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Misc opinions... some shared by others... some not... subject to change

Spirit of the Game (opinion)

We hear this once in a while, usually in the wrong context

Its a game of solitaire. There's rules of play for the game which you follow. But you choose your own way of following them

You choose for yourself whether undo, retry, peeking at cards, is allowed. This can vary depending on your mood at the time

That's the Spirit!

House Rules (opinion)

For competition purposes, house rules need to be posted and its expected that players follow these rules. However its up to the players to follow them. Its not possible by the site to ensure all the rules are followed

If the rules are not posted, play the way you like. Altho looking up solutions is an obvious indiscretion

Streak Play at freecell.net (opinion)

Streak Play...

Stats are maintained for your daily streak ie by calendar day, current streak which spans days, and your best streak

There's an implicit assumption that the player that has the highest streak is a better player

This may be true, but...

For these reasons it is an interesting stat but not truly representative of the players skill vs another players skill

Why is the next game to be played selected randomly

It has to because it does not keep track of the games you have already played

For Streak play it helps prevents cheating

But if you are interested in playing every game in a variant...

It doesn't keep track of the last game you played, or how many times you played it, or which attempt was your first win

Of course your play is counted in the overall stats but otherwise not tracked (ok... briefly in Recent Play. And in the Play Logs (which only go back to Sep 2021))

It could (i suppose) select the next if you are playing again for the same variant. But if you switch variants it doesn't know the last so it can't. So it selects a game number randomly

It would be nice if it could cycle thru the games, from 0 thru 32767, so you can know whether you have played all the games in a variant

There's 32768 games so chances are that the game will not be one you have already played. Or at least not recently

Elo (opinion)

There are millions of games to be played and just a few thousand players playing them about 2/3 of whom play 8x4 exclusively

Games are not equivalent to players. The 'exchange' should consider this. Maybe K factor?

Game Elo should be set on first play

Game Elo should be set to 0 if the game is unwinnable

If an 'unwinnable' game is won, set Elo as for first play, then as first win

It may get tweaked...

Plays where game Elo is 0 should be excluded from all Elo calculations

Plays where player Elo is 0 should be excluded from all Elo calculations

First card dealt

I noticed some time ago that the first card dealt is a clue to the game number eg if it is the KH then game number will be in the range 0 thru 1195. This is always true for level 10. Its a side effect of using consecutive game number as random seed.

I posted this on the discussion board here

The shuffle adjustments for the other levels may cause a different first card for some games

As expected game number for 8D in range 26312-27507

What happens when same game number dealt to different layout

Game number and level determine the shuffle. The deal depends on the layout, the number of columns.

If you look at 5x6 1234-5 and 6x6 1234-5 you'll notice that its the same shuffle, just shifted due to the number of columns

5x6 1234-5
6x6 1234-5

How level effects shuffle

Level 10 deals are unadjusted.

Lower levels adjust so the more high cards are injected earlier in the shuffle so that more low cards are playable sooner

Higher levels adjust so the more lower cards are injected earlier in the shuffle so that more high cards are playable sooner

The change in the algorithm for levels other than 10, because it involves an extra random call, causes the base shuffle to be significantly different than the unadjusted level 10 shuffle. You'll notice the level 9 and level 11 deals are more alike each other than the unadjusted level 10. Levels other than 10 are not only adjusted but based on an altogether different shuffle. Unexpected, but nothing wrong with that. Its an interesting feature of NetCELL's algorithm

Note that this is not a card swap. When the first adjusted card is injected in to the shuffle, the remainder of the shuffle is completely different

5x6 1234-10 (unadjusted)
This is the deal presented for play

5x6 1234-8
deal is same up to QS
5x6 1234-9
deal is same up to QC
5x6 1234-10 (adjusted)
base for the other levels
5x6 1234-11
deal is same up to QC
5x6 1234-12
deal is same up to JC