freezing and disconnections

Sometimes, people tell me that the site does not work well for them.

The way they describe it is something like "the game freezes for me", "I got disconnected", or "the cards piled up and I couldn't play a card".

If you experience the symptoms described above, here are some things to try.

You may also want to read this Washington Post article about fixing your WiFi.

There's a CNN article that explains how common electrical interference can result in networking problems. Interesting!

Contact Your ISP

The problem may be caused by "packet loss" in networking hardware near your home. Give a call to your ISP (Internet Service Provider, like Comcast, Time-Warner, etc). I know that people don't want to do that! It's usually no fun, and describing the problem can be difficult. However, I've had several people tell me that their experience with the site improved after their ISP tested their connection and worked on it. Sometimes, improvements can be made without sending a person to your home. It's definitely worth a try.

There are several informative discussions about "packet loss" at Tom's Hardware website. They tend to get technical, but they make clear that many game sites suffer due to failing hardware between a user's home and the game site's server. This doesn't mean there's a problem at the game site; it's most often a problem near the user's home. Here is a list of links that you can follow to see this explained:
  1. Packet loss when playing games but not regular web surfing
  2. Temporary packet loss

Contact a professional

One player at the site wrote to me in October of 2018. He had been disconnected from the site a couple of times. He was convinced that there was nothing wrong with his computer, and equally convinced that there was something wrong with the site. I could not help him, since so far as I know the site is chugging along okay.

This player later wrote to me: "I had a tech at Cox go through my whole system.  You were correct.  The problem was with my computer.  Too many cookies, saves, and such.  It took some time to eliminate them all and it seems to be ok now."

When I pressed the person for details on exactly what the tech did, this was the response: "The tech cleared out all my cookies, histories and downloads.  They had accumulated from the time I first had the computer, about six years ago.  He also defragmented it.  The process took some time in consideration of the enormous backload.  It was suggested that I repeat both each month... What puzzled me, though, was that there was no shortage of file space or computing space on the machine.  Please keep in mind that I may not completely understood what the tech did."

Personally, I am surprised if degramenting the disk helped, but I am not a networking expert. I can understand that an overloaded browser with lots of saved stuff might cause issues.

Check Your Wi-Fi Router

Another thing to do is to take a look at your wi-fi router. If it is quite old, it could be that it has started to fail. This happened to me once; I just had to get a new wi-fi router and the problem was solved. For me, at least, the problem was pretty clearly the router - I was having trouble with the internet on several different websites at that point.

Recently (Dec 2019), I mentioned the possibility of packet loss to a person who was having trouble at the site. This person responded quickly with this remark: "Packet loss does seem to be the problem, but not with my ISP. My troubleshooting is pointing at the wireless router as the source of the trouble. I hooked up with CAT5 instead of wireless and the game is giving me no problem. I have ordered a new router as the existing one has been locking up sometimes recently". CAT5 is an ethernet cable - not all computers have an ethernet plug, but if yours does, give it a try.

More recently (Apr 2020), someone reported an ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT error from their browser when trying to get to World of Card Games. In that case, the problem was fixed simply by rebooting the browser. It's unknown what happened, but the router was again the source of the problem.

Clear Web Browser Cache

One person told me that the performance of the website had degraded and they were able to improve it when they cleared their web browser's cache. They were using an older Mac. Here's an article on how to clear the Safari browser cache on a Mac.


Enable Flash???

Most recently, someone told me that the site's performance improved when they enabled Flash.

This is the most surprising suggestion that I've had so far, because World of Card Games does not use Flash. It's worth a try, however. You can always disable Flash again, if enabling it does not change anything. To find out how to do this, do an internet search for "enable Flash in (your browser)" e.g. "enable Flash in Chrome" or "enable Flash in Firefox".

Edit: as of June 29, 2018, I've now had two people tell me that the site's performance improved when they installed and enable Adobe Flash. I have no idea how that would help, since the site does not use Flash, but it's definitely worth a try if you're having trouble.

Click this link to see how to use Flash in Google's Chrome browser.

If you do not have Adobe Flash installed, click this link to find out how to get it.

Is Your Operating System Updating?

Every now and then, computers need to do an update. System updates can be very resource intensive and "impolite" - they grab every available resource and they won't let go until they are done, and that means that you have very little left for what you are doing.

If you notice the website hanging or becoming sluggish, check to see if any other process on your computer is doing something. It could be a system update, or some other process that is interfering. Usually, it is possible to schedule updates for some time when you are not using the computer.

What Causes These Problems?

it's probably the network
I think it's usually a networking issue. I blogged about this problem back in 2014. At that time, I was using a discount hosting service, and there may have been some occasional problems with their network. Since that time, I've moved the site to a more expensive, and more reliable, hosting service. I do not think that my hosting service has network problems anymore.

I want to make it clear that I would like to help people with this type of problem. I do not believe there is anything wrong with the site, per se - but it's not possible for me to know this with 100% certainty.

What I do know with 100% certainty is that I play card games at the site several times each week, sometimes several games per day, and I do not experience any of these problems. I've chatted with other people who never experience these problems either. This is why I think the problem is not with the site.

If you have problems with World of Card Games, but with no other websites, consider that a card game site is rather different from mostly "static" websites. With a card game website, you are constantly interacting with other people around the world via the World of Card Games web server. If that just made your head spin, well, don't be concerned! The World of Card Games web server is just a computer, very much like your own computer, although it's pretty high powered. It takes messages from all the players at your table and relays them to all the other players. As an example, suppose I'm playing Spades, and I play the 2 of clubs. When I do this, my web browser sends a message to the World of Card Games server: "marya wants to play the 2 of clubs". The server gets this message, and then relays it to everyone else at the table. Then the server tells the next person that it is their turn to play. Etc.

As you can imagine, there are lots and lots of messages flying around over the internet! If your internet connection is "leaky", and you somehow miss one of these messages, then your view of the game is going to be messed up. The game may appear to stall.

Meantime, for anyone who is not having internet trouble, all they see if that you are timing out.

The internet is just a huge network of computers and electrical hardware that connects all the computers to each other. When a piece of hardware in the network starts to fail, it can cause "packet drops" or "packet loss". This will affect your game. If your computer is old, maybe it can't handle the site very well, either. Please try one of the solutions described above, and let me know if it helps.

PS If you play Solitaire at World of Solitaire, and do not find any similar problems there, there is a simple explanation for that. World of Solitaire is not a multiplayer site - you do not need a consistent and steady internet connection to play cards there, because you are not playing with other people. In fact, you can play Solitaire offline at that site - once you load the page, you can disconnect your internet and it will still work fine. World of Card Games, in contrast, was developed to allow you to play with other people, although the site lets you play alone against the computer as well. The connection to the web server is an integral part of the system, and you need to have a good connection to avoid problems during your game.