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Robot race strategies

#1 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2008-December-27, 05:25

What special strategies do you use in robot race tournaments (if you play them)? How fast do you play, i.e. how many hands do you typically get to finish in the 25 minutes?
Anything special to handle the GIBs? Do you watch the leaderboard a lot?
Disclaimer: this post is not intended to offend anyone who spews constant drivel. --PhilKing
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#2 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2008-December-27, 06:27

I usually get some 15 hands finished of which some three will be passouts.

I open very conservatively, especially nonvul.

I tend to overbid with about half an hcp.

I will often make crapshots as Richard calls it to save time. Also it is my impression that gib gets fooled in its defense by my undisciplined bidding.

I shouldn't waste time on the leaderboard but I do.
This discussion is a collection of peculiar ideas, to say the least. KenRexford
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#3 User is offline   mtvesuvius 

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Posted 2008-December-27, 07:30

I usually finish about 17 Boards in the Best Hand Robot Races...

I find that passing out a hand with 13 HCP is usually a good decision.
Do not open in 4th Seat with less than 15 HCP.
Overbid Games, underbid slams. Remember, +680 helps you alot.
I tend to unconciously watch the leaderboard, but it's a good idea just to play.
If you are leading, and you have a big minus score coming, just stop playing (Provided that there is less than 4 min left...)
Don't be afraid to take safety plays.
When opening in all seats, 14 HCP is a Minimum HCP opener usually.
GIB can get really excited with certain auctions, so be careful...
If you choose to open 6x, GIB will almost always raise to 7.


Hope this helps, AJK
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#4 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2008-December-28, 03:24

It sounds like both of you often pass with 13 hcp in 1st and second seat - is that right? While I understand this works well when it gets passed out, it can be a little tricky to catch up when partner opens - GIB might not pass your jump to 3N and remove with an unsuitable hand, there is no drury etc.

I kind of like GIB's slam bidding style btw, most of the slam auctions are mostly quantitative and natural (with help suit slam tries rather than cuebids).
Disclaimer: this post is not intended to offend anyone who spews constant drivel. --PhilKing
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#5 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2008-December-28, 03:26

Btw, I guess watching the leaderboard is a waste of concentration until about 5-6 mins are left, then it is obviously useful.
One of the most important strategies for me is "don't misclick", btw. I finish 15-17 hands in a tournament, seems to depend on my connection or the server load a bit. What helps a little is to simplify things for the defense as quickly as possible when you have your contract made - show the location of your honors etc - this speeds the GIBs up.
Disclaimer: this post is not intended to offend anyone who spews constant drivel. --PhilKing
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#6 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2008-December-28, 08:51

cherdano, on Dec 28 2008, 10:24 AM, said:

I kind of like GIB's slam bidding style btw, most of the slam auctions are mostly quantitative and natural (with help suit slam tries rather than cuebids).

Yes, agree.
This discussion is a collection of peculiar ideas, to say the least. KenRexford
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#7 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2008-December-29, 01:55

cherdano, on Dec 28 2008, 04:24 AM, said:

It sounds like both of you often pass with 13 hcp in 1st and second seat - is that right? While I understand this works well when it gets passed out, it can be a little tricky to catch up when partner opens - GIB might not pass your jump to 3N and remove with an unsuitable hand, there is no drury etc.

I frequently pass uninteresting 13 counts. If GIB N opens, I usually jump quickly to game. GIB is unlikely to get too excited, since it obviously has a minimum opening hand.

The annoying thing is when you pass a 12-13 count in 3rd seat, and EW manage to find a game on their shapely 11-opposite-11. But I've found that they're just as likely to do this even if you do open.

I definitely agree with the "don't misclick" recommendation. I completely destroyed myself a couple of days ago when I bid when I meant on 2 hands in a row. ;)

#8 User is offline   Apollo81 

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Posted 2009-January-13, 13:18

In the reward tourneys I usually pass any hand with less playing strength than a good balanced 15 count, most of these just waste time if partner cant open when you could be picking up a game or slam on a later board.

I think I usually finish in the 16-18 hands range, not counting the passouts.

I've heard anecdotally that opening XNT or 4M whenever halfway reasonable seems to be a decent strategy, but can't comment on that from personal experience.

The biggest problem I've noticed with GIB is that it doesn't act the way I expect when I double unless the double is a very, very clear situation. Don't expect it to interpret doubles better than an intermediate player would.
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#9 User is offline   jdonn 

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Posted 2009-January-13, 14:31

Wow slowpokes B) I have played a ton of these things, I vary greatly but rarely finish fewer than 20 hands (including passouts) and sometimes as many as 24. I once had 23 with no passouts. That's all on my desktop, on the laptop I usually get in about 2 fewer hands.

Anyway, here are my general strategies:

- I pass approximately any balanced 15 or less and open 16+, and I open about a point lighter than that with a long major suit. I think most people open WAY too many hands in these things but I don't, which is a main reason I do very well in them (and a reason I get so many hands in.) I'm a bit more likely to pass when not vul than when vul.
- If you pass an opening hand then partner opens, Gib will not pass you in a 1 level suit response (p p 1 p 1) but may pass you in a 2 level suit response (p p 1 p 2). Also he will not pass a forcing notrump in my experience, which is forcing even after he opens a major in third seat. So if you have passed an opening hand with a long minor and partner opens a major, respond 1NT not 2m.
- If partner opens a major suit and I have 3+ card support, my general strategy is bid game directly with up to 16, with 16+ to 18 bid jacoby 2NT and move over anything but a 4M rebid, and with 19 or more to bid blackwood. It's what I believe to be the best combination of saving time and accuracy.
- If you jump to a slam without blackwood (1 p 6), Gib will overrule you! If you bid blackwood for a suit then place it in 6NT, Gib will overrule you! So if you want to play a slam, bid blackwood even if you dont need to know the answer, and place it in the suit rather than notrump. Only place it in notrump directly over a notrump bid.
- If partner opens and you hold 4 in a (higher ranking) major and 5 in a minor and a minimum game force, respond in the major. Responding in the minor is a waste of time and likely to lead to Gib defending better.
- I highly recommend AGAINST stretching to open 2NT. Gib bids games extremely aggressively over 2NT, I have gotten terrible results from going out of my way to open it. The time saved is not worth it. And of course you don't stretch to open 1NT since that's a hand you should not be opening at all.
- If you balance (which is fine) and Gib makes an inconsistent jump to game as responder (1 p 2 p p X 4) do not double. Gib was underbidding the first time, not overbidding the second time. I promise.
- Be wary of reopening doubles if you do not want partner to pass. Partner Gib passes those on some pretty sick hands.
- When running suits in a situation where you would claim if you could, if you can think fast enough to do so, try to help defender Gibs get the count as soon as possible by playing each suit till someone shows out. He defends a LOT faster with a full count of the hand.
- In general I think the strategy of guessing to open 4M a lot is absolutely terrible. You would have to do so probably 5 times to save enough time to play another hand, and figure any given hand is a 200-250 point average. An increase in expected value of 40 to 50 points is not even close to enough to justify a lack of accuracy in game and slam bidding. And anyway the new version of Gib bids very quickly in familiar situations most of the time.
- Best hint of all: Don't forget to turn on autoplay singletons! Corrolary: When you go back to bridge with people, don't forget to turn it off!

Btw I think people are making too big of a deal out of the time it takes to check the leaderboard. It takes like one second, so if a Gib is tanking just take a peek, it can only help you.
"Ah, but what if you have poor/undeveloped bidding judgment and know it?!...then you better have a well-defined system."
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#10 User is offline   uday 

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Posted 2009-January-14, 08:40

The web version of bbo www.bridgebase.com shows the live leaderboard along the right side of the table.

#11 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2009-January-14, 13:37

I still don't know how Jdonn gets so many boards in. Even when GIB N is playing the hand it seems to take around a minute to play, not including the auction. I don't see how you can possibly average close to a board a minute. When I see 3 minutes left in the match and we're starting the auction, I know I'm on my last board. I'll probably be able to get started on another one, but it will almost never make it past trick 6. This is when i really wish we could claim, as I've occasionally blasted into an excellent game or slam on this board.

I got burned yesterday on the reopening double. It went 1M (2) P P X, and GIB passed with Jxxxx in the suit; they made an overtrick.

What's the thinking on game tries? GIB seems to accept at least 75% of the time, almost regardless of its holdings in the trial suit.

The weirdest thing about all this strategy is when you've been playing against the bots all afternoon, and then go off to the club for a real game. I have to remind myself that I can open 12 counts again. :)

#12 User is offline   jdonn 

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Posted 2009-January-14, 13:50

barmar, on Jan 14 2009, 02:37 PM, said:

I still don't know how Jdonn gets so many boards in.  Even when GIB N is playing the hand it seems to take around a minute to play, not including the auction.  I don't see how you can possibly average close to a board a minute.  When I see 3 minutes left in the match and we're starting the auction, I know I'm on my last board.

I'm not sure what to say. 23 with no passouts was definitely quite unusual, but I commonly get 18-20 not including passouts. I essentially take no extra time at all to play cards, I have a very fast autopilot. I have very rarely finished a board I started bidding with less than a minute left, but I have done it twice I believe (in both cases I opened 4M and it went all pass). As long as it clicks to the last minute no earlier than when the auction ends, I can generally get the hand in. As long as it's not a partscore, since Gib plays and defends partscores very slowly.

Probably part of why I get so many in is my minimum opener is very heavy, so a smaller percentage of the boards I play are partscores. Another thing I do is try to play so singletons are played by 3rd hand not 1st, since they play automatically. Every little bit helps.

Quote

What's the thinking on game tries?  GIB seems to accept at least 75% of the time, almost regardless of its holdings in the trial suit.

Yeah he does accept most. I stretch a little to bid game but still make the game tries when it's clearly all I'm worth.

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The weirdest thing about all this strategy is when you've been playing against the bots all afternoon, and then go off to the club for a real game.  I have to remind myself that I can open 12 counts again. :)

Lol 2 or 3 times I played with someone on BBO right after a tourney and without thinking passed an opening hand.
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#13 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2009-January-14, 14:58

I guess you must have inspired me, because I just did 18 boards with 3 passouts.

Annoyingly, I started my last board with 1 minute to go, I passed a 13 count, pd opened my 5-card minor, I jumped to game, which just needed a finesse after I won the opening lead, and then the match was called with about 3 tricks left to play, which would have pushed me from 3rd to 1st.

But there was one hand during the match where North was declaring and East thought for a good 10 second about which small card to follow suit with at one point. While I admit that I'm usually the bottleneck, I don't generally tank on spot cards like GIB does.

#14 User is offline   H_KARLUK 

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Posted 2009-January-14, 21:26

It may seem funny and i honestly speak that i want to be mistaken. Anyways I "feel" it is not only depends playing skills but also need a puter and fine connex that must together perform better than other contestants. In fact no big deal for me bcos i really like to play especially "1$ best hand" when i m in a good mood and "if" I am lucky finding time to play before or after ACBL pairs speed :) It is also another truth that I learnt many practical tips at table by Robo process. I mostly admired and I hope sometime software developers will fix some little final bugs, and add a claim button, lol.
The things guided me to think so are quite interesting. If you look out my previous posts abt the issue there one may see robos bid and played th same board with different bids and carding. I presented hand records with their numbers.
http://xkcd.com/1238/
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#15 User is offline   Dwingo 

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Posted 2009-January-15, 04:02

H_KARLUK, on Jan 15 2009, 08:56 AM, said:

I mostly admired and I hope sometime software developers will fix some little final bugs, and add a claim button, lol.

Some inputs based on my limited play in these Robot Race best hand tourneys

1) If your internet connection is not good, you will have very little chance of winning this. High Speed connection and a good computer will help you get through more deals in the given time, enhancing your chances

2) Maximize the No. of games and slams played and minimize the part score contracts.
I agree with the strategies mentioned by others to accomplish this. Never open a 12 pt hand in 4th position. You don't want to be wasting your time on part score battles.

3) If GIB can play the hand, it always plays the hand faster and better than you do. So if you can manoeuvre this, nothing like it.

4) If a Claim button is added to this tourney, it will change the Game totally. The strategy would then be to concede all Part score deals. Just concede 140 and go to the next deal, which may be a Game or Slam
Bridge Players do it with Finesse
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#16 User is offline   uday 

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Posted 2009-January-15, 09:50

To increase speed, I

1. disable animation
2. enable autoplay-singletons
3. Try to make gib declare ( it is faster than me)
4. Use the web version to avoid needing to mouse for the leaderboard
5. When declaring, try to arrange play so that autoplay-singletons helps

Less tested:

6. Dont open anything less than a strong NT white, slightly less nutty red. This has the side effect of protecting you from the robot's overbidding later (if there is a later!)
7. Dont compete when they open unless i can get P to declare
8. Use blackwood before all slams
9. Don't think. Play on autopilot


I don't think i do too well at robot reward, overall. So take that for what it is worth.

#17 User is offline   JLOL 

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Posted 2009-January-15, 17:42

uday, on Jan 15 2009, 10:50 AM, said:

I don't think i do too well at robot reward, overall. So take that for what it is worth.

Heh, if you weren't joking about GIB declaring faster than you then we know why :P
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#18 User is offline   Apollo81 

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Posted 2009-January-15, 18:39

jdonn, on Jan 13 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

- Best hint of all: Don't forget to turn on autoplay singletons! Corrolary: When you go back to bridge with people, don't forget to turn it off!

Thanks! I didn't think of this and it increased my number of hands by 4-8 per 25 minutes.
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#19 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2009-January-15, 19:05

All good stuff. To expand on what Josh said, go out of your way to play your side suits ahead of your long running suit. Don't sweat the overtricks, and don't sweat the play too much unless it really matters.

Tge GIBs don't seem to take the strange pushes to 7 anymore. Nor do they go bananas when you balance.

I've had some pretty funny auctions after passing 14's and 15's initially :P
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#20 User is offline   jdonn 

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Posted 2009-January-15, 19:25

Apollo81, on Jan 15 2009, 07:39 PM, said:

jdonn, on Jan 13 2009, 04:31 PM, said:

- Best hint of all: Don't forget to turn on autoplay singletons! Corrolary: When you go back to bridge with people, don't forget to turn it off!

Thanks! I didn't think of this and it increased my number of hands by 4-8 per 25 minutes.

Wow I'm shocked if it's that much lol. Just how slowly were you playing your singletons before?!?
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