Teams in Manille will be random from now on

Manille is a card game that is played with fixed partnerships: players that are on opposite sides of the table always form a team. On Whisthub, this meant that the teams were determined by the order in which players join a room. In tournaments, it's the computer that randomly determines the teams.

However, some players are used to playing together in real life. These players have often played the game for years and know eachother inside out. That's why Whisthub has always had the option to manually define the teams when hosting a room, at least if the host has a premium subscription.

The problem with this though is that it also opens the door for cheating. Unlike playing in reality where all players are physically in the same room, playing online makes it a lot easier to cheat because partners can easily inform eachother which cards they hold in their hands. There's not much Whisthub can do to prevent this: this form of cheating typically does not happen via the in-game chat, but by using other means of communication like WhatsApp, or just physically being in the same room.

The problem is exacerbated because until now, games played in predefined teams were also taken into account for the leaderboard. This meant that the option to choose the teams made it relatively easy to cheat and get to the top of the leaderboard. As you can imagine, I often received complaints of this, and I even had to ban some players from appearing in the leaderboard.

Today we're changing this. From now on, all games of Manille that are played with chosen teams no longer count for the leaderboard. If an open room will be played with predefined teams, the icon appears in the top right corner of the room, as indicated in the image below.

  • Ross
  • Open
  • Rachel
  • Monica
The icon indicates that the teams are predefined. This game does not count for the leaderboard.

Note that this might make it harder to find sufficient players to fill up your room if you choose to fix the teams. Players that want their games to count for the leaderboard will probably avoid such games, and some other players might consider the risk of cheating to be too high. The option to choose the teams will hence be mainly useful when playing with players you actually know, or when you just want to practise with your partner against two AI players. There's nothing wrong with that! Just be aware that those games no longer count for the leaderboard.

But wait, you could still determine the teams by just joining the room at the appropriate moment, right?

That's true, and this is why from now on, the positions will also be chosen at random when the room starts, just as in the team cups. This means that it doesn't matter in which order the players appear when the room has not started yet: the positions will be shuffled after everyone has clicked "Start the game".

We hope that these changes will make the leaderboard for Manille more fair and less prone to cheating. If we add other card games that are also played in fixed teams - like Belote for example - then we will likely use the same approach. As always with online games, we can't completely eliminate cheating, but these changes should make it a lot harder.

If you still want to cheat, then know that if this is discovered, you can be banned from appearing in the leaderboard ever again. As always, honesty is the best policy.