I wish to implement a rating system In order to match players with similar strength. My domain is several trick taking card games of either 2 players or 4 players, and the results are Win/Lose/Draw.
My question is, what is the best practice for a rating system for trick taking card games? Or what are the considerations that I need in order to decide which rating system is best fit for my needs?

My needs are: Improving the experience of players by matching players with similar strength. It does not need to be extremely accurate.

a quick search discovered three systems:

  1. ELO - Wiki, Explanation
  2. Glicko - Wiki
  3. Glicko 2 - Glickman site, Paper by Glickman

A nice comparison between ELO and Glicko in this paper by Michalis Kaloumenos

I Think BGA made a good job implementing ELO ranking, so it is probably good enough for me as well.

  • This sounds like a very broad question, more of an invitation to a discussion. Could you try to narrow it down? For example, clarify what exactly "your needs" are?
    – Hackworth
    Jun 30, 2021 at 9:13
  • @Hackworth, Added "my needs" section. Please tell me if that makes a better question
    – Cohensius
    Jun 30, 2021 at 10:20
  • Is it better belongs to boardgames.meta ? (discussion, support, and feature requests for this site)
    – Cohensius
    Jun 30, 2021 at 10:32
  • Still not sure what the actual question is, your edit basically seems to repeat what you already wrote. You also already found a comparison of rating systems, what question does it not answer?
    – Hackworth
    Jun 30, 2021 at 15:17

1 Answer 1


It really depends. There is a ton of scientific research on the topic of ranking all kinds of things. It would probably take a long time to get up to speed on that. But if I get you right, you instead just want something that's easy to implement and works good-enough. That's a lot easier then.

If the ranking task is synchronous, e.g. tournaments where everyone is present at the same time, I'd look into the Swiss system or similar. In Go in Europe, we use a variant called McMahon that combines rating points with tournament performance that has been working exceptionally well for this purpose.

If the ranking is asynchronous, probably points-based, anything like ELO, Glicko, etc should work. It's not clear to me from the question which further requirements you have in this regard. If there are none, I would just go with the one that appeals to you most and/or is the easiest to implement.

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