Like Cohensius, I will assume you are looking to create a player rating for your group's hearts games. I assume that an Elo based system is more complicated than you need/want.
Recommend the following:
- Rate player based on game results, instead of hand results. The goal in hearts is to win the game and this greatly reduces your data entry.
- Need a score to rate each players result in each game. The scoring method I chose for a tournament I ran was: [player's points] - [winner's points] + (constant between 0 and 100, if not the winner). For my elimination tournament I chose a fairly high constant, but point differential alone may be good enough for your group. It is easier to explain as "the average number of points the player looses by".
- Player rating is the average of their game scores.
Unlike an Elo system, this system doesn't address the following issues:
A. Some players improving over time.
B. Stronger (or weaker) players playing each other more often.
This type of rating is likely good enough for a social group of under 15 players, especially if games are NOT arranged by skill level.
If you do want to account for a larger group with a wider range of skills, I recommend the following:
- Instead of the constant referenced in item 2, calculate extra points given to non-winners as [Sum of ratings of players in game]/4.
- New players should start with a rating at or above the group's average rating.
One additional scoring rule I recommend:
- Any score above 100 is considered 100 when calculating point differential with winner.
This rule helps minimize the penalty for final desperate attempts to win via a run.