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DeckShare Playing Card Game App

DeckShare is a virtual deck of cards that allows you to play many popular card games. Currently, DeckShare supports Apple IOS devices (version 4.3 and later) including the iPhone, iPad and iPad touch.

DeckShare provides networked, real-time gaming between Apple Game Center clients. Up to 4 players (Apple's imposed limit) can meet at a virtual card table to play a game of cards. Rules, for certain popular games, are provided. The games currently implemented include:

Deckshare War
Deckshare Crazy 8s
Deckshare SlapJacks
Deckshare 500
Deckshare Hearts
Deckshare 25
Deckshare No Rules

Each of these versions interoperates with the others and each game is enabled when a player starts that game with another player. Thus, if you purchase one version of DeckShare on the iTunes store, and play another person via Game Center and they purchased a different version, both players get the other game enabled when they are played. This lets players collect all the titles but need purchase only a single version.

The User interface for DeckShare is fairly simple. 

You're are logged into Game Center when the app first starts. If you are not logged into game center or need to create a Game Center account you will be asked to do so. Once in Game Center you can connect with friends or other players by pressing the Game Center Icon.
This will let you select friends to play or start a game with non-friends. Care should be taken when playing any game with someone you do not know.

Select a game the game select button is pressed. 
This button will cycle through all games that have been enabled for this player (once you play a version with another player, that game is permanently enabled for your device). 

To shuffle the cards, press the shuffle button.
This button will shuffle your deck of cards (as well as all players connected in the game). The deck should be shuffled between games as well as after a new game starts or after a new game is selected.

To deal a game or hand press the deal button.
Dealing distributes the correct number of cards to all players in the game for the game being played.

Playing a local game is accomplished by touching the "+/-" button between the deal and shuffle buttons. This allows a game where a single device is handed sequentially to each player. Local mode of play only make sense for certain games (Crazy 8s it works, SlapJacks it does not make sense). 

Games with hands use the hands toggle button to show the players hand.

This toggle shows your cards at the bottom of the screen. 

The microphone and speaker buttons let you mute audio selectively. Game center allows audio chat between players. Press the microphone button 
to mute your voice. Press again to send audio to other players. Likewise press the speaker button
to suspend all sounds and audio from other players. All audio can be disabled via the settings button "i" lower right and then disabling audio.

Game Play:

Once a game has begun, play is fairly easy. Keep in mind that DeckShare ties all your actions with the cards to the other players in the game. So movement of a card shows on other players screen (the exception being when cards are shown in your hand - when your hand is shown to you they are not visible to the other players). When a card is on the playfield (light green central area on the screen) they can be accessed by all other players. 

Cards can be exchanged between players (some games use this feature). This is accomplished by moving a card from your hand, the playfield, or the deck itself to a players avatar on the screen. This will deposit the card into that players hand and it now belongs to that player. The player can see the card by touching the hands toggle described earlier (if you have your hand displayed, you will need to touch the toggle twice). 

The playfield has special characteristics. The rules system for a specific game is accessed by double tapping the playfield. As an example, suppose three players are playing War. Each has played a card (by sliding a card from his or her pile of cards), face down, on the playfield (first panel)


In the second panel, one player double tapped the playfield and turned all cards up. In the third panel, the winner was given the cards.

Play progresses depending on game so lets look at each game.

Game Play by Game:

No Rules - As its name implies, this version has no rules (and no playfield). Cards can be dealt (singly) to each player by touching the deal button or by sliding cards to each players avatar. A hands button is provided to see what your hand contains. A discard pile is present to get rid of cards if needed. Thats all. Players must agree to the game and rules of the game to use this version of DeckShare.  

War - This version has the large playfield for resolving the play of the game. As the earlier example shows, cards are slid by each player onto the playfield. Double tapping the playfield turns all the cards. If a War is seen (2 or more cards have the same value) extra cards will be asked of the players. The number of cards played depends on what the players agree too - customary is 3. Double tap the playfield once extra cards are played and the high card (last played) of each player wins all the cards. Play continues until one player has the entire deck.

Crazy 8s - This version is turn based with each player having a hand of cards. After dealing, each player looks at his or her hand by touching the hands button (upper right corner). One player places a card into the playfield. The game will ask the next player to place a card if able (card played must match the suit or be an 8). If this player has no play, then he or she must draw a card by sliding a card to their hand or to their avatar (in this case, the hand button must be pressed twice to see the draw). Play proceeds until one player is out of cards.

SlapJacks - This fast paced version is quite simple. Slide cards from your hand onto the playfield. The playfield flips the cards as they are placed. As soon as any player plays a Jack, double tap the playfield. Players should hear a slap sound and the winner will be determined by the fastest slap to occur after the Jack was shown to that player (hence network delays should not effect the game play). Winner is the person with all the cards.

25 - This is an old game from Ireland with hands of 5 cards and a trump suit. After dealing, a card is shown on the table. This is the trump suit or a suit which beats all other suits. If you have the Ace of trump, you can "rob" the trump card by sliding it to your avatar and then discarding one card to the discard pile.  Lets say a heart is displayed after dealing. Hearts then trumps the other suits so if a non-heart is lead by another player and you do not have that suit, you can play a heart and it will beat all other cards in that suit. The rank in each suit (most valuable card to least) is 5, J, AH, A, K, Q, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. Note: some play the black suit non-face cards in reverse rank (A-10 but only the A becomes lowest card in this version). After all players have played one card, double tap the playfield to determine the winner. The winner of each trick or round is awarded 5 points. First to 25 wins the game so a game can be over very quickly. A perfect pub game in Ireland. 

500 - This version implements the game of 500. 500 is an old game which predates Bridge. It is a handed game with trump suits, trick taking, as well as team bidding. It is best played with 4 players in two teams. After dealing, a single round of bidding occurs. A popup bidding panel shows all possible bids supported (currently Nello (Misere) and Double Nello (Misere) are not implemented). Trump suits are higher than all other suits (determined by highest bid). The rank within a trump suit is Joker, RB, LB, A, K, Q, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4. Joker is highest card in the deck. The Right Bower or the Jack of the trump suit, the Left Bower or Jack of the same color as the Right Bower. Then the rest of the trump cards. Non-trump suits are normal order A to 4. 
A player can pick any bid higher than a previous bid. This hand (shown below) might pick 7 hearts as an opening bid. This bid states that you can take 7 of the 10 tricks to be played and that the hearts suit is higher than all other suits. Bidding goes sequentially around the table. There are 45 cards in this deck so after dealing 10 to each player 5 cards remain in the center of the playfield for the winner of the bidding. The winning bid is awarded the "kitty" (press the hands button twice to see the kitty in your hand). The winning bid player then must discard 5 cards from his or her hand (by sliding 5 cards to the discard pile at the top of the screen). Notice in the bidding panel on the bottom row all suits are shown. This represents a No Trump bid where each suit is played A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 with no trump being present. The Joker is still highest card. This bid is harder to achieve so more points are awarded a successful No Trump bid.  After discarding, the winning bidder plays first. All must follow the suit played (if they can). Double tap the playfield when all players have played a card. The winning team is awarded a point for each trick taken. If you make your bid, you will be awarded the points shown on the bid panel. If you do not make your bid that many points will be subtracted from your point total. Play continues to 500 points (or -500 will lose this round for your team). Scoring is setup to keep track of the best of three (2 of 3) times to reach 500 points (or go out by reaching -500). 

Hearts - This version implements Hearts. Best for 4 players but lower numbers can play. After dealing, each player looks at his or her hand. At this point, you can slide some number of cards to another player by sliding cards one at a time to the playfield in front or beside that players avatar. Each player can then slide their new cards into their hands or onto their avatars. These new cards can be sorted into the hand by double tapping the hands button (or double tapping in the hands area). The goal of this game is to take as few hearts as possible and avoid taking the queen of spades. Each heart taken give you 1 point and 13 points are given for the queen of spades. The first player to 100 loses the game (players with less than 100 points win). Note that if one player collects all the hearts and the queen of spades that players score is reduced by 26 points and all other players earn 26 points (called "shooting the moon").

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Deckshare 500