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RANDOM JOTTINGS - 28th April 2001


The site has now been open for one week and has not received many hits yet, but that's not surprising since I have only left one message on the Yahoo message board. Hopefully, some of the search engines will soon carry the site.

I did get some reaction however from my comments on high win/lose ratios and on FF'ing at Yahoo. There was a response from a Yahoo player with a very high ratio of about 5:1 ! He said it was easy for a good player to achieve. I disagree with him. The only honest way to get a high ratio is to play with a regular partner. You can then build up partnership understanding, which will give you an edge over your opponents. You also have to play against weaker opposition to achieve very high win/lose ratios. I still think that more people than not with a very high ratio achieve it by dishonest means. I would still recommend that you don't play against people with very high ratios.

On to Force Forfeit. I am certainly not in favour of FF'ing when a player is forced out of a game by lagging. I would rather complete the game by using a substitute. The only time I ever FF is when a particularly obnoxious player quits a game. Even then I get the opinion of the other players. In my opinion, in that situation to FF is not unreasonable.


GameSpy has now completed its takeover of Mplayer. To use their site it's necessary to download a file of nearly 5MB ! Even after that there are more files to download for each game. I entered the site full of expectation, but this was soon shattered! I didn't like their interface much at all. It kept throwing me out of the game and it was difficult to get back in. However, to be fair this didn't happen on a second occasion. I had problems with their 'bidding slide', it seemed to have a life of it's own - maybe I took too long to bid! There are various options to chose from - one of which is single play (viz. no partner!) I found this quite interesting. It certainly cuts down on nils! The other good thing is that the host can set the time to play a card. If you take too long ,10 seconds was the default time (?), then a card is played for you. Mplayer loaded Gator on to your computer. GameSpy claims to load Gator and Offer Companion. However, the most prominent program wasWebHancer. These are spyware and not the sort of programs that I want on my computer. Adaware got rid of most of the files, although I still haven't got rid of a .dll file in the Windows subdirectory. In my opinion, I suggest that spades players continue to play at Yahoo, The Zone and Pogo sites etc. I will be giving GameSpy a miss!


Flipside US has purchased Uproar and Iwin. The future of Flipside UK still has to be decided. I haven't yet had a chance to investigate whether any changes have been made.


Hand 1



West bids 4, North bids Nil and East bids 3. Since South is defending a nil, he discounts KD and counts 3 spade tricks and AC. So he bids 4. West leads 8C, North plays 3C, West KC and South 6C. East returns 6D. What should South do? See lower down for answer.     (28-4-01)

Hand 2



West bids 3, North 3 and East 2. What do you bid? It looks although someone is underbidding! You haven't really got any tricks for sure and you can't bid nil. If you bid one, that will leave 4 bags. It is unlikely that either side will be looking for a set and are more likely to bag. Some of those bags will come to you! I would therefore bid 2 on this hand. It is very unlikely that you will be set.    (28-4-01)

Hand 1 (What happened?)

  N   10854
W   E
At the table, South played the KD, won by West with AD, North playing 10D. West fired back the 4D followed by 5D, 2D and 3D. Nil was set! Unfortunate? Yes, it was unlucky, but it could have been prevented. When the 6D is lead, at the second trick, South should play the 3D ! Since South has only two diamonds, the odds are on North holding more than one diamond. If he has no card lower than the six, then he is likely to be set in any case. So there is nothing to lose! So play 3D - West will probably play the 7D or 8D and North the 5D. South's KD will now cover North's 10D. North will make his nil.

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(This page was last updated on 29th April 2001