Saturday, April 16, 2022

Do Video Games Put You To Sleep?

NOTICE: This post was originally posted on Medium but has later been moved to the official World Of Card Games blog to consolidate all posts.

I used to play cards at World of Card Games all the time. These days, I don’t have much time for it, because I’ve got a regular job. But I find that playing card games online is a good way to unwind at the end of a day, or even in the middle of the day, when I’m on a break from dealing with some intractable work problem.

Are video games relaxing? In fact, I heard something interesting the other day. I was listening to the Timothy Ferriss podcast where he interviews Jane McGonigal, a futurist and games researcher. She claimed that playing video games before bedtime is a good way to help you get to sleep! Tetris was mentioned specifically in the interview. Tetris is very different from a physical, in-person card game. But the card games at World of Card Games are video games. I wonder if the research would apply to the types of games at the site, as well.

It’s hard to imagine any game making me sleepy. My adrenaline usually surges when I play a video game, and that’s not ideal for sleeping. However, apparently there really is some research that shows video games can have a relaxing effect that helps you more easily fall asleep. Perhaps this is because you can’t focus on the intricacies of playing a game without getting a bit detached from other problems in your life. It helps to distance you from things which may not be that important, after all. Kind of like meditation, in that respect.

I can’t speak for card games as a sleeping aid. I think that if anything, they kind of perk me up when I’m feeling a bit sleepy. But they do seem like a good distraction from worries. If something’s bugging me at work, I can play a game or two, and find that the problem was just not so important after all.

One funny thing that I’ve noticed is that if I play card games just before bedtime, I’ll often see the images of cards being played in my mind as I’m falling asleep! That was mentioned in the Timothy Ferriss interview, too — that people who play a game will see the game images as they fall asleep.

I’m curious to know if other people at the site have used games to get to sleep. Leave a comment if you’ve tried it, and let us know what happened!

Start of a fun game of Spades with the bots!

Saturday, April 9, 2022

You Don’t Have to Bid Your Hand

Is your hand really that good?

NOTICE: This post was originally posted on Medium but has later been moved to the official World Of Card Games blog to consolidate all posts.

My favorite card game at World of Card Games is Spades. I can’t explain exactly what’s so interesting about the game, but I never get tired of it. Sometimes you get a great partner, and it’s as if they’re reading your mind. They play the cards just the way you would! But life doesn’t always go that way. At times, you have to wonder what your partner is thinking.

I just finished a Spades game where I was fortunate to be in tune with my teammate. In one hand, my partner was first to bid. She had a bad hand, and bid 1. The next player bid 3. My hand was crummy, also. I bid 2, bringing the total bid to 6.

The last player to bid paused dramatically, and finally called 7! I could see my partner metaphorically peeking over their cards at me, thinking, uh oh, we’re in trouble. Neither one of us could imagine that the last player to bid would bring the total bid to 13 without having some serious ammo in their hands.

Well, it turned out that our opponents got set. The 7-bidder was long in diamonds, while I was short in them. I managed to snag an extra trick with one of my low trump cards. And it also turned out that the 7-bidder’s teammate fell short of their 3 bid — they only made 2. It’s easy to make a mistake in your bidding and be off by just 1.

So here’s my tip of the day. You don’t always have to “bid your hand”. I mean, if you think you’re going to get 7, consider what happens if your teammate doesn’t get all the tricks they thought they would. Or what happens if they were counting on taking a trick with a suit that you were sure you’d be able to trump?

If you’re last to bid, and your bid brings the total bid to 13, consider that your teammate may have overestimated what they can do, or your opponents were perhaps a bit too modest in making their bids. Or maybe your cards just aren’t as good as they look. Really think carefully before bringing the total bid to 13. And don’t blame your partner if your team gets set. You were last to bid, so you had the maximum information — and it’s a team game.

This situation is kind of like life. If you live your life close to the edge, and don’t leave any room for error, you’re probably going to “get set” more often than you might expect. Isn’t it nice that card games can teach you life lessons in a safe environment. 😄 So go and play a game of Spades, and let me know what you think!

Friday, August 20, 2021

Game report - Double Deck Pinochle

This one is for the Double Deck Pinochle fans!

I got a message from a wonderful fellow named George who told me that his team had picked up all 50 counters in a hand of pinochle at World of Card Games - unusual, to say the least! Here's the screenshot he sent.

It is such a pleasure to get messages from people who use the site to play in a friendly way! Thank you, George, and I hope you and your friends have many more fun games at the site.
Double Deck Pinochle took all counters


Friday, July 30, 2021

Site outage

Sorry, everyone, but the site is having technical difficulties. I'm not really sure when it will be back online. It will probably not be until tomorrow, and I'm not even sure if I can get it fixed by then. Again, my deepest apologies!

 Edit: the site is up again on Friday afternoon July 30. I appreciate everyone who wrote with kind words of support! You are all dear to me!!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

How do you start games with scores at zero?

I just got an email from someone who asked me "How do you start games with scores at zero?".

When I responded, my email got "bounced" because their Outlook email was configured incorrectly. This happens more times than I can tell you!

So here's my response, in case you are out there listening:

It's pretty easy to do this! Click on the Options button, and make sure that "Exclude Games in Progress" is checked. You will only join new games once that is done.

I have a blog post about this feature, if you want to read about it:
That includes screenshots with information about how to set your Options for the game.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions. And make sure your Outlook account is configured correctly, otherwise you won't be getting responses from me or anyone else!

Thursday, June 17, 2021

networking issues

Hey everyone,

Some people have written emails to let me know they're having connection issues with the site.

Thank you for letting me know, and I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do about it in the short term. There are definitely some networking problems, and my hosting service is working to resolve them. Just wanted to let you all know that I'm aware of the situation. Let's hope the tech people can get the problems fixed soon.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Your emails!

Hi everyone,

I appreciate all the nice people who play cards at World of Card Games! I'm kind of busy with other work these days, and so I can't do much work on the site, I'm sorry to say. It still makes me happy to see how many people enjoy the site, even though it hasn't changed very much in the last couple of years.

I want to bring something up. Sometimes, a person writes to me with a question. I almost always respond to player emails!

However, sometimes when I respond, the email "bounces". That is, my response is returned as unsent. Sometimes, this happens because the person sending me the email has an Outlook account that has not been configured correctly. Sometimes, it happens because an Internet Service Provider has decided that my email is spam and won't allow me to get through.

I don't spam people. I only contact players at the site if they first contact me.

I just want to let people know that if they don't hear a response from me, it could be because I was unable to respond for technical reasons.

I'm bringing this up here because someone recently wrote me an email, and when I responded, the email bounced.

I'm going to post their question here, and my response, on the off chance that this person might read it here.

The person wrote:

I regularly get put into games and find myself down 70,80,90 points in a 100 point game.  It would an improvement if I could choose not to get auto inserted into games that are almost over.

Well, I could not agree more with this stranger from the Internet. Here was my response:

What you're looking for already exists. Please choose the "Exclude Games in Progress" Option, explained in this blog post:

It still surprises me that people do not realize this Option is available. When you first arrive at the site, you are given the Option to avoid games in progress. You can change your Option at that time, or any later time. If you're not aware of that, please follow the link above to learn about that Option and some other Options that you might find useful.

Thanks and be nice out there, life is too short!