Ladder Rules        

Welcome to GameColony Community Ladders,

GameColony Ladders are open to all players who wish to compete fairly and have fun. We have a simple ranking system. Your ranking will represent your standing among other players.

The highest ranked player holds the #1 spot. A player with #2 ranking is ranked one level below the #1 player. The goal is to "climb" the Ladder as high as you can.

Note: Ladder ranking is NOT your rating -- it is a completely separate ranking system:

  • When you win against a higher ranked player, your rank goes up half the way between their rank and your former rank
  • If you lose to a player who is ranked more than one level below you, your rank will NOT change
  • If you lose to a player who is ranked directly below you, your ranks will switch places
  • If you lose to a player who is ranked above you, your rank will not go down at all
  • When other players beat people above you and jump over you in rank you will slide down (there are also special rules for players ranked in the Top Twenty -- see below)
               (see interactive Rank Calculators for clarification)

Monthly Prizes

On the 1st day of every month at 11:59 AM EDT, Top Ten registered Ladder players at that time will receive prizes - $Tickets in their accounts. As soon as prizes are disbursed, each of Top Ten players will be dropped 100 ladder spots. This assures the dynamic nature of the Ladder. Non-Ticket players who won one of Top Ten prizes during a previous month won't be allowed in Top Twenty in the following month.

There are good-sized Ladder Prizes payable at the very beginning of each next month. Just the 1st place prizes are listed below for each Ladder :
  • 1st place Ladder Prize in Gin & Backgammon Ladders -- 50 $Tickets
  • 1st place Ladder Prize in Cribbage & Dominoes Ladders-- 30 $Tickets

  • How to Join GameColony Ladder

    To join GameColony Ladder, all you need to do is play a game at the table with the Ladder setting on. You will be enrolled into the Ladder automatically. You will also join the Ladder automatically once you play any Ladder Tournament. Please note: there can be a delay for up to 10 minutes for any Ladder report.

    Ladder and Non-Ladder Games

    By default, two-player games are not designated as Ladder. To play a Ladder game, if you create a table, you need to select a 'Ladder' option. If you are about to join someone else's table, option 'L' (or 'Ladder') will signify that a table is set for Ladder games.

    Ladder Points

    The Ladder is FREE and all players can participate. It may take, however, as little as $5.95 to open a $Ticket account and enjoy an extra Ladder boost from playing Ladder Tournaments and Mini-Tourneys for $Tickets.
  • A player will earn 2 Ladder Points for participating in any Ladder Tournament
  • A player will earn 1 Ladder Point for every Ladder Mini-Tourney with a fee equal or greater than 5 $Tickets.
  • When the number of Ladder Points reaches 30, all of these Ladder Points will be converted to 1 Ladder rung advancement (step-up). The above step-up will occur upon this player's earning the next Ladder point. After the step-up, the Ladder Points will be reduced by 30 points. There will be a Ladder Point statement for each user, viewable by all.
  • Ladder Points start from zero at the beginning of each month after Ladder Prizes are distributed (11:59 AM of 1st day of next month)

  • As there can be no Ladder-Points-related advancement for the player in #1 spot, the Ladder Points for the player in the 1st spot are not subtracted as long as #1 spot is retained. However, when this #1 player drops in Ladder rank, just as with any other player who accumulated Ladder Points, the very next Ladder Point will result in 1 Ladder rung advancement at the cost of 30 Ladder Points.

    Account Rules

    Since your account is where all your records are kept, we have some special policies regarding it.
  • Email Address
    We need to have your current e-mail address at all times, as it is the only way we can contact you. Use the "Manage Account" link if you need to change it. Remember that your Gamecolony account information is encrypted and your address will never be sold or given out to anyone for any purpose. If your E-mail address is found to be invalid your ladder standings may be penalized or removed.
  • Screen name
    Screen names cannot contain profanity, abusive language, or any sexual innuendos. Offensive screen names will be removed at Gamecolony's discretion. If your Ladder name is found to be too similar to an existing user's nickname, you will be asked to choose another. You are allowed to change your name only once every 7 days.
  • Multiple accounts
    Multiple accounts for the same player are disallowed. It is against the rules for more than one person to use or share the same account. Everybody is welcome to participate in the Ladder provided they have their own accounts. Ladder games between opponents utilizing the same IP address are disallowed. No two players having the same IP address (or from the same household) can be in Top Ten at the same time.
  • Inactivity
    Players are removed from ladder automatically after a period of inactivity. As soon as playing ladder games resumes, ladder account gets reinstated.


    The best way to find matches is to create within any game room a Table with Ladder setting or to join a Table that someone else has created with Ladder setting on. Any Gamecolony player who joins a table with Ladder setting on, automatically joins the Ladder.
    There are no rules regarding whom you must play except for those who are in the top twenty on the ladder. Challenges for Top Twenty are covered later. When you are in a game lobby trying to find a match please be courteous and respectful to other people in the room. Discourteous and/or disrespectful chat either public or private can result in loss of chat privileges and/or penalty to your ladder account.

    Playing a Game or Match

    Once you have found an opponent and you are ready to start your match, here are some general Ladder rules to keep in mind:
  • For a non-$Ticket game to count as a Ladder game, the players can only play the same person once within a 24-hour period. For $Ticket games with Ladder option, there is no such limitation - any number of $Ticket games can count as Ladder games if Ladder option is set. You can play as many different people as you'd like on any given day.
  • There are no illegal settings for Ladder matches as long as BOTH players agree to them before the match begins. We have set default settings. Should both players fail to agree on customized settings, the default settings should be used or the game aborted. Once the game has started you are responsible for finishing the game.
  • You are not allowed to play Ladder matches against people who are from the same household as you.
  • Please be courteous during the game. Intentional stalling or abusive language will not be tolerated. Your Ladder standings may be penalized for stalling games or verbally abusing opponents.
  • 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 through Contac Us link at
  • As a member of GameColony Community you are representing us and all the other players when you are playing Ladder matches. Keep in mind that you are competing with some of the best players in the world. Please be respectful of other players.
  • If you have a problem, rule question or complaint, please address your issue via Contact Us link at selecting Ladder as a topic. Ladder Administrators will help you in any way they can to make your playing at GameColony a wonderful experience. Ladder Administrators will attempt to settle any dispute (according to the rules).
  • GameColony strives to make this site as fair and enjoyable as possible to all players. CHEATING of any kind will NOT be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to, breaking rules, or otherwise tampering with Ladder rankings, holding up games on purpose, aborting to prevent loss, un-sportsmanlike conduct, refusing to complete game and others.
  • 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! GameColony Community first and foremost rule is that respect, courtesy and decency are not only our custom but the RULE.

    The rules above apply to all players. Those who wish to compete for the top of the ladder have specific rules. These top of the ladder rules for those in top twenty or above, are listed in the next section.

    Playing in a Ladder Tournament

    GameColony is offering periodic Ladder Tournaments. Entry fees in such tournaments can be as low as 50 cents. A 1st place in a Ladder tournament will always boost the winning player's ladder ranking by 1 spot right after wining the Ladder tournament. In addition, all games in Ladder tourney will count as Ladder - no need to turn on Ladder option on tables.

    Top Twenty and Top Ten Rules

    Since many players desire to compete for the top of the Ladder in their own game, we have some special rules that apply for Top Twenty and Top Ten players. This keeps the competition for these slots in high gear.

    Everyone wants a shot at #1; consequently there should be a lot of activity and movement in the top ranks of the Ladder. Rank has priority when it comes to challenges.

    Players in the Top Twenty must play at least once every 7 days. If a Top Twenty player does not play at least once in a 7-day period, his/her rank will be automatically dropped 2 levels and an inactivity counter will be reset. Such automatic rank reduction is reported as 'rank reduction due to Top Twenty inactivity'.

    Players in the Top Twenty are expected to be as active after they reach the top ranks as they were before. If your activity drops considerably once you are in Top Twenty, your rank will be reduced.

    Players in the Top Ten must play the rank one level directly below them at least once every 6 days. Ladder ranking for a Top Ten player will be automatically reduced by 2 levels if within a 6-day period this player does not play with those who rank one level below. Such automatic rank reduction is reported as 'rank reduction due to Top Ten inactivity'.

    Top Ten players MUST play a rank-threatening game at least once in a 6-day period. Top Ten ladder players must follow all general rules, all Top Twenty rules AND the specific rules for Top Ten. Please make sure not to delay your rank-threat game until the last day as instead of 6 calendar days the enforcement mechanism counts down 6x24=144 hours and you may incur a penalty on the last allowed calendar day if more than 144 hours have passed since the previous rank-threat game.

    Whether the games are for $Tickets or not, the players in Top Ten can play no more than 1 Ladder game in 24 hours with a player whose ranking is within 8 rungs from their own ranking. A Top-10 player cannot play more than 2 Ladder games against the same player within a 24 hr period.

    Top Twenty and Top Ten: Challenges

    In addition to arranging your Ladder games informally within a game room, Top Twenty players can use a formal Challenge functionality in the Ladder area. Any Top Twenty player can issue a formal challenge to any other Top Twenty player. Formal challenges have to be accepted within 48 hours or less, otherwise the ranking of one or both players will be affected:

    Note: Within Top Twenty, you can only challenge a player who is 1-2 rungs above you.

  • If a challenged party does not negotiate a challenge in good faith in the challenge area, a challenged player will be automatically reduced by 8 rungs.
  • If both the challenger and the challenged party do not negotiate a challenge in good faith in the challenge area, both parties will receive a ladder penalty of 8 rungs for not playing a challenge
  • If a challenger who issues a challenge does not negotiate the challenge in good faith while the challenged party keeps notes and offers different times, etc., then such challenge will be removed with no penalty to the challengee, BUT the challenger will be dropped 8 rungs.

    Formal challenges are viewable by all and may contain notes/messages/negotiations between the challenger and the challenged. Such notes will serve as a record of 'good will' on the part of the Challenged player who will have 48 hours to meet the challenge. Both the challenger and the Ladder administrator may withdraw the standing challenge at any time. Once the ladder game between the challenger & the challenged players is played, the standing challenge is automatically removed. There will be a penalty for issuing frivolous challenges without the demonstrated intent to play them. There can be no more than 3 formal challenges issued to one player at the same time. No player can issue more than one formal challenge at a time.

    The challenged player [defender] selects the type of game and sets the table. For an official challenge, the challenged player cannot insist on $Tickets as an option for the game unless both players agree. If the players cannot agree and/or meet, they have to keep their negotiations as written notes within the challenge area. Ladder administrators may overturn any challenge and may reset Ladder rankings.

    Please be sure to keep all challenge-related negotiations within the challenge area. If the challenged player writes nothing in the challenge area and the game does not happen, it will be presumed that the challenged player was not interested in meeting the challenge. When you start negotiating within the challenge area, the Ladder Administrator will help in negotiations and [if necessary] will remove the challenge prior to its expiration.

    Note: In any formal challenge, it is YOUR responsibility to monitor the challenge and let GameColony know (via Contact Us) if there are any problems.

    If you have multiple people challenging you at once you should play the person with the highest rank. The priority rule for accepting challenges only applies when you have multiple challenges at the same time. It is illegal to refuse matches based on Ladder rank. You may request a specific rank or range of rank when advertising for a challenge in open chat, but you may not refuse a valid challenge simply because the challenger is not the rank you want to play.

    Other Top Twenty players 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 Twenty members will result in ranking penalty.

    It is impossible to cover every possible aspect of fair play, so just because something is not listed do not assume it is allowed. Use common sense and a spirit of fair play and good sportsmanship. Bashing of GameColony, any of its staff or players, advertising or endorsing another site, explicit sexual conversation or innuendos will not be allowed and could adversely affect your ladder rankings, your room privileges, or your Gamecolony account. Please feel free to contact us should you have a question, concern or issue with these rules or any other matters. It is our desire to be fun, fair and equitable for all players and to provide a decent and level playing field for all who wish to compete. Please see FAQ for more information.


    Any GameColony volunteer Tournament Director (TD) is well versed in the rules on your particular ladder and well acquainted with the game and knows many of the players. TD will be able to help you navigate around the site and will be able to answer most questions. All TDs have the suffix '_TD' added to their screen names, so they are easy to spot in the room. Should the TD be unable to resolve your problem, he/she will contact an Administrator who can. Since the TDs will be most accessible to you, it will save a lot of time to direct your inquiry to them first. It is also possible to send your question directly to GameColony via Contact Us link with 'Ladder' as a topic.

    Terrific ! Please request a TD application via Contact Us link. Be sure to include you ladder name, your real name, your email address and on which ladder you would like to assist.

    The site ladder Administrator will be responsible for handling rule complaints for which there is no obvious solution. They will work with Ladder Assistants to resolve issues when needed.

    Yes, you can certainly do that but don't be surprised if your letter is directed to your Ladder Assistant.

    Send a request for a ladder rank reduction. Be sure to include the reason and the ladder rank where you want to be. The rules which apply to the Top Twenty will not be in effect if you ask for reduction lower than 20. If you are out of the Top Twenty for 24 hours, your time clock starts again.

    The best way to work out ladder problems is by using Contact Us link. Upon your request our staff can evaluate/update/reverse ladder standings/challenges if needed. Here is some general information on the subject:
    It is your responsibility to make arrangements to play a ladder game with a player ranked one rung below you. You can do that via informal invitations or you can issue a formal challenge. If you have a formal challenge and the player ranked below you still does not play with you, then GC can investigate the challenge.

    In the case of a formal challenge, GC will reverse the rank reduction if the following is true:
  • your challenge logs show that you tried negotiating -- politely and in good faith -- you have given your opponent several time/date options, you actively sought them out, etc. and
  • the challenge was due to expire within 12 hours of your pending rank reduction.

    A player who is staying in #1 spot on the Ladder can be unseated by either:
  • an official challenge (especially a challenge by player #2) that must be played within 7 days or
  • a win by player #2 in a Ladder Tourney or
  • by penalty for not playing player #2 within several days or by penalty for not playing the challenge