Data Summary

Before we can analyze the data, we should understand what we have and describe it. We have seven different tables to consider. Each of the bullets refer to the data table. The numbered list under each bullet specifies the fields found in that data table. They are

  • Picker:
    1. handID
    2. the picker
    3. the blinds
    4. type of blitz
    5. number of passes before they picked
    6. the partner
  • Result:
    1. handID
    2. the picker
    3. points scored by each player in that hand
  • Score:
    1. handID
    2. score of the picking team (0-120)
  • Dealt:
    1. handID
    2. player
    3. hand dealt
  • Bury:
    1. handID
    2. cards buried
  • Crack:
    1. handID
    2. player who cracked
    3. type of blitz
  • Trick:
    1. handID
    2. trick number
    3. cards played that trick
    4. player that led the trick
    5. player that won the trick
  • Under:
    1. handID
    2. card placed under in a call an ace game

The data described above will allow us to determine many of the things we would like to study, even if they are not kept in the log in their own field. For example, if we wish to study hands where the picker played alone, we can simply check whether the picker name and the partner name are the same in that hand. We could calculate the value of any trick in a hand if we want.

One thing we are regrettably missing are the rules for the hand. For now, it seems over 90% of all hands have been played jack of diamonds partner and blitzes and cracks allowed. We will assume those were the rules for each hand up to this point and track that information going forward.

Data as of 11/30/2017

Up to now, 17,064 hands have been played by 296 different players. When five players play one hand, that counts as one hand, not five.

One of the factors in whether to pick is which position in the picking order you are in. The table below shows the expected number of points and distribution by picking order. Distribution just means the percentage of hands where the picker was in the given position.

Picking Position Expected Points Distribution
First 1.93 24.6%
Second 1.89 21.0%
Third 1.96 19.1%
Fourth 1.98 17.5%
Fifth 2.07 17.8%

The expected points don’t consider cracks or blitzes. We have simply assigned points for the picking team based on the score for the picking team. This is a simple calculation of the average points scores by the picker. The expected points look close together, but consider the difference between picking second and picking fifth. If you picked second 1,000 times, you would have expected to score about 184 more points if you could have picked fifth in each of those hands.

This is only a small part of the story. One theory is that people already consider their picking position when deciding whether to pick. I know I do. If players pick without considerating for their position in the picking order, you would expect slightly more picking in the first position in the second. The 3.6% difference in distribution we are seeing (24.6% vs 21.0%) is larger than expected if players aren’t more enthusiastic about picking first.

Next, we will rank hands according to how likely the player is to win if they pick. We will then look at the expected value of picking by picking order and by how likely the hand is to be a winner. We should see significant differences in expected value by picking order within hands of the same strength.