Forum Archive : Ratings

Fastest way to improve your rating

From:   Backgammon Man
Address:   backgammon@mailinator.com
Date:   14 May 2004
Subject:   Most efficient way to improve your FIBS rating.
Forum:   rec.games.backgammon
Google:   fc3c3f45.0405140420.4fc9c020@posting.google.com

I just opened an account on fibs (no experience yet). Much has been
written about the FIBS rating formula not being perfect. In order to
(legitimately) improve my rating most efficiently, what is the best
combination of match length / opponent rating I should choose?

Does it change as I pass 400 experience points or generally as my
experience increases further? Should I play or avoid players with < 400
experience points?


Michael Sullivan  writes:

Because of the starting point in FIBS style ELO ratings, the expected
average true strength of low experience opponents is generally further
away from 1500 in the direction that their current rating is from 1500.

Obviously that's not always true. A world class player could conceivably
have a run of horrible luck in their first few matches and not get back
above 1500 until they have over 100 experience.

But the odds are it's other way around.  According to a study I saw by
Doug Zare (and others I think), it takes well over 500 experience (even
with the ramp-up) to be 90% confident of reaching your "true" rating, if
your true strength is a few hundred points away from 1500.

So players with under 2000 or so exp. are likely to be misrated with a
bias in proportion to how far their rating is from 1500 and how much
experience they have.

A player with a 1300 rating and ~200 experience is likely to end up
around or below 1200.  OTOH, a 1700 player with ~200 experience is
probably going to end up over 1800.

So if you're going to manipulate, your goal would be to play many <1500
players with low experience and avoid >1500 player with low experience
like the plague.

Players with very high experience (>5000) are likely ranked about right
on average (any given one could easily be misrated by 100+ points, but
there won't be much bias in any particular direction, like there is with
low-experience players)

I actually think this kind of manipulation is semi-reasonable, if your
goal is merely to get the rating you think you are a bit faster, and
once you are in the range, play normally.

Doing it just for the sake of grabbing ratings with a 2 in them that
nobody will believe anyway unless you are in the top ranks of live
players is pretty silly, but that doesn't stop everyone.


Bob Ebbeler  writes:

Since I can claim some expertise in this area, I'll give you my
thoughts. Start with the fact that 1 point matches are worth 10
points; 2 pointers worth 12 points; 3 pointers worth 15 points. These
assume you're just starting, 1500 rating with 0 experience.

If your objective is to achieve the highest rating with the lowest
experience, you'd play 1 pointers. The downside is that 1 pointers are
essentially coin-flips. My best result was by playing 2 point matches
against sub-1500 opponents with VERY HIGH EXPERIENCE. This last is
critical since the higher the exp, the better the indicator it is
regarding your opponent's true level of expertise.

You gain an incredible advantage by playing 2 pointers with sub-1500s
since very few of them know to double at their first opportunity;
thus, you get to play for free in many situations.

Of course what you must do most of all is to WIN your matches. If, for
instance, you know yourself to be an intermediate player, I wouldn't
count on achieving a 1900 rating anytime soon regardless of what match
length you play or what opponents you select.

Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     



Constructing a ratings system  (Matti Rinta-Nikkola, Dec 1998) 
Converting to points-per-game  (David Montgomery, Aug 1998)  [Recommended reading]
Cube error rates  (Joe Russell+, July 2009)  [Long message]
Different length matches  (Jim Williams+, Oct 1998) 
Different length matches  (Tom Keith, May 1998)  [Recommended reading]
ELO system  (seeker, Nov 1995) 
Effect of droppers on ratings  (Gary Wong+, Feb 1998) 
Emperical analysis  (Gary Wong, Oct 1998) 
Error rates  (David Levy, July 2009) 
Experience required for accurate rating  (Jon Brown+, Nov 2002) 
FIBS rating distribution  (Gary Wong, Nov 2000) 
FIBS rating formula  (Patti Beadles, Dec 2003) 
FIBS vs. GamesGrid ratings  (Raccoon+, Mar 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Fastest way to improve your rating  (Backgammon Man+, May 2004) 
Field size and ratings spread  (Daniel Murphy+, June 2000)  [Long message]
Improving the rating system  (Matti Rinta-Nikkola, Nov 2000)  [Long message]
KG rating list  (Daniel Murphy, Feb 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
KG rating list  (Tapio Palmroth, Oct 2002) 
MSN Zone ratings flaw  (Hank Youngerman, May 2004) 
No limit to ratings  (David desJardins+, Dec 1998) 
On different sites  (Bob Newell+, Apr 2004) 
Opponent's strength  (William Hill+, Apr 1998) 
Possible adjustments  (Christopher Yep+, Oct 1998) 
Rating versus error rate  (Douglas Zare, July 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Ratings and rankings  (Chuck Bower, Dec 1997)  [Long message]
Ratings and rankings  (Jim Wallace, Nov 1997) 
Ratings on Gamesgrid  (Gregg Cattanach, Dec 2001) 
Ratings variation  (Kevin Bastian+, Feb 1999) 
Ratings variation  (FLMaster39+, Aug 1997) 
Ratings variation  (Ed Rybak+, Sept 1994) 
Strange behavior with large rating difference  (Ron Karr, May 1996) 
Table of ratings changes  (Patti Beadles, Aug 1994) 
Table of win rates  (William C. Bitting, Aug 1995) 
Unbounded rating theorem  (David desJardins+, Dec 1998) 
What are rating points?  (Lou Poppler, Apr 1995) 
Why high ratings for one-point matches?  (David Montgomery, Sept 1995) 

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