Table of Contents
Getting Started
    Privacy Policy
    Rated Game Policy
  My Profile
    Live Games
      Main Room
      Game Table
    Turn-based Games
    Game Rules
  Player Rankings
  Game Database

  Scheduling Games
  Playing Games
  Tournament Formats

  General FAQ
  Game Rules FAQ
  Applet TroubleShooting
  Java Web Start FAQ


Frequently Asked Questions - General

If you are having trouble getting the game room applet to work, please refer to the Applet TroubleShooting FAQ

Where can I buy Pente?
Pente is now being manufactured again by a company called Winning Moves. You can purchase the game through their web site, click the Pente board on the main page at to order!

How are the ratings calculated?
Ratings are calculated with two different formulas, one for provisional players, and one for established players. Here is the formula used for established players.

     r1 + K * ( w - ( ------------------------ ) )

                                 1 + 10 ^ ((r2-r1)/400))
Where r1 is your rating, and r2 is your opponents rating.
w is 1 for a win, 0 for a loss, and 0.5 for a draw.
K is the largest amount your rating can change for any game, when playing single games like Go, this value is set to 32 when 2 established players are playing, when playing sets, K equals 64. When playing against a provisional player, K is scaled by n / 20, where n is equal to the number of games the provisional player has played.
The '^' symbol means to the power of.

For provisional players, ratings can jump about dramatically. Every game a provisional player plays first has a value calculated. This value is equal to

      value = ( r1 + r2 ) / 2 + w * 200 + e * 200
Where r1 and r2 are the same as defined above.
w is 1 for a win, -1 for a loss, and 0 for a draw.
e is 0 if your opponent is provisional, otherwise it equals w.
Then that value is incorporated into your new provisional rating by the following formula.
      rating = (value + (rating * total1)) / total2
Where total1 is the total games played excluding this game and total2 is the total games played including this game.
Established players also have rating floors, and is equal to 200 less than the highest rating achieved (after introduction of floors) and setting the last 2 digits to 0. Their ratings cannot drop below this number. (Rating floors were introduced in May 2019).
What does provisional mean?
When a player first starts playing, the player is provisional until he/she has completed 20 games. The purpose of having a provisional status is for ratings. Ratings can fluctuate wildly while provisional so a players expected 'average' rating can be quickly determined. It also protects established players ratings from varying too much when playing provisional opponents.

I won but my ratings went down!?!?
There are a few times when as a provisional player you can win the game and have your rating DECREASE (or lose a game and have your rating INCREASE). This is a strange feature of the ratings formula that only occurs when you are a provisional player and you play your 1st game or you play an opponent whose ratings is much different than yours. Because this only happens while you're provisional you shouldn't be too worried about it. If the formula wasn't setup this way a player could become established with a very high rating by playing 20 games against players that are much weaker.

When in the day is the server busiest?
The busiest time of day is usually after people get off work, so from 6-12 EST there is a good chance of playing a few games. But if you come on and there is no one in the room, don't leave right away. Stay for a few minutes, someone else will probably show up. Lunchtime is probably the second best time to play.  A good thing to do if no one is on is to check the Audio Alert checkbox, and then go do something else on the web.  When someone joins the server you will here a sound.

How do I change the color of my name in the game room?
Changing the color of your name is a special feature only available to players who make a donation to Once you make a donation you can change the color of your name through My Profile.

How do I add a picture to my profile?
Uploading a picture to your profile is also a special feature only available to players who make a donation to Once you make a donation you can upload a picture through My Profile.