Help and frequently asked questions (FAQ)

About is an online gaming portal focusing on German-style games. is the hobby of the webmaster, and therefore free of charge and without advertising.

How does work?

The games on are asynchronous. Generally, not all players of a game are online simultaneously. They may join, make their moves and leave afterwards. Most players participate in several games at the same time. But it is possible to ask in the chat if someone wants to play a game “live” or to issue an invitation with the request for a “fast game”. Yucata deliberately does not set a time limit for a move, everyone should have as much time as they want to make their move.

A game against a computer is not possible and is not in the planning. However some games allow you to play the official solo mode.

Which browsers are supported? uses JavaScript and, particularly for the games, complex html. No special browser requirements are needed. is fully tested with Firefox and Internet Explorer from version 9. It does also work with Safari, Chrome, Camino and Opera, but some problems may occur occasionally. Unfortunately, it would be too time consuming for a hobby to make it fully compatible with all browsers.

What is a Guest Account?

If somebody is not sure if is right for her/him, she/he may create a guest account and give it a try. Such accounts are always labeled as GuestXYZ and are valid for 24 hours.

Since multiplayer games nearly always need several days to finish and most guests don't stay that long, it is not allowed that guests accept invitations for games with more than two players. They will see those invitations, but they may not accept them.

A Guest account can easily be transferred into a permanent account. The player selects My profile in the menu and renames it by choosing a username.

Why do I have to create an account?

Every move of every game is saved in a data base. In order to identify the players it is necessary that everybody has a username. The username will also be used to send messages, to accept and create personal invitations.

The information in the user profile is visible to all registered users, so everyone has to decide, what data to provide. The information is not made available to third parties by, but cannot guarantee that it is not copied.

The email address provided isn't validated by and will only be used for forwarding messages if the user has chosen this option in My profile. It is only visible to other registered users if it is specifically allowed by selecting 'Public address' in My profile.

Who is working for is a project of Kay Wilke (for more information see Editorial), username Sparhawk. In between more users added a lot of work to this project. More infos one can find in Team. Some players also have administrative rights, they are marked in the "Player now online" list with symbol. exists since March 2001. It was first intended as a single game platform. But since 2005 the development has accelerated dramatically, such that now more than 40 games are offered.

How can I propose a game for an implementation at

At (BGG) there is a list where you may add your game proposal. For that purpose do the following:

  1. Register a user at BGG.
  2. Read Sparhawk's comment in the header of the list.
  3. Make sure your game proposal is not already in the list.
    Tip: In the list header you will find a link that displays the english names of the already contained games in alphabetical order. Alternatively you may go to the BBG page of the game (enter the game name in the search field at the top, this need not be english but may as well e.g. be chinese) and there you navigate to the area "Boardgamegeek lists". Check there whether Sparhawk's list already appears (with Sparhawk's list having more than thousand 'likes' this is easy to determine if you sort the lists by number of 'likes'). If Sparhawk's list is there then consequently the game is already in the proposal list and, via the link, you can directly navigate to the corresponding game entry in the list and vote for the game there. Otherwise it's not yet in the list and you may add it:
  4. Click the button "Add new item to list" in the header of the list and enter the game name.

How can I support

The biggest gratification for the webmaster are many happy players. Go wild playing on and spread the news among your friends.

You are encouraged to make suggestion for improving or to discuss general ideas by writing to the webmaster or by posting on the Discussion board. With your help will become even better. has one of the nicest player communities. Contribute to it as well. Aggressive behavior and foul language are not tolerated. is serious about it. No terms of abuse, no dumb jokes, and no discussion about politics. It is a gaming portal providing pure fun. does cost money. In the Overview section there is an element "Support yucata". By following the link “Further Information” the various options are explained. As a thank you each donor is marked in the list of online players by a donor symbol.

Finally, it is possible to join as programmer. If you would enjoy learning the technology and implementing a game, please contact the webmaster.

How is implemented technically?

On the server side uses Microsoft .NET 4.5. As of now a rather large frame work has been established, into which the games are added. The portal is an own creation, since none of the existing frame works (DNN or similar ones) did offer what the webmaster envisioned.

On the client side a lot of JavaScript is used for the older games, allowing complex moves without constant feedback to the server. Newer games (FW2) send each action to the server for validation.

AJAX is primarily used for check-backs to the server. A few things like the Chat are refreshed with WebSockets (SignalR).


Starting a game

Before you may play against other players you have to find somebody willing to play with you. To do this players send invitations or they accept invitations they receive. The next few topics will explain exactly this.

Can I see who is currently online?

Yes, you can. In general, players who are currently online will have a green dot next to their login name. In addition to that, on the Other Players -> Players online page (visible to all registered users) there is a list of all players currently online with the time that has passed since the last user activity. For instance, “8:00” means that the player has been inactive for the last 8 minutes. Because the overview page continually communicates with the server, the player may appear to be online if the overview page is left open; after 20 minutes of inactivity, the player is considered inactive, and a yellow dot is shown instead of the green dot. If there is no communication with the server, we assume that all windows have been closed, and the player is removed from the list after five minutes. If you move your mouse over the (green or yellow) dot next to the login name, you can also see how many minutes and seconds ago the player was last active.
You can also see the total number of active and inactive players at the bottom right of the overview page. A display of 500 (700) would for example mean that there are 500 active players and 700 inactive players, so the total number of players who are logged in is 1200.

Accepting invitations

Invitations are displayed in two places. On the Overview page, below the list of current games are invitations sent to you personally ; you may accept or decline these. On the Games -> Invitation list page, you will find public invitations that you may accept, and if you later wish to withdraw before the game starts, decline. At the bottom of the same page you will find invitations that you created, and you can delete these if you want, before they are accepted.

Most games are played by two players, and do therefore begin as soon as a player accepts the invitation. Some games are played with three or more players. Those games begin as soon as enough players have accepted the invitation. You can find out the number of players in a game by looking at the -symbols. To the right of the invitation you can see who has issued and who has already accepted the invitation.

In some games the issuer of the invitation is the start player, in others the start player is selected randomly. Games with more than 2 players are generally slow, that is 1 or 2 moves a day or even slower. If a fast multiple player game is desired, it should be mentioned in the invitation.

Considerate behaviour includes the following items:

  • If a player created several invitations, do not accept more than one or, at most, two of them if they have not been directed to you personally. Most players enjoy playing with different opponents and do not appreciate it if they create ten invitations and have to play all of them against the same opponent. Naturally you may ask the creator of the invitations if you may accept more than one or two.
  • Being a beginner, do not start too many games. Depending on your opponent(s), a game may well take several weeks to finish. Many new players start 30 or more games because at the beginning not much is happening only to realise after two days that they cannot service all those games or that a particular game is perhaps not their favorite. Try first, then you may start as many games as you like as long as you find the time to make your moves.

Creating invitations

To issue an invitation, go to Games -> Create new game and click on the name of the game you want to play, or click on the down arrows on the left to see some game info. Once you've selected a game, you will be able to specify additional options depending on the game.

For each game you create, you may specify if it shall be a ranking or non-ranking (practice) game. Some games will always have a first leg and a return game when played as a ranking game. Some games may also offer expansions or options that do this.

When creating an invitation, you have to decide if it is a general invitation directed to all players or a personal invitation directed to a specific player. You may add requests to your invitations (e.g. "Please nobody from the top ten!", "fast game", etc). Please be considerate and pay attention to those requests. If you yourself make such requests, please keep in mind that not everyone here understands German or English, and that these requests are not visible once the game starts (and may have been overlooked).

Playing games

How do I open an existing game?

You can check the updated status of any game independent on whose turn it is. Your open games are listed under "Current Games" on the Overview or in Games -> Your current games. If a game is grayed out, it is not your turn. You open a game by clicking on it.

If you have open turns in several games, the one you have to move first is the one your opponent is waiting for the longest time. This rule was introduced because some players only finished the games they were winning. There are some functionalities so that this rule shouldn't bother you. You can click on the "Start Game: ID"-Button on the Overview page at the bottom of the "Current Games" list to open the game in which you have to move first. Also there is the possibility to sort the "Current Games" so that you see where you have to move by clicking at the column before the 'ID'. And in each game window there is the button “Go to next game”. If it is colored red, you can click it to switch to the next game where it is your turn. If it is not immediately your turn in another game, you will get a popup when it becomes your turn in another game which asks you if you want to switch to that game. You can either accept or decline. You might want to decline if you are currently planning your next move in the game you have open. If you accept it switches automatically to the next game in sequence.

Why does a game last that long?

On the games are played asynchronously, which means that not all players are online simultaneously. If you are playing only one game, and your opponent happens to be online as well, play can progress quickly. Even though it is still slower than similar gaming portals based on this mode. Even if your opponent is online, play may slow down or stall, because he may be involved in several other games.

It is my turn, but I cannot make a move?

Most likely a message in the upper left corner warns you that it’s your turn, but that you have to move in older games first. Either click on “Go to next game” or wait until you are switched automatically (see above).

If this is not the case (or “Go to next game” gets you to back to the current game), you may either use a browser that doesn’t show everything correctly, or you try to make an invalid move. First try to reset your move, overthink and try to move again and if this doesn't work, ask in the chat and you will get an answer quickly!

Can I delete a game?

Generally not. Once you have accepted a game you have to play it. A game will be deleted automatically, when no move has been done for 30 days. There will be no scoring for that game.

Newer games (FW2) allow to cancel a game if all players agree on that. To do so all need to chose this option in the settings.

Can I give up a game?

You can give up every two player game except Yucata with the “Give up” button at the bottom. In newer games, this button is hidden behind a "+" button to prevent you from accidentally giving up a game. In multi-player games it isn't possible to give up. You can only give up when it is your turn.

Newer games (FW2) have a settings option to give up any game. But this requires that all players beside one do so. The remaining player will count as the winner.

In the game “Yucata” you have to declare yourself as unworthy in order to be allowed to give up. If you do so, you will get all blue and your opponent all brown stones, and, if still available, also the red stone. Since Yucata is played in 2 rounds, it may happen that somebody who has declared himself as unworthy (in one round), still wins the game based on the total score of the 2 rounds.

How do I make a move in a game?

This depends very much on the game. The games were implemented by different developers at different times and therefore don’t have the same protocol. In simple games such as Yucata or Morris you simply click on the card you want to play or at the place where you want to place your stone.

In more complex games such as Kahuna, Hacienda or Masons you will find a menu with the next possible moves. At the moment there are no aids for the individual games. Use your intuition and try it out! If you are stuck ask in the "Chat" or use the "Reset move"-Button to try it once again.

Ranks and Ranking

What are Ranks?

Ranks are a metagame on Yucata. They are not really important since they don't have any influence on the games and opponents you may play. If you fulfill certain criteria, you may gain a new rank and also losing ranks is possible.

The ranks are intended as a motivational tool. For once you play more concentrated in order to get promoted or to prevent demotion. But you are also pushed to try new games in order to fulfill the promotion requirements.

List of Ranks

On 2012-06-30 there was a Wrath of the Gods which destroyed the Mayan culture and which led to significant changes in the ranking system. The details about the new ranking system can be found in the table below.

Class Rank promotion criteria
won distinct games bested opponents TS requirements Ranking points
Village Ranks New villager account registration      
Lumberjack finished 1 game      
Fisher(wo)man won 1 game      
Farmer won 3 types of game      
Journey(wo)man won 5 types of game      
Lower City Ranks Weaver   bested 10 opponents    
Baker won 3 types of game bested 3 opponents   +250 points
Toolmaker won 4 types of game bested 4 opponents   +250 points
Messenger won 5 types of game bested 5 opponents   +250 points
Secretary won 6 types of game bested 6 opponents   +250 points
Specialists Shopkeeper won 7 types of game bested 7 opponents 1 game TS 900+  +250 points
Merchant won 8 types of game bested 8 opponents 1 game TS 900+ +250 points
Builder won 9 types of game bested 9 opponents 1 game TS 900+  +250 points
Architect won 10 types of game bested 10 opponents 1 game TS 900+ +250 points
Scholar won 11 types of game bested 11 opponents 1 game TS 900+  +250 points
City Offices Juror won 12 types of game bested 12 opponents 3 games TS 1000+ +250 points
Judge won 13 types of game bested 13 opponents 3 games TS 1000+ +250 points
Councillor won 14 types of game bested 14 opponents 3 games TS 1000+ +250 points
Treasurer won 15 types of game bested 15 opponents 3 games TS 1000+ +250 points
Mayor won 16 types of game bested 16 opponents 3 games TS 1000+ +250 points
Lower Temple Ranks Temple servant won 17 types of game bested 17 opponents 5 games TS 1100+ +250 points
Novitiate won 18 types of game bested 18 opponents 5 games TS 1100+ +250 points
Lay Monk/Nun won 19 types of game bested 19 opponents 5 games TS 1100+ +250 points
Monk/Nun won 20 types of game bested 20 opponents 5 games TS 1100+ +250 points
Healer won 21 types of game bested 21 opponents 5 games TS 1100+ +250 points
Higher Temple Ranks Lay priest(ess) won 22 types of game bested 22 opponents 7 games TS 1100+ +250 points
Astrologer won 23 types of game bested 23 opponents 8 games TS 1100+ +250 points
Macom priest(ess) won 24 types of game bested 24 opponents 9 games TS 1100+ +250 points
Chilan priest(ess) won 25 types of game bested 25 opponents 10 games TS 1100+ +250 points
Ahaucan(a) won 26 types of game bested 26 opponents 8 games TS 1200+ +250 points
Che-le won 27 types of game bested 27 opponents 7 games TS 1300+ +250 points
Chaac won 28 types of game bested 28 opponents 9 games TS 1300+ +250 points
Ahmakiq won 29 types of game bested 29 opponents 11 games TS 1300+ +250 points
Ix Chel won 30 types of game bested 30 opponents 13 games TS 1300+ +250 points
Itzamna won 31 types of game bested 31 opponents 15 games TS 1300+ +250 points

When you are at rank Weaver or below, you cannot be demoted. Otherwise, you will be demoted if you drop to -(250 + 10 * # of won gametypes) or below points. In other words, with each won game type you gain an additional safety margin of 10 points. You won't be demoted just for not fulfilling any requirements for your current rank anymore.

After each promotion or demotion, all counters (points, won game types, bested opponents) are reset.

Scoring of games

How many points do I win or lose in a game?

Several criteria are used to calculate the points: Your placement within the game, your TrueSkill for that game type, the TrueSkill of your opponent(s) and the highest TrueSkill for that game.

Your TrueSkill MyTS is the TrueSkill as you see it in your player info but with a minimum level of 400 points such that we have the formula:
MyTs = Max(400; MyRealTS)

The TrueSkill of your opponents is calculated the same way. If there are several opponents, the average of their TrueSkills will be taken for the comparison.

The TrueSkill difference TsDiff is then MyTs - AvgOpponentTS. To soften extreme situations, the difference is limited to +800 and -800.

The last parameter is MaxTS which is the TrueSkill value for the best player for this game type. When a game is new, we have the situation that we don't have any or at least not any significant TrueSkill values for that game. This is why we take 1000 as minimum value for MaxTS. For new games, this minimum value is usually passed within a few days.

Points are then calculated with the following formulae

  • Won: Points = Max(10; 50 - TsDiff/TsMax*100)
  • Lost: Points = Min(-10; (-50 - TsDiff/TsMax*100) * 0.8)
  • Tie: Points = -TsDiff/TsMax*100

For two player games we are finished now. If there are more than two we have to weigh the points with the placement of the player. The weights are shown in the following table.

Number of players 1. position 2. position 3. position 4. position 5. position
3 +1 0 -1
4 +1 +0,4 -0,4 -1
5 +1 +0,4 0 -0,4 -1
The chat

How does the Main Chat work?

Pretty simple: you type your message and hit return or click on the symbol. But there is more to the chat than that. That’s why it has its own help section, symbolized by the question mark. The other button allows opening the chat in its own window.

How does the Game Chat work?

The same way as the Main Chat: type your message and hit return. The chat messages are returned to the server together with the move. Therefore you can add messages only on your turn.

Another hint: you can close the chat window by hitting “escape”.

With Games implemented using the new framework FW2, the game chat is part of the info panel.

Games listed in the 'Recently finished games' section of the overview page with yet unread chat messages, will be displayed with a red ID.


How do I report a malfunction?

Since is a private and free gaming portal, it is not always possible to test the games for every detail, often there is simply not enough time. You are encouraged to report malfunctions on the Discussion board! Please provide the following information:

  • Game number
  • Game type (e.g. Hazienda)
  • As precise a description as possible of the malfunction
  • Your browser and perhaps your operating system

It is not possible to correct malfunctions that are not reproducible. Please do your co-players and yourself a favor and report malfunctions as accurately as possible.

Inactive players

If a player has not visited for 60 days or more the system will mark him as inactive. This means that he is invisible to all other players even though the account is not deleted. Thus, he may return whenever he chooses and he also keeps his rank. But after this time his open games are closed, his invitations and all received messages deleted.

Can I automatically log my plays at

Yes, although it cannot be done completely automatically, you can do it by downloading your plays into a file and then upload this file at by using the YucataPlayLoggerForBGG. How this is exactly done is described on the website of this tool.

The new game window (FW2)

What's FW2?

Re-engineering the game window was done to ease implementing new games and provide better support for mobile devices. The game window in FW2 is now only 'dumb' interface, the actions themselves are executed on server side and the game window will only display the results.
All basic functions a game generally will need are now provided with this new framework, called FW2. FW2 games have a similar functionality and look-and-feel, shortly described in the following paragraphs.
First FW2 game was Helios going live in September 2015. 'Old' and 'new' games will co-exist on the platform. Porting an 'old' game to the new framework is equivalent to implementing it from scratch, so only a few games will be ported.

Where do I find...?

FW2 games come with an info panel containing sections for game log, chat, notes, game information, rules and settings. Those contents are organized in a tabbed view, just click on the according tab to open a section.
If the info panel is closed you may open it clicking on the according button in the title bar (the blue bar containing the name of the game). It will also open up, when you click on the black triangle in the middle of the grey bar on the right hand side.
To close the info panel just click on the black triangle in the middle of the grey bar on the left hand side of the info panel.

Game log

All FW2 games come with a game log allowing you to keep track of all actions in an ongoing or finished game. This section is the standard section opened in the info panel. If closed you may open it clicking the tab with the calendar icon.
Clicking on an entry in the game log will show the game's state belonging to this action. You may even start an 'animated' replay of the game. To do this just click the button . All actions will then be automatically replayed. Using the slider left to you may change the speed of the replay. The replay will either start with the marked action in game log if there is any or with the first action else.
Clicking the button will pause the replay, the button will only replay the next action, performing a 'Single-Step-Replay'. The button will stop replay and the view will return to the active game (or to game end, if the game is already finished). The button will replay all actions since the last own action, allowing a quick glance of the actions done by the other players.
If the info panel is closed, the buttons for replay will be displayed in the title bar. So you can start a 'fullsize' replay with closed info panel, too.

Game chat

Using the tab with the balloon will open the game chat. If the game chat is not visible, this tab will be colored in red when there are new messages. If the info panel is closed, this tab will appear as red button in the title bar.
If you are only visiting a game and not playing yourself, this tab is invisible, since the game chat is only accessible to the players of that game.

Game notes

Using the tab with the pen will open the game notes. Each player has his own notes only visible to himself, so you may leave your strategic considerations without any concern.
Similar to the tab for game chat, this tab is only visible for players of the game.

Game information

Using the tab with the 'i' will open a section with information about the game and the participating players.


Using the tab with the 3 lines will open the section with the game's rules. There you may re-read the rules having the game board at the side for better overview.
All FW2 games should have a section in the rules explaining the handling. Therefore a short glance to this section is often useful and may spare oneself enquiries.


Using the tab with the heart will open the section where you can set your preferences. There are some settings you will find for every game, but some are also game specific.
There are settings which are device dependent, i.e. no matter what's the username you are currently logged in you will get the same setting, if you are using the same device (and to be more accurate, the same browser on this device). So you can have different settings when playing on your desktop, smartphone or tablet. Please note that you will have to set those preferences for each device and each browser you are using.
One of these settings is the size of the game window. You won't have to explicitly save this setting. The game window will remember its size automatically for each device (and browser).

General settings:
These are settings valid for all FW2 games.

Use built-in alert for 'YourTurn' message: device dependent, default: off
If checked, the built-in alert of your browser will be used for the 'Your turn' and 'Your turn in another game' messages. Otherwise the usual popup dialog will be used.

Waiting time after finishing turn: device dependent, default: 1
This setting indicates the waiting time in seconds before you get a notification if you are on turn in another game after finishing your move.

Save window position: device dependent, default: unchecked
If checked, the window will open at the position it had most recently. To be more accurate, position is saved when you check this setting or when you resize the window. Merely moving the window don't fire an event, so it's not possible to save the setting automatically then. If not checked the browser will open the game window at a convenient position.

Adjust playing area to fit in window: device dependent, default: checked
If checked, the playing area will be sized to fit into the available space if possible. If unchecked all of the available width will be used to display the playing area and vertical scrollbar will appear if necessary.

Game settings:
These are settings valid for all games of this type, for example all LaIsla games.

Choose the color you want to play with in all of your games of that type.

Minimum window size: device dependent, default: mostly 600x480px (maybe changed by the developer)
You may choose the minimum size of your game window here. If the game window is actually smaller than those values you will get scrollbars allowing you to scroll inside the game window. This feature will enable you to play even on very small devices.

open info panel: device dependent, default: checked
If checked, the info panel will be visible when opening the game window.

Tabbed view: device dependent, default: unchecked (only available with games supporting tabbed view)
If the game has any elements supporting tabbed view you may set your preferred view here.

Replay speed: device dependent, default: 50
This number indicates the relative speed animations will be played during replay or (if supported by the game) during your moves. This playing speed may also be temporarily changed using the slider in the game log tab. But if the game is opened up again, the setting here will be used as default.

A game may have additional settings. Normally you will find an explanation for those settings in the section 'Hints for handling' in the game's rules.

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