Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
22 Posts

Dominion» Forums » General

Subject: How much is this game influenced by shuffling styles? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Peter Sanderson
Bermuda
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I played this game for the first time yesterday - didn't really think much of it. Multiplayer solitaire, seemingly with few interesting decisions to be made once you've worked out your basic strategy at the beginning.

I do wonder, though, whether the constant shuffling renders this game broken for certain styles of shuffler.

Player A is an experienced shuffler, and shuffles thoroughly to mix his stack each time. He can play the game properly.

Player B is a very poor shuffler - so bad in fact that their shuffles consist mostly of shuffling the top of the deck to the bottom, then to the middle, and then back to the top again (so their most advanced cards stay near the top).

Player C is a very good shuffler - too good in fact. He knows how to use shuffling to order the deck, and can't shuffle without knowing the effect on the deck. Although he knows this is unfair, and tries to avoid doing it, he can't really help influencing the deck to some extent, or being able to anticipate what's coming up.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jpeter wrote:
Player C is a very good shuffler - too good in fact. He knows how to use shuffling to order the deck, and can't shuffle without knowing the effect on the deck. Although he knows this is unfair, and tries to avoid doing it, he can't really help influencing the deck to some extent, or being able to anticipate what's coming up.


I think the premise of your posting is wrong. I don't believe Player C exists. Even professional magicians can shuffle fairly and randomly if they want to. In fact, more fairly and randomly than you or I.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Sanderson
Bermuda
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
I think the premise of your posting is wrong. I don't believe Player C exists. Even professional magicians can shuffle fairly and randomly if they want to. In fact, more fairly and randomly than you or I.


Ignore Player C then. It doesn't alter the situation where you can have 2 equally matched players, where victory goes to the one whose shuffling style is more conducive to victory.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin C.
United States
Bethlehem
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you are really concerned about this, then just take the extra-time to cut the guy's deck. It would take longer, but I wouldn't let something like this keep me from giving the game a fair-shake.

I really enjoy the game and don't see shuffling style as having any real bearing on the games I've played. As you say, you've only played one session and have reacherd some negative conclusions, so maybe this is a case of a theory not really being valid in actual play.

As long as your "style" is randomizing the deck, one style isn't more "conducive" to victory than another. I think you are talking about cheating, not a legitimate shuffling.

Kevin

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jpeter wrote:
Ignore Player C then. It doesn't alter the situation where you can have 2 equally matched players, where victory goes to the one whose shuffling style is more conducive to victory.


If your question is just whether some people don't shuffle well enough and get some advantage from that, sure. This has been discussed in these forums quite a bit.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mik Svellov
Denmark
Copenhagen N
EU
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As long as no player win constantly, I don't really care how they shuffle - or not.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Sanderson
Bermuda
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
natsean wrote:
If you are really concerned about this, then just take the extra-time to cut the guy's deck. It would take longer, but I wouldn't let something like this keep me from giving the game a fair-shake.


I think the game would work better if, instead of cards, there were copious quantities of different colour little cubes.

Copper cubes, silver cubes, gold cubes, light medium and dark green cubes. And 10 different colours of cubes to represent each of the 10 actions.

Each player gets a cloth bag. You give the bag a good shake, and pick out 5. You then have a little discard box which you throw the used cubes into. When your bag is empty, you tip all the little discard cubes back into it.

Given the feel of cubes and cloth bags, I would then change the theme to an Archaeology game - trying to find treasures on a dig in Greece or something...

It would get rid of the nagging suspicion that shuffling spoils the game...

Plus you wouldn't have to spend hours fiddling about with little card sleeves when you buy it.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jpeter wrote:
I think the game would work better if, instead of cards, there were copious quantities of different colour little cubes.

Copper cubes, silver cubes, gold cubes, light medium and dark green cubes. And 10 different colours of cubes to represent each of the 10 actions.


Try playing the game with proxies, where you just have cards marked "Kingdom Card 1" through "Kingdom Card 10", and each time you draw a card you have to consult a chart to determine what it does in this particular game. I think you'll rapidly reconsider how much "better" this is.

That's even if you can actually find 17 colors of cubes that are all easily distinguished.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Metzler
United States
Glendale
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
"Are you pondering what I'm pondering Pinky?"
badge
"Wuhhh... I think so, Brain, but if a ham can operate a radio, why can't a pig set a VCR?"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
jpeter wrote:
I think the game would work better if, instead of cards, there were copious quantities of different colour little cubes.

Copper cubes, silver cubes, gold cubes, light medium and dark green cubes. And 10 different colours of cubes to represent each of the 10 actions.


Try playing the game with proxies, where you just have cards marked "Kingdom Card 1" through "Kingdom Card 10", and each time you draw a card you have to consult a chart to determine what it does in this particular game. I think you'll rapidly reconsider how much "better" this is.

That's even if you can actually find 17 colors of cubes that are all easily distinguished.


Please tell me you didn't take him seriously...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Martin
England
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
slaqr wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
jpeter wrote:
I think the game would work better if, instead of cards, there were copious quantities of different colour little cubes.

Copper cubes, silver cubes, gold cubes, light medium and dark green cubes. And 10 different colours of cubes to represent each of the 10 actions.


Try playing the game with proxies, where you just have cards marked "Kingdom Card 1" through "Kingdom Card 10", and each time you draw a card you have to consult a chart to determine what it does in this particular game. I think you'll rapidly reconsider how much "better" this is.

That's even if you can actually find 17 colors of cubes that are all easily distinguished.


Please tell me you didn't take him seriously...


The prankster prank'd.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erik Henry
United States
Houston
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
If the OP was at all serious there are these:






If you've got a few spare days....
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Sanderson
Bermuda
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Erik17 wrote:
If the OP was at all serious there are these:


If you've got a few spare days....


Just goes to show, there is nothing new under the sun
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt
United States
Avon
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
But what if one of the players is particularly skilled at shaking bags of wooden nickels?
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Dearlove
United Kingdom
Chelmsford
Essex
flag msg tools
SoRCon 11 23-25 Feb 2018 Basildon UK http://www.sorcon.co.uk
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
I think the premise of your posting is wrong. I don't believe Player C exists. Even professional magicians can shuffle fairly and randomly if they want to. In fact, more fairly and randomly than you or I.


What they can usually do that I most certainly can't - can't speak for you - is do perfect riffle shuffles. And some tricks rely on the properties of the right number of perfect shuffles taking you back to where you started, or other numbers doing other specific things.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dearlove wrote:
What they can usually do that I most certainly can't - can't speak for you - is do perfect riffle shuffles.


Sure. But they (and I know at least one very talented magician) can also do very good random riffle shuffles, dropping 1-3 cards each time with excellent interleaving, mixing a deck much faster and better than the typical riffle shuffle by a casual card player. The thesis was that the players are trying to mix the cards well, not intentionally cheating, and my belief is that the better people are at manipulating cards, the better and more randomly they can mix them if they want to.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Hanoian
United States
Providence
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
When cards are played from a hand, the action cards are played together in one group, then the treasure cards are in the next group and the rest are in a third group. If the shuffle isn't effective, these "groups" will stay together, increasing the likelyhood that multiple actions cards will appear together and/or chaining will successfully occur and/or high treasure count hands will occur, expecially when +card actions are part of the hand.

I too have noticed that some players shuffle better than others. Back in my college days, I did some testing by starting with an arranged deck and shuffling it once and checking for randomness, reshuffling and rechecking, etc., until the original pattern no longer existed. I found that for me and my shuffling style (riffle shuffle), I needed 7 shuffles to make the deck "random". Any further shuffling did not increase the "randomness". Shuffling the discard pile 7 times before playing is somewhat time-consuming (unless you have the opportunity to do it when it is not your turn), so I tried to find an alternate method. Also, when the pile is small, it is very difficult to riffle shuffle (or any other type of shuffle) effectively.

I haven't done any testing to see if keeping the cards in groups is an advantage, but I suspect it is. Even having the treasures togehter seems like an advantage. Just think back to the opening hand - will a 5/2 split get you started faster than a 4/3 split? Would you rather have an 8/3 split later on or the statistically more likely 6/5 or 7/4 splits?

In my house, I've instituted a solution for this potential problem that is easy and relatively quick. This increases my enjoyment of Dominion, even if this is just due to a placebo effect. It has a side benefit of protecting the cards somewhat (I don't sleeve them), since excess shuffling can accelerate damage and wear to cards (especially when done improperly).

Here's the solution: Take the discard deck and "deal" it into four piles in front of you (the top card goes in the left pile, the next card in the middle-left pile, the third card in the middle-right pile, the fourth card in the right pile, the fifth card in the left pile and so on). Stack the piles randomly on top of each other. Then shuffle (or non-shuffle) a little in your usual manner. Dealing 4 (or perhaps 3) piles will mix the cards up, no matter how they are subsequently shuffled or non-shuffled, making it less likely for a glob of cards (action or treasure) to stay together.

I've carried this "forced randomness" into the starting cards. When passing these out to each player, I first arrange them CCECCECCEC (and never CCCCCCCEEE or EEECCCCCCC). Some of the time, there will be a 5/2 split and some (most) of the time it will be a 4/3 split. Interleaving the Estates make it more likely that a random five cards will be the first hand, even if the cards are non-shuffled. If you tell players that they need to start with 7 Coppers and 3 Estates, most of them will create a pile that is CCCCCCCEEE (or EEECCCCCCC), because they have counted out 7 of one type of card and 3 of the other. Handing them a CCE pile negates the potential benefits of a non-shuffled EEE pile.

I'm sure others have done this before I started. I'm not trying to take credit for creating it.

If non-shuffling doesn't bother you, as Rosanne Rosannadana used to say (back when Saturday Night Live was worth staying up for), "Never mind".


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
Zendo fan, Columbus Blue Jackets fan, Dominion Fan.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
What they can usually do that I most certainly can't - can't speak for you - is do perfect riffle shuffles.


Sure. But they (and I know at least one very talented magician) can also do very good random riffle shuffles, dropping 1-3 cards each time with excellent interleaving, mixing a deck much faster and better than the typical riffle shuffle by a casual card player. The thesis was that the players are trying to mix the cards well, not intentionally cheating, and my belief is that the better people are at manipulating cards, the better and more randomly they can mix them if they want to.


I dabbled in magic tricks back in the day, and while I'm not any good at it, I'm familiar with some of the tricks of the trade. I take extra effort to avoid the non-random shuffles. I'm still not sure I'm always successful.

At the other extreme, I know one guy who likes to "mix" the cards in such a way that doesn't randomize them at all. He's not cheating, he just doesn't get that what he's doing is called a "false shuffle" (or at least, one example of many). I have pointed it out to him, and he alternates his shuffling methods now. But he still reverts to his false shuffle a disturbing amount of the time.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Daley
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
What they can usually do that I most certainly can't - can't speak for you - is do perfect riffle shuffles.


Sure. But they (and I know at least one very talented magician) can also do very good random riffle shuffles, dropping 1-3 cards each time with excellent interleaving, mixing a deck much faster and better than the typical riffle shuffle by a casual card player. The thesis was that the players are trying to mix the cards well, not intentionally cheating, and my belief is that the better people are at manipulating cards, the better and more randomly they can mix them if they want to.

In our house the riffle shuffle is forbidden. Sleeves
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin C.
United States
Bethlehem
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A simple stack shuffle with some mixing at the end seems to do the trick with no worry or fuss. Shuffling, I would think, should be a rather mechanical invisible aspet to these types of games.

I play Thunderstone with my 8-year old and have him stack with some mixing and he has no problems. I've never noticed any patterns that jump out at me as poor shuffling.

To my mind, shuffling should be a non-issue.

Kevin
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Federico Desilets
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Ba-zinga!!!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Max
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jpeter wrote:
I think the game would work better if, instead of cards, there were copious quantities of different colour little cubes.

Copper cubes, silver cubes, gold cubes, light medium and dark green cubes. And 10 different colours of cubes to represent each of the 10 actions.

Each player gets a cloth bag. You give the bag a good shake, and pick out 5. You then have a little discard box which you throw the used cubes into. When your bag is empty, you tip all the little discard cubes back into it.

Given the feel of cubes and cloth bags, I would then change the theme to an Archaeology game - trying to find treasures on a dig in Greece or something...

Ingenious! Thebes Mark II!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lou Mad
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As a bit of a maths ignoramous, I'm interested by this discussion!

I've become a much better shuffler since I started playing dominion, and moved from a clumsy overhand to something I imagine looks quite stylish and card-sharky

Still, I fear that I leave clumps in the deck with my inexpert shuffling. I have too much dignity to go for one of the more effective but 'non shuffle' methods, such as making piles of cards or swirling a heap of cards on the table, but I do take a few other measures.

The main one is to give my cards a bit of a mix-up when I place them in the discard. I make sure not to put them in 'actions' 'buys' 'treasure' as one commenter has mentioned, but interleave the 'dead' cards in my hand with the tasty cards I've just bought or played, taking particular care to break up any killer combos. I also watch (the back of) my cards while I shuffle them and if I notice any clumps reoccuring, I cut them several times in what can only be described as the shuffle of a small child.

I think in a perfect world anyone who doesn't take this kind of care should be called a cheater, but there's no accounting for folk, and if someone is doing it out of ignorance they probably won't be capitalising too much on the advantage it gives them.

This could actually be worked up as a feature, by making sure children or other less experienced players do a rubbish shuffle to give them a small advantage.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.