Monday, August 27, 2007

Sheepshead for 2007

I have had a series of post on the card game Sheepshead. As you now know we play the game at work because of the interesting play of power vs. points.

So we were trying to come up with a way to make the game easier for begginners to understand, and allow advanced players a way to keep the game fresh.

So here is the SpiderLogic take on Sheepshead 2007.
  • Specialized Sheepshead Cards
    • We want a way to quickly understand what the cards mean in the game. So, we want specialized Sheepshead cards. Instead of the pictures of royalty and number patterns on the cards we want In the middle of the card, just a big picture of the suit, for example, a big heart for hearts, a big Club for clubs, a big spade for spades, and a big T for trump. This would cut down on confusion on if the Jack of clubs is trump or not. Along the top the cards print the point value (11, 10, 4, 3, 2, 0) and down the side you can put the trump order. Each card would also have a unique bar code on them. Why a bar code, see 2, 3, and 4.
  • Computerized Help
    • Each player has a card scanner that after dealing the player could scan his/her cards. Then during each trick, the player would scan the card being tossed, and a computer could beep a warning if the player was not going to follow suit and make a misplay. I guess you could program it for other things like optimal play so if you are a beginner it could help you play better.
  • Computerized Point Totaling
    • This same system then would also be able to know who partners are and be able to total points for the hand. This would save time allowing for more hands played during a lunch period. I know what you are saying good Sheepshead players should already know the point count, well true, but you still need to do a confirming count at the end of the game.
  • Stats Keeping
    • I am talking the mother of all stats keeping. Not just basic things like how many times I pick and win. I am talking like how often does called suit walk, how many times did I pick and who was my partner, do I have a better win percentage in three handed. Does one player tend to pick and pull down others. Of course all this would be displayed on the web for all to see. This can easily be done, using the scanning machine again and a nice website. You can tell the computer who picked, the called suit, or if playing Jack of diamonds it already knows the partner. Then off the play of scanned cards it would be able to automatically be able to keep these stats fresh in real time. Talk about bragging rights.
  • Online Play
    • Improved online play. I have tried to play Sheepshead online and really it is not that fun. First it is really hard to get a table going if you are not a rated player. I have been playing Sheepshead for13 years but because I never played online I have no rating and people wont let you on their tables. Then if you are lucky enough to get on a table be sure you can trust people, because I was at a table and all they did was pass so they could double points. they would do this for like 20 deals in a row just so the point totals would be big. If you picked to soon, even if you had the boss queens, two jacks, and a couple small trump they would get mad.
So there is the wish list. Some items could be changed to make things easier for example. I guess you could use rf technology instead of bar codes.

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