_Lite > Love it.

11:39 | clearclaw > Thus one player leads an ace, another follows with a second ace and is therefore winning with a pair of aces, a third plays a 2, someone plays a pair of twos and is winning with trip 2s, then someone plays 3/4/5 to win with the A/2/3/4/5 etc.

11:40 | Coca_Lite > Yes, I love it. Lately you can take any game and add ‘…without the auction!’ to it, and I’m sold. Your game sounds like Modern Art…without the auction.

11:41 > clearclaw grins. I kinda like it too. Had the idea and posted it last night.

12:28 | clearclaw > Naming the inverse climbing game NotOneMore for the nonce, Tichu-style stairs are simply too hard to calculate comparative probabilities on.

12:29 | clearclaw > That leaves either the standard meld types of pairs, trips, 4-of-a-kind and rummy-esque runs, or going for the Poker set.

12:29 | clearclaw > Current thoughts are:

12:30 | clearclaw > Must either follow suit lead or must extend what has already been played toward a potentially winning meld or must fold.

12:30 | clearclaw > If fold can’t play in that trick any more

12:32 | clearclaw > Once all players pass trick is resolved

12:32 | clearclaw > Possible: If all players pass except the last player to play a card, they may NOT play again.

12:33 | clearclaw > Player may play one or two cards on their turn.

12:34 | clearclaw > Thinking of making melds have the value of the lowest card in them. That would weaken the already enormously powerful straights.

12:35 | clearclaw > Physicality would be all players toss cards into the central pot. As each player takes the lead they take the cards they want from the pot and build their winning meld before them.

12:35 | clearclaw > As they are superceded they toss that back in and another player builds the new winning meld.

12:37 | Coca_Lite > Once a card is ‘committed’ to a meld, it should stay there. No rearranging melds willy-nilly.

12:37 | clearclaw > Why?

12:38 | clearclaw > (asides from the explosive complexity)

12:38 | Coca_Lite > Explosive complexity, and to force early commitments by players.

12:38 | clearclaw > Fair point

12:39 | clearclaw > I’ve been more worried by having the game consist of only one trick as all players play all their cards in the first trick

12:40 | clearclaw > I had been thinking of various 2D arrangements of cards which expressed multi-member participations.

12:40 | clearclaw > And each player has a marker. If the marker is on the graph they are winning. As they are superceded another player becomes King of the Hill.

12:41 | clearclaw > Having committed cards would reduce the single-trick problem greatly.

12:41 | clearclaw > And would put in some interesting hand-management aspects.

12:42 | Coca_Lite > OK, or something like: each player has his own deck of cards with a colored back. Cards contributed to melds score for owners.

12:50 | clearclaw > How about each player plays 1 or 2 cards. The first card must be placed adjacent to a previously played card and the next card (if played) adjacent to that. If the player’s played card(s) form a winning meld they put their marker on one. Any previous player’s marker is removed from the board.

12:51 | clearclaw > Rows and columns of cards must either form legal melds or fractions there-of

12:51 | clearclaw > The value of a meld is the lowest value card in the meld

12:52 | Coca_Lite > Yeesh, it’s starting to sound like deconstructed Uno

12:52 | clearclaw > Scrabble-icious.

12:52 | clearclaw > I thought Uno was only a matching game?

12:52 > clearclaw has never played Uno

12:53 | doho123 > Uno is crazy eights

12:53 | doho123 > Match either the rank or suit of the previously played card

12:53 | clearclaw > I’ve not played that either. Just read the ‘geek page.

12:54 | clearclaw > Discard matching.

12:54 | doho123 > Right

12:54 | clearclaw > The “array” is sort of an agglomerative discard pile I guess.

12:55 | clearclaw > Yes, deconstructed Uno. Ha!

Tricky climb

An odd idea, not yet fully enfranchised into a game. Consider a (relatively standard) climbing game, perhaps along the lines of Mu, however rather than players playing cards in sets they would iteratively play them one at a time until everyone passes1. The key element would be that rather than a player’s played cards forming the sets within themselves, they would instead form sets within the space of all cards played for that “trick”. For instance:

  1. PlayerA: Leads an Ace.
  2. PlayerB: Follows with another Ace and is therefore winning with two Aces.
  3. PlayerC: Follows with an 8.
  4. PlayerD: Follows with a pair of 8s and is therefore winning with three 8s. …etc.


  • Determining who is winning the current “trick”.
  • Requirements for following.
  • How points are assigned
  • Method required to denote who is currently winning the trick

Initial thoughts:

  • 5 suits (perhaps a Sticheln deck)
  • Do not need to follow suit
  • May play any number of cards so long as the total number of cards played by that player in the trick is no more than one larger than the total number of cards played by the previously card-count leader 2
  • Suits are circularly ordered with the lead suit high and the others following in a constant rotational order
  • Standard meld definitions including Tichu’s stairs.
  • Each meld in the taken trick scores the value of the highest card in the meld, with arrangement of melds organised so as to minimise left over cards
  • Left over cards and singletons don’t score
  1. Somewhat similar to Mu’s bidding round.
  2. Echoes of Mu’s bidding again.