Rules and Policies
Copyright 1996 - 2019 Case's Ladder, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Copyright Policy.
These rules and methods of rank computation are protected under U.S. copyright laws.
Problem? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

The Ranking System
    Case's Ladder has one of the simplest ranking systems ever used for competitive play. We call it a "Ladder" because each team has a unique rank or "rung" that represents their standing among other teams. The highest ranked team holds the #1 position. Someone ranked #2 is ranked below the #1 team. So, the goal is to "climb" the Ladder all the way to the top.

    • When you first join you are placed in the "Unranked" category of the Ladder.

    • You become "Ranked" after winning your first Ladder match. (Unranked teams can play each other and the winner becomes ranked at the bottom of the ladder.)

    • When you defeat a higher ranked team you move up half the distance between their rank and your own. Example

    • Your rank on the Ladder does not go down if you lose a match unless your opponent is ranked DIRECTLY below you.

    • When other teams beat teams above you and jump over your team in rank you will slide down.

    • Some special rules exist for teams ranked in the Top Ten. These rules will be covered in a later section.

Account Rules

    Since your Ladder account is where all your records are kept we have some special policies regarding it. These are very important and you should pay close attention to them.

    • E-mail Address

      • Your E-mail address must be kept current on the site, as it is the only way we have of contacting you. Use the 'USER EDITOR' if you need to change it.

      • If your E-mail address is found to be invalid your account will be penalized or removed.

    • Ladder Names

      • If your Ladder name is offensive to other users or contains profanity your account will be removed.

      • If your Ladder name is found to be abusive towards another user your account will be removed.

      • If your Ladder name is found to be too similar to an existing user's nickname you will have to choose another.

      • You are only allowed to change your Ladder name once per week.

      • Your Ladder name must match the name you use in chat and play your matches under exactly. This includes spaces, underscores and other keyboard characters. If it doesn't the match is invalid and your opponent is not required to report any losses to you.

      • teams should never report a loss to a name that is different than the one their opponent used during the match.

    • Inactivity

      • If your team hasn't played a match in 180 days it will be automatically removed for inactivity in order to keep the Ladder as dynamic as possible and give everyone a chance to move up.

      • Individual players who are not members of an active team are removed after 180 days of inactivity. If you are on an active team you will not be removed.

      • Removal for inactivity is completely automated. No exceptions are made to this rule. Our teams want an active league full of opponents who can be easily found.

      • We offer optional "Gold & Platinum Membership" programs. One of the benefits to these program is the fact that you cannot be purged for inactivity. This program is recommended for frequent travelers or those in the military. Signup information can be found here.

    • Multiple Users

      • We only allow a set number of accounts from one location. If this number is exceeded your accounts will be investigated and possibly removed. We have an automated security system to keep track of this information, and all new account info is logged.

      • It is illegal for one person to have multiple accounts or teams. Only one account is allowed per person, PERIOD.

      • It is illegal for more than one person to use or share the same account. You are more than welcome to each participate in the Ladder, but you will have to create separate accounts for each individual playing.

Team Guidelines

    The following rules are currently active for teams:

    • You may have up to 40 members on your team at any given time.

    • Up to 2 team members can participate in each match. Generally, the teams must be balanced to keep things fair (ie 2 versus 2, 3v3...NOT 3v2).

    • Only one player can be designated the captain at any one time. You may transfer the title of captain in the TEAM EDITOR.


    Whether you are the one looking for a match or the one being asked to play there are some guidelines that need to be followed. Violating these could result in penalties. If you notice anyone violating these rules please feel free to contact us using the SUPPORT area.

    • Chat

      • The best way to find matches is to announce in chat that you are looking for a Case's Ladder match. You will see others doing the same. This lets everyone know you are interested in Ladder play.

      • When you are in a chat room trying to find a match you should be courteous and respectful to other people in the room. Repeatedly asking for a Ladder game tends to annoy people very quickly. This could make them not want to play you, and make it harder for YOU to move up the Ladder.

    • E-Mail:

      • Email challenges should be reserved for teams in the top 10 of the Ladder, and only used then if you have trouble setting up a match via the normal methods.

      • If you are found to be issuing challenges via Email excessively and without first attempting to get a match via the traditional methods you will be penalized.

    • Once Per Day: Once Per Day: You can only play the same team three times per day. You can play as many different teams as you'd like on any given day.

    • Verify Information: We recommend that you make sure potential opponents belong to the Ladder before starting your match. This way if you have a problem you will have all of the information you need to resolve it quickly. You can do this very easily using our find team utility. It's not a bad idea to write this information down after you look it up.

    • Priority: If you have multiple people challenging you at once you should play the person with the highest rank.

    • First Come, First Served: The priority rule for accepting challenges only applies when you have multiple challenges at the same time. If you are challenged by a team you should not go to chat and actively seek another team higher in rank to challenge, rather your team needs to accept the first challenger.

    • Specific Ranks: It is illegal to refuse matches based on Ladder rank. You may request a specific rank or range when advertising for a challenge, but you may not refuse a valid challenge simply because the challenger is not the rank you are wanting to play.

Playing a Match

    Once you have found an opponent and you are ready to start your match, there are some rules about the match to keep in mind.

    • Settings:

      • There are no illegal settings for Ladder matches as long as BOTH teams agree to them before the match begins. If someone starts the game with incorrect settings you should point it out and immediately return to chat. This will allow you to make sure you both understand what the other team wants. You can then restart the match.

      • We have set default settings for some games. If your game has default settings they will be listed in the next section. If any of these rules conflict with overall Ladder rules, the game specific rules apply.

    • Failure to Finish Match:

      • Once you start a match you are responsible for completing it. If you have to leave before the game is finished for any reason it is considered a loss and you need to promptly report it.

      • Although it does not happen often it is possible that you or your opponents may be disconnected from the game or the Internet entirely before your match is finished. If one team was clearly losing at the time of disconnect then that team should be a good sport and report the loss. If there was no clear winner at that point in the match and it is not a game that allows you to continue then a rematch would be suggested. For more information regarding the proper procedures in the event of a disconnect please visit our FAQ.

      • If one or more users in a match leaves the match and the game allows it substitute team members can be selected to finish playing that for the person(s) who disconnected. The person who left the match is only required to report losses to his/her opponents if they left voluntarily or were already clearly going to lose at the time they lost connection.

    • Opponents:

      • You are not allowed to play Ladder matches against people who live in the same household as you. You can play friends and relatives who do not live with you, but you should limit matches against them to one or two a week. Remember, the idea of the Ladder is to see how you stack up against players from all over the world--not across the street.

      • You are not allowed to partner with people who live in the same household as you. This includes anyone who plays from the same physical location, whether or not they actually reside there.

      • You are not allowed to report losses to anyone who plays from the same computer as you do ever. Our security software will detect this activity if it is attempted and participating accounts will be penalized or removed.

    • Sportsmanship:

      • The same rules that apply to behavior in chat (covered later in these rules) also apply during games. If we receive complaints about the behavior of a user or team steps will be taken to deal with the problem.

      • Teams are responsible for the conduct of their members. You should pick your team members wisely and not cut slack or your whole team could face penalties.

      • It is illegal to play in more than one Ladder match at a time. This slows down gameplay for everyone.


    The rules are determined for each individual tournament by the Tournament Director holding the event. If you click on the link for a specific tournament you will see a summary of that tourney, including a RULES link where you can find out the specific rules for that event. Tournaments are exempt from Game Specific Rules unless the TD has specified otherwise on his/her rules page.

Game-Specific Rules

    To keep things as competitive as possible we often have special rules that only apply to certain games. The rules for the current ladder are listed here. If you have any suggestions for rule changes that would improve the Ladder please feel free to submit them.

      The vision of True Friends In Spades is to create a friendly team ladder Where 
      The Fun Begins and Friendship Grows.  Where:
      The Most Important rule is to HAVE FUN
      Remember Spades is just a game. We all come to have fun and play with friends.
      Sportsmanship is a top priority. Remember just because this is played in a rated 
      room, Ratings and Rankings are not the important reason we are gathered here.
      Everyone could be considered a friend both newcomers and veterans.
      Repeated troublemakers will be removed and proven cheaters will be permanently 
      The ladder will be run with each team's input in major decisions and the Majority 
      will rule.
      Any actions not conducive to our intended atmosphere will be penalized.
      A no bidding, no challenging league with all non-luck formats available 
      (ie. daredevil where game is based on 1st card played).
      A Sit and play league without regard to rank.
      True Friends in Spades is a Team Ladder based in the MSN Gaming Zone. 
      All Friendly games are played in Rated League Room.
      New Players
      All New Players to TFS are subject to a 30 day probationary period. During this 
      players will be evaluated for their compatibility with the TFS vision. During this 
      period players may be removed for 1 major infraction or 2 minor ones.  
      34 Players per Team Plus a Friend 
      30 Days before a team is purged for inactivity until further notice. (As we grow 
      this will be lowered)
      3 players plus a FRIEND before a team may begin playing
      Definition of Sportsmanship: Fair Play, Respect for Opponents and Gracious Behavior 
      in Winning and Losing.
      TFS is based on Friendship and Sportsmanship. Our goal is to ensure that this 
      league remains a great place for all to play. We WILL be forced to penalize players 
      if they disrupt the league or break with our ideals for the good of the ladder.
      Should you have a problem with a person at the table, in zones or in the lobby 
      please email admin  at
      Note: Retaliation can result in you being penalized as well as the instigator so do 
      not encourage or retaliate unsportsmanlike behavior. Always remember that two 
      wrongs do not make one right. 
      Please note that the following are examples of unsportsmanlike conduct and can 
      result in penalties being issued. This list however is not all inclusive any other 
      conduct deemed improper will be penalized.
      Should you encounter unsportsmanlike conduct you are encouraged to copy the chat 
      and email it along with an explanation to:
      To introduce in a clever way imply, insinuation "Is a clever way" or accuse someone 
      of cheating without actual saying the word "cheat."
      Game Avoidance:
      To intentionally avoid playing against a team that sits with you or that is 
      advertising. Only one game of any format may be advertised at a time. 
      Accusation of Cheating:
      An accusation is to come out and accuse another player or team of cheating without 
      Leaving Table Before Finished:
      Leaving the game before it is officially over or leaving the table without 
      reporting the loss.
      Sore Losers:
      Putting down your partner/FRIEND, posting negative comments in game reports, 
      message forum posts, taking comments of game out to the lobby and talking negative 
      about team members/TFS members.
      Includes: Fighting with a TFS member in a game/lobby, fighting with a guest in the 
      Encouraging Unsportsmanlike:
      Includes: Fighting back, fueling a fight or making comments in a game, lobby or 
      message forum that encourage unsportsmanlike behavior.
      Foul Language:
      Foul Language is not to be used in the lobby, zones, tables, chats or message 
      forum. This will be strictly enforced. We have players of all ages and want 
      everyone to feel comfortable in playing here.
      Sexual Talk or Chat:
      Although it is not considered unsportsmanlike behavior, it is against the Zone Code 
      of Conduct (COC) and will be enforced.
      To attack a person or team's character or morals. To say that someone is a 
      crybaby/whiner, or untrustworthy is just an idea of what is considered bashing.
      Offensive Behavior or Language:
      Self-explanatory. Use common sense, If you would'nt say it to your Child  dont say 
      it in here. We have players of all ages and backgrounds. What may not be offensive 
      to some may be quite offensive to another.
      Bad Comments in Message Forum:
      The forum is not to be used in any negative manner towards any TFS team or member.
      Discussing Other Ladders:
      Other ladders are not to be mentioned in our ladder room or message forum period. 
      The Reason for this is that we are trying to strengthen our ladder and to get 
      friendly games played here.
      Unfortunately, there may be times when an individual or a team proves themselves to 
      be completely incompatible with the goals and objectives of the True Friends In 
      Spades League. 
      These are individuals or teams who are continually disruptive to the good order and 
      discipline of the league without crossing the line in to unsportsmanlike conduct. 
      These are individuals or teams whose competitive spirit and level of skill is so 
      far above that of the average league member that they are seldom beaten during a 
      These are individuals or teams whose continued presence in the True Friends League 
      is disruptive, uncomfortable, and undesirable to the vast majority of league 
      members for whatever reason.
      They are, unfortunately, just incompatible with the friendly, fair yet competitive 
      spirit of TFS. It is anticipated that cases of ‘incompatibility’ will be extremely 
      rare within TFS.
      However, if such cases are identified, the individual or team will be asked to 
      withdraw from TFS. 
      If they refuse to voluntarily withdraw, they will then be banned (individuals) or 
      dissolved (team) without prejudice – meaning that they didn’t do anything wrong but 
      they are incompatible with our league.
      This banning or dissolving will only take place after review and approval by all 
      Admins and the HA.
      At this meeting, the accused team or individual will have the right to present 
      evidence to explain whatever behavior is in question.
      Only one game of a format may be advertised at any time.
      Again this is a fun friendly league. Do not refuse to play a game against another 
      team. This will be considered as rank hounding and goes against the essence of our 
      Do not sit at a table until the game has been advertised in the lobby. If a game 
      starts without a lobby advertisement then both teams will be rung to the bottom of 
      the ladder. No Exceptions!
      This includes rematches which must be advertised as a rematch with both teams 
      stated. this game must also be played at a different table.
      The Table that Advertises first in the lobby will be the table that any disputes 
      will be played at. Please verify that there are no open advertisements before you 
      addy for a game. 
      If a player takes a BRB while playing a nil hand, they must go on auto play until 
      they return from their BRB 
      Be courteous, from time to time emergencies do happen and a player must take a be 
      right back (BRB). It takes less time to click auto play than it does to type BRB. 
      Multiple emergencies or constant problems with those going BRB on nil bids will 
      result in penalization. Any time this occurs in a game opponents must send in chat 
      to admin so we can make notes in the BRB players file.
      A (Team-friend) will be added to each team to allow players to find a partner when 
      they have no team member available.
      Friends are: 
      A Friend is a player that you chose to partner you. They play as a member of your 
      team with the win or loss being credited to the player named (teammate-friend). The 
      FRIEND is not an actual person so don't be adding them to your zone friends list 
      because they will not show up.
      Who Can Be A Friend?:
       Any TFS League member can be used as a friend. The friend however does not have to 
      be on a team just a TFS member. The Player requesting the friend is responsible for 
      making sure their FRIEND is QUALIFIED to play in the game. If A non-League friend 
      used the Team asking for the friend will report the game as a Loss. There will not 
      be any exceptions to this rule.  
      If the partner of a FRIEND does not announce that their partner is a FRIEND at the 
      start of the game and they win the game, It will not be considered a GAME. 
      If the partner of a FRIEND does not announce that their partner is a FRIEND at 
      start of the game and they lose they MUST still report the loss due to the fact 
      that is was their teams responsibility to announce the player was a FRIEND. 
      A FRIEND must play the game until it's completion but may leave before the game has 
      been reported.
      YOU are responsible for your FRIEND. Should a FRIEND that is not on a team cause 
      game to end prematurely then you/your team or the FRIEND will be given the loss 
      depending on the circumstances.
      If the FRIEND is a member of the league and is on a team, they will be held 
      accountable if they cause the game to end prematurely. They and their team FRIEND 
      will receive the loss instead.
      A FRIEND cannot play against their own team.
      TABLE TALK   
      Telling your partner to: 
      (BTP)-Bag them partner
      Don't nil partner
      Watch the bags
      (TRAM) The Rest are mine
      (CMP) - Cover Me Partner can only be said after all bids have been made.
      Duck or duck Partner
      Think we can bag them?
      Note: Anything near the above is considered table talk.
      NNP (Nice Nil Partner) and NCP (Nice Cover Partner) can only be said on last card 
      of that hand.
      NSP (Nice Set Partner) can only be said after the set has been made and not before.
      Note: Saying NSP before setting the other team is considered table talk.
      If TT occurs during a game:
      State that it was table talk and continue to play out the game and report as if no 
      TT had occurred.
      At the end of the game copy the full chat of the game (Start till Finish) and email 
      it to admin at Include a brief explanation as to what 
      happened in your email.
      The admin will then review the chat and make a decision as to whether or not it was 
      table talk and reverse the game decision should we agree that table talk occurred.
      If you choose not to hide cards and an accident is made by a teammate coming to 
      watch their Team and they click on the opponents’ side accidentally absolutely NO 
      accusations are to be made.
      It is EACH PLAYERS responsibility as a player to Hide Cards in case accidents like 
      this happen.
      There will be NO Game Forfeits or No Games called should the above situation occur. 
      No Exceptions
      If a player purposely leaves a table in the middle of a game then that player and 
      their team FRIEND will receive the loss for the game as well as get 5 rungs for 
      poor sportsmanship. No Exceptions
      If a player is a FRIEND and purposely leaves a table in the middle of a game then 
      the FRIEND and his/her team captain will receive the loss for the game and not the 
      original player/team captain or the team that was playing with the FRIEND.
      If a FRIEND is not currently on a team then the players in the game should go ahead 
      and report the loss as normal and email admin at and 
      include the losing teams name/player as well as the FRIEND'S ladder name. The admin 
      will then adjust the losing teams record by removing the loss from both the team 
      and the player and then giving the loss to the FRIEND.
      Note: The original report must be submitted in order to give the win to the team 
      that actually won the game.
      Players may kibitz games at anytime. Players should be aware of the following when 
      visiting tables:
      If visiting a table in which your team is playing you must sit ONLY on one of your 
      If you leave the table for any reason and return to it to kibitz again you must 
      return to that same seat that you originally kibitz on. 
      You may not at any time jump from player to player to see their cards, even if the 
      first person you kibitz on have their cards hidden. 
      If a kibitzer is disrupting the game and ALL Four (4) players agree at the table 
      Kibitz maybe silenced.
      Kibitz Lap Hopping is prohibited. If someone is lap hopping please state at the 
      table who is lap hopping and send the completed game table chat to admin at  
      Note: If a kibitzer is proven to have lap hopped then a 24-hour minimum box will be 
      Acceptable Lobby Conduct
      Always treat True Friends in Spades members and room guests with respect. This is 
      not optional.
      Always use proper language (non offensive).
      Unacceptable Lobby Conduct
      If you feel that you have been personally attack by someone in the lobby please 
      copy the lobby chat and send it to admin at
      Offensive Behavior:
      Making fun of someone or de-valuing them in some way in a game, zones messages and 
      other IM services, message forum or in the lobby.
      Foul Language:
      This includes any swear word that is intended to insult, de-value or offend someone.
      Arguing with someone in the lobby or fueling an argument. Responding to an 
      individual/individuals that is hostile in the lobby.
      Long Debates and Lobby Discussions:
      It is against the Zone's Code of Conduct (COC) to carry on long discussions in the 
      lobby. Should you desire to have a debate/discussion please take it to a table or a 
      private chat.
      Player Penalty Discussions:
      Discussions regarding player penalties do not belong in the lobby they are to be 
      taken to a table or a private chat and kept out of the lobby.
      Sexual, Political and Religious Chats:
      Sexual, Political and Religious chats are not permitted in the lobby in accordance 
      to the Zone's Code of Conduct (COC).
      Note:  Political or Religious chat is permitted in games as long as it is not 
      offending any of the four (4) players in the game. If a player in that game asks 
      that these topics be ceased at the table then their feelings should be respected.
      Note: If the conversation is continued after it a request for it to ceased has been 
      made then the player who was offended by the subject matter should send the 
      complete game chat to
      Note: The individual/individual’s who did not cease the conversation will receive 
      an automatic 1-day box.
      Note: If you are unsure of the Zone's Code of Conduct please read them by click 
      SUPPORT on the zone site.
      BOOTS & SUBS
      Unfortunately the way the zone is, sometimes people will boot at the oddest times. 
      When it happens before the first card is played the tables will not 
      hold for that player.
      Your teamie is allowed 7 min. to return to the table.  The opposing team must agree 
      to a reseat otherwise THERE WILL BE NO RESEATS ON FIRST HAND!  What this means is: 
      If a player boots after everyone thumbs up -- No one is to leave the table. The 
      first hand is to be played with the bot with a hlc so the booted player can return.
      If he hasnt returned by the end of the hand then that teamie will have to find a 
      sub before the 7 minutes expire.  
      Subs must give seat back upon the return of booted player and originating player 
      must return to game once they re-enter the room.
      The MSN Gaming Zone sometimes works in mysterious ways. If your partner or opponent 
      is lagging, we ask that you type the word "test" to determine if you are the one 
      causing the lag.
      No game may be started with a substitute.
      WHEN substitutes are used, the original 4 players are ALWAYS credited with the win 
      or loss. 
      To avoid possible suspicions, you MUST wait until the end of the hand and ask 
      for "Hold Last Card" (HLC) until you return, if you can't wait you MUST go on Auto 
      after informing the table. If a player takes a BRB while playing a nil hand, they 
      must go on auto play until they return from their BRB 
      Be courteous, from time to time emergencies do happen and a player must take a be 
      right back (BRB). It takes less time to click auto play than it does to type BRB. 
      Multiple emergencies or constant problems with those going BRB on nil bids will 
      result in penalization. Any time this occurs in a game opponents must send in chat 
      to admin so we can make notes in the BRB players file.
      Members of the same household are not allowed to play with OR against each other. 
      The program does not allow reports to or from people in the same household. If 
      there is more that one person from the same household, then you must email with the second name so that we know it is not the 
      same person and so that the second account is not removed.
      If you are same household you are not allowed to play one another in games. You may 
      NOT kibitz each other’s partner, but you can each other.
      Any players found to be from the same household that are partnering one another in 
      games will automatically receive a 3-day box. Should they continue to partner one 
      another in games thereafter could be subject to a ban from TFS.
      Any same household members that do not email to let 
      us know you are same household players will have both accounts deleted.
      Multiple Infractions will result in a BAN from TFS. 
      We only allow a set number of accounts from one location. If this number is 
      exceeded your accounts will be investigated and possibly removed. We have an 
      automated security to keep track of this information and all new account 
      information is logged.
      Note: It is illegal for one person to have multiple accounts or be on multiple 
      teams. Only one account is allowed per person.
      When multiple accounts are found admin will remove all names that show up as 
      duplicate. So if you make a new name be sure to withdraw your previous name before 
      signing up a second time.
      Exception: Same household and Co Captains
      Posting in the Message Forum is a privilege reserved for members of a team on Team 
      Friends in Spades (TFS).
      It is intended as a place for announcements, congratulatory statements, questions, 
      jokes, rule changes and constructive criticism.
      Posts by individuals not on a team, with the exception of those new members LOOKING 
      for a team in the post, will be pulled.
      Posts that bash individuals or teams by name will be pulled including those that do 
      not specifically name names but do offer so much information that the individual or 
      team in question is readily identifiable. No Exceptions
      Failure to go by the rules of the Message Forum will forfeit that individual’s 
      right to post messages for 1-day; severe bad post may result in being boxed or 
      banned from TFS.
      Join a table that is already advertising or sit at a table and ask politely for a 
      team to join you. When asking for a game, please specify it is a TFS or a True 
      Friends in Spades game. 
      Example: "TFS @ 3 " or "True Friends in Spades @ 3". 
      Note: Should all four (4) players sit down and play a game that was advertised as 
      CF there would not be ANY GAME FORFEITS or NO GAMES.
      Note: Please do not post for game more than once for every 5 or more lines of text 
      in lobby as posting more frequently is not needed and is considered flooding by 
      Zone Code of Conduct. 
      You may not, even generally, request a higher ranked team nor may you include your 
      own team's rank or name in your advertisement.
      Challenges and Bidding are NOT part of this ladder. 
      Zones are NOT allowed to acquire any games, regardless of team rank.
      There is no limit on how many times daily you can play the same team. However, back-
       to-back games are optional. 
      The cases rule of only playing same team no more than 3 times a day is null and 
      void in this league.
      Should you want a rematch both teams have to agree to the rematch at the first game 
      table and then they MUST change tables and advertise for the rematch as follows:
      (team name) is requesting a rematch with (team name) @ 3
      First Come, First Served: The priority rule for accepting matches only applies when 
      you have multiple advertisements at the same time. First one seated is the team 
      that will receive the Game.
      Do not sit at a table UNTIL the team sitting at the table advertises for a game. 
      Failure to do so will result in a game forfeit with the win going to the 
      team/players that were just sitting at the table and a loss to the 
      individual/individuals who sat and their team.
      If Admin find teams camping (waiting for a higher team to ad for games) or avoiding 
      lower ranked teams, they will be rung to bottom of the ladder. No Exceptions
      TFS Ladder games are Alternative with anything goes as long as the game is not luck 
      based (i.e. Daredevil on which winner is decided on 1st card played).
      Games must be advertised for at least 5 hands but 8 is the preferred standard of 
      the league. This ensures that everyone is given a fair chance in whatever format 
      they play. 
      Alternative is the normal format, any game variation may be played as long as it is 
      advertised in the lobby and all four players agree to that game format prior to the 
      first card played in the game.
      Example: TFS @ 4 / 5hm (would be 5 hands of mirrors)
      Example: TFS @ 5 DN allowed (regular spades with dn allowed)
      Should you play a mirrors game then the losing team should get up first giving the 
      Zone wins to the other team, AFTER the game is reported.
      Since your Ladder account is where all your records are kept we have some special 
      policies regarding it. These are very important and you should pay close attention 
      to them.
      E-mail Address - Your E-mail address must be kept current on the site, as it is the 
      only way we have of contacting you.
      Use the 'USER EDITOR' if you need to change it. If your E-mail address is found to 
      be invalid your account WILL be removed.
      Ladder Names:
      If your Ladder name is offensive to other users or contains profanity your account 
      will be removed.
      If your Ladder name is found to be abusive towards another user your account will 
      be removed.
      If your Ladder name is found to be too similar to an existing user's nickname you 
      will have to choose another name.
      You are only allowed to change your Ladder name once per week, so make sure that 
      your name works on zone before changing it on ladder so that you do not make a 
      mistake. Admin will not make corrections to ladder names unless it is a new TFS 
      Your Ladder name must match the name you use in chat and play your matches under 
      EXACTLY. This includes spaces, underscores and other keyboard characters. If it 
      doesn't the match is invalid and your opponent is NOT required to report any losses 
      to you. Exception: Lowercase vs. Uppercase letters.
      Teams should never report a loss to a name that is different than the one their 
      opponent used during the match.
      Rank Hounding is prohibited and players proven to participate in it will receive an 
      automatic 24-hour box.
      Acceptable Proof of Rank Hounding
      Zones Screen Shots
      A Copy of Lobby Chat
      A Copy of Any Other Chat via Any Other IM Service
      Every #1 team will be rung to the bottom of the ladder once they have held the 
      position for 24 consecutive hours.
      Note: The ONLY EXCEPTION to this rule is the number 1-team opening floor to number 
      2 team no less than twice every 12 hours. This goes vice versa for number 2 team.
      This game MUST be advertised in the lobby as "team name #1 challenges team name #2 
      @ table number" 
      The fun of the ladder is getting to the top not 
      staying there. The journey brings its rewards.
      If you are a number 1 team and get rung, there is no need to worry, as a good team 
      will always get back there. This is a way of making everything fair and challenging 
      for all.
      Let's keep the top ranks active and fair. If you are a top ranked team, play all 
      teams not just the ones ranked immediately below or above you.
      Once again this is a fun and friendly league. Spades is just a game. World peace 
      does not depend on it. Cheating is not acceptable as it lowers the integrity of the 
      game and out league as a whole. We all play for fun not for rank here. That is why:
      An accusation without proof is NOT acceptable, and is a boxable offense.
      Acceptable proof includes:
      A Zone Message that was sent during the game that has been captured in a screen 
      Note: Absolutely NO ZONES from 1 player to another ARE allowed before the 
      completion/report of a game. Proof of a zone sent in a game is considered cheating 
      and will result in a BAN from TFS.
      Cards or instructions typed into the table chat or elsewhere, or similar proof.
      A captured video of the game played.
      If you have proof someone is cheating, do NOT leave the table. Stop the game in 
      progress and request an administrator to come to the table. Whether one is 
      available or not, take a screen shot of the table, any zones and the entire table 
      chat and send to: and in the subject line 
      put "cheating followed by the oppositions name and team". 
      When the game is over, all 4 players must stay at the table until the report is 
      Note: If a player must leave the table for an emergency after the game then they 
      must request permission from their opponents.
      This allows the reporting person to know who ALL the players were so that there are 
      no misreports made. Please double check the player’s names before submitting report.
      Occasionally there are errors in which the message pops up giving the 5-minute 
      warning for no reason. If you get the five-minute wait message, YOU must click on 
      your team link on front of ladder to make sure that the game did not go through 
      BEFORE you click the SUBMIT button again.
      If you FAIL to check and a DUPLICATE report is made then the PROPER adjustments 
      will only be MADE to the WINNING team/player RECORDS and not to the team/players 
      who reported the loss twice. No Exceptions 
      If the winning team notices the match does not show, write down the names of the 
      losing team and players. Continue with your games. If said game is still not posted 
      when you are done playing for the day, send an email with ALL information to your 
      captain/co captain. Your captain can then contact the other team's captain and they 
      can work it out from there.
      No player should follow another team around to other games causing problems that 
      their game was not reported. You should have checked before leaving the table or 
      followed previous rule.
      If a game is misreported send the details to your captain/co captain, include all 4 
      players names, both team names and time and date this happened. Captain should then 
      email admin and the other team captain and let us know so that the corrections can 
      be made.
      Note: All Team Captains will be given to opportunities to send in two misreports 
      without penalty. On the third misreport the team will receive a first warning for 
      failure to report a game correctly as well as receive 5 Rungs.
      DO NOT report a game for someone else under no circumstances, reporting for someone 
      or entering someone's account will make Admin think that you are both the same 
      player. No Exceptions
      If the team captain has tried to settle an unreported match complaint between 
      captains/co-captains of both teams, and the match is still not reported after 24 
      hours, an unreported match complaint should be sent to
      Upon receipt of an unreported match complaint, administration will ask for action 
      from the reporting teams' captain. Said captain has 24-hours from date and time of 
      administration’s notice to verify and post the match.
      If the match has still not been reported after the allotted time, administration 
      will post the match and a TEAM WARNING will be issued. No Exceptions 
      Once a team has gotten a first warning, all unreported matches not corrected by 
      that team will then result in a BOTTOM of ladder rung.
      Aside from questionable lobby chat, your Team Captain/Co-Captain MUST submit all 
      official complaints. No Exceptions. The reason for this is that in most situations 
      the captain and or co-captains of the respective teams can resolve the problem 
      All evidence of wrongdoing should be sent to your Team Captain/Co-Captain to 
      resolve the matter.
      Team Captains have 48-hours to resolve the issue of the complaint before admin 
      consider it an OFFICIAL complaint. If the two team Captains/Co Captain are able to 
      resolve the issue please let admin know by sending us an email at
      If the Team Captain is unavailable, and your problem needs immediate attention you 
      may seek out an admin for guidance.
      A boxed player/team shall not play any games for the time they have been boxed. 
      A written notification of the box will be sent from administration to the boxed 
      player/team, along with a copy to the Team Captain/Co-Captain.
      The letter will state the amount of days of the box and the time said player(s) 
      could resume play. In addition, the player/team will have added to their ladder 
      name the word BOXED. This will be added by the admin team, and removed at the end 
      of the time allotted of the box.
      Players/teams that continue to play while boxed even as a FRIEND will either be 
      issued increased time in the box or a BAN from TFS.
      There are exceptions to the rules. Without exceptions there would be a need for 
      MORE rules.
      To minimize the need to make rule on top of rule, and to allow Administration to 
      act effectively in the best interest of this ladder, it is at your True Friends in 
      Spades Administrators discretion to determine what should or should not be 
      considered an "Exception" to the rules or penalty guidelines.
      In other words, if it is not written here or in the penalty guidelines, it does NOT 
      mean it is allowed. It does NOT mean you won't be penalized/boxed/rung/banned just 
      because it isn't written.
      Something not being written does NOT mean it is allowed
      True Friends in Spades Administration will try to put all future suggested changes 
      to the rules before the team CAPTAINS/CO-CAPTAINS for their input PRIOR to 
      IMPLEMENTING them.
      There may be times that Admin will need to change rules based on current situations 
      or events, without CAPTAINS/CO-CAPTAINS input.

Reporting the Match

    Once your game is completed the loser of the match is responsible for reporting it as soon as possible. You can report your matches using the "Report Loss" link located in the left hand frame. Here are some things to remember regarding reporting your losses.

    • Report Immediately: Losses are to be reported immediately after a game is completed before any further Ladder matches are started. Not reporting promptly will result in penalty.

    • Who to Report To:

      • In teams games one team member from the losing team reports.

      • Reporting & Passwords: It is illegal to share your password with any other user for the purpose of reporting or any reason. If you are discovered using another user's password both of your accounts will be removed.

      • Problems Reporting: If you have a problem and cannot report your own loss follow the SUPPORT link and request assistance with this from Ladder Staff.

      • Unreported Matches:

        • Most unreported matches are a simple case of forgetfulness on the part of your opponent. If your opponent has not reported your match within an hour of the match you should send them a friendly E-mail reminder to post. In most cases this is all that is needed to get them to post.

        • If they still have not posted an hour after your E-mail reminder and you see them online playing other matches you should follow the SUPPORT link and submit an unreported match claim against them. Ladder staff will handle the situation from there for you.

        • If, however, you do not see them online after sending your Email reminder you should give them 12-24 hours to post their loss before submitting an unreported match claim against them in order to give them time to receive your E-mail.

        • You should never harass another user in chat or interrupt their other Ladder matches in an attempt to get them to report. If you see them online giving them one friendly reminder is acceptable, but beyond that you should let Ladder Staff settle the dispute for you.

        • For more information regarding the proper procedures for handling unreported matches visit the Ladder FAQ.

    Expected Behavior

      As a member of Case's Ladder you are representing us and all the other teams when you are playing Ladder matches. Because we rely heavily on the support of the gaming networks and producers of the games that you play we have some guidelines for how you need to behave online. It's part of your duty to be respectable so that you don't give the Ladder (and other teams!) a bad name.

      • LadderOps:

        • If you have a problem in chat look for a LadderOp to assist you. You can find a current listing of the LadderOps at this link.

        • Abuse of LadderOps in relation to them doing their jobs in chat or the forums is forbidden. If you are found to be guilty of this your account will be penalized. Remember that they are volunteers dedicating their time to helping improve the quality of the Ladder for all.

        • LadderOps do not have the power to kick, mute, or ban other teams in chat in most cases. They are a staff presence available in chat to help you come to a fair resolution when problems or disputes arise. If they cannot help you with the problem themselves they will get someone who can or refer you to the proper place to go to report the situation. They are there to assist you, so take advantage of them.

        • If you have a problem with or wish to file a complaint against a LadderOp please send it via E-mail to Please include all pertinant information.

        • You can find more info regarding LadderOps in our FAQ.

      • Cheating:

        • It goes without saying that we won't stand for cheating of any kind. This includes, but is not limited to, breaking rules, using modified executables, reporting false results, or otherwise tampering with Ladder rankings.

        • If you are certain your opponent is cheating you should leave the match immediately and report the suspicious activity via the SUPPORT link on the Ladder page. You do not need to report the match as a loss. If your opponent submits an unreported match claim against you be sure to reply to the inquiry mail we send you explaining your reasoning or the match will be automatically posted against you.

      • Abuse:

        • If you encounter another Ladder user behaving in an unacceptable manner in chat the best thing to do is just ignore them. If you notice one particular user being abusive repeatedly please let us or your LadderOps know. Please be sure to include all pertinent information, such as the offender's username, and a brief explanation of the problems that you encountered.

        • There are many teams available to challenge. It is illegal to continually harass one specific team for a match. If you need a match with a specific person and are having a problem getting it let us know via the SUPPORT link rather than harassing that individual, and we will help you resolve the conflict.

        • We encourage you to try to solve problems on your own before bringing it to the staff, but not to the point of creating hardship to yourself or harassing other users. We have one of the best support staffs available on the Internet. If you have a problem we are here to help you.

        • It is illegal to abuse or harrass another Ladder member. If you are observed being abusive in chat it could result in penalty. Depending upon the extent of the abuse you might not always receive a warning in these cases. It is important to remember that two wrongs do not make a right. In other words, if you are being harrassed by another Ladder member come to us for assistance. Do not take matters into your own hands or return the abuse, or you could find yourself in trouble as well.

      • Nice Guy Rule: Please note that behavior guidelines apply for all methods of communication. This includes chat, E-mail, message forums, ICQ, etc. Treat other members with respect!

    Top Ten

      Because everyone dreams of being in the Top Ten we have some special rules that apply for these users. This keeps the competition for these slots in high gear. Only teams who are ranked in the Top Ten need to worry about these.

      • Top of the Heap: Everyone wants a shot at #1; consequently there should be a lot of activity and movement in the top ranks of the Ladder. Remember that rank has priority when it comes to challenges. Keeping that in mind, the number one team should play the number two team as often as possible.

      • Inactivity: Teams in the Top Ten must play at least once every 7 days. If the don't they are automatically dropped five rungs and their inactivity counter is reset. There are no exceptions to this rule.

      • Rank Hounding: Teams in the Top Ten are expected to be as active after they reach the top ranks as they were before. In other words, if you are playing 20 games a day to make it to the Top Ten and then only play once a week to hold your rank you may be penalized.

      • Leapfrogging: Teams in the Top Ten should try to play the person ranked directly below them at least once every three days. If you are found to be avoiding challenges that put your rank at risk your account will be penalized.

      • Challenges from Different Ranks:

        • Top Ten teams must take challenges in order of rank as with other users.

        • Unless you are ranked in the top 25 of the Ladder it is illegal to E-mail Top Ten teams requesting a match. Even then E-mail challenges should be reserved for situations in which you have failed in attempts to get a match via the traditional methods. If you receive a mail from a team outside of this range you should reply and gently remind them of the rules.

      • Play Lists: Use of 'playing lists' is strongly discouraged. If someone asks for a match and you are already playing simply tell him or her that. Lists only serve to foster discouragement on the part of the users who are constantly told they are being added only to rarely get the promised match. You are not expected to play every person on the Ladder just because you are ranked in the Top Ten. You fought your way up there one rung at a time and so must everyone else.

      • Fair Play: It should go without saying that other Top Ten teams who challenge you should be treated with the utmost respect and courtesy. You should do your best to see that challenges of this nature are played as soon as possible for the benefit of both parties. Avoiding or delaying challenges from other Top Ten members will result in penalty.

      • Image:

        • Because everyone has got their eyes on the top ranks of the Ladder we expect the members of this elite group of teams to conduct themselves appropriately. This means we will be keeping a closer eye on them than most. You are among the Top Ten teams in the world in your chosen game. Set a good example!

        • There is a lot of competition and pressure associated with being ranked in the Top Ten. Remember that this is just a game and above all meant to be fun!

    Fill in the Blank

      We can't cover every aspect of gaming in our rules. We have tried to be as thorough as possible and cover all the basics. However, just because something is not listed doesn't meant that it is allowed. Use common sense. If it is something that will adversely effect other teams and you might think twice about doing it's probably against the rules. Our staff have the final say in such matters. If you have a specific question please feel free to contact us via E-mail.

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