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Elo ratings

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I've often been asked what is this strange Elo thing. I think it's important to write a few lines about this since it is used for all online competitions held on Carcassonne Central. This thread is an attempt to make it clearer.

What is the Elo rating?

It's a method used to calculate your relative skill level in 1vs1 matches. It was originally used for Chess but it is also applicable to other games, like Carcassonne!

How does it work?

Before you play your very first game, your score is set to 1200 and this score goes up and down as you win or lose matches. How many points you win or lose depends on the score of your opponent. Basically, the strongest your opponent (compared to you), the more points you get if you win. You can get a big reward for winning against all odds a match versus an opponent that is considered much stronger than you, but beware, losing against a player that has a much lower score can have the opposite effect! Interestingly, you won't lose too many points if you lose against a strong opponent... because Elo predicted you'd lose! That's right, Elo ratings are used to predict the outcome of a specific match. By comparing the Elo ratings of 2 players, you can tell who's going to win... but that's theory of course!

Unfortunately, it would be too much work to publish the Elo variations after every single game played at Carcassonne Central. Therefore, it was decided to publish the Elo ratings only after competition milestones. But if you are curious about your current score before its publication, don't hesitate to ask. Send me a PM! Also my spreadsheet is available upon request.

What about ties?

If you tie a game with stronger player, you will get points and he/she will lose a few! Simply because it goes against the predicted outcome: Stronger player should win.

Self-correcting system? What is this?

Imagine a big elastic rubber band, that's the Elo system. Say you're on a losing streak and your score gets too low, eventually you'll bounce back (be patient it can take time), prove Elo wrong and gain rating points until your rating better reflects your playing skill value. In the same vein, being the top-ranked player is not the most comfortable position, as all other players have lower scores and any loss could hurt your rating badly. In other words, top-ranked player must keep winning which becomes increasingly difficult! The same elastic rubber band that helps you to bounce back can also bring you down!

Want to know more?

There is a wikipedia page here with way too much detail. :)

See below the Elo ratings that were published after each major competition. New rankings will be published also in this thread for easy reference. Comments/Suggestions are very welcome!

Basegame League 2014
World Cup 2014 
T&B League 2015 
I&C League 2015
A&M League 2015 
World Cup 2015 
P&D League 2016 
Tower League 2016 
World Cup 2016

Current ranking (as of May 11th, 2018):



--- Quote from: Jéré on January 30, 2017, 09:01:12 AM ---Say you're on a losing streak and your score gets too low, eventually you'll bounce back (be patient it can take time)...

--- End quote ---

I'm trying! :o

Many thanks for this great post Jéré, it was a very interesting read! Funny how I almost got to the top of the Elo ladder after doing well in the 2015 World Cup and then the Princess & Dragon league, but seem to be in free fall at the moment!

This one is missing from the list:
A&M League 2015


--- Quote from: Leven on January 30, 2017, 10:47:40 AM ---This one is missing from the list:
A&M League 2015

--- End quote ---

Ups! Fixed! Thanks!

Update: Feb 2nd 2017


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