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Cure for Cheating

#1 User is offline   Wayne_LV 

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Posted 2018-August-22, 13:33

IMHO there is only one cure for online cheating (well most of it anyway). That is to create a spin off site under the BBO umbrella and charge an annual membership of $50.

A reasonable membership fee would discourage the habitual cheaters and attract the serious players that want to win, but only on skill not by cheating. Such a site would create additional revenue for BBO from players that cannot afford to spend $200 - $300 a month for 12 board tournaments at $1.25 a board but could afford an annual fee of $50. The software for such a site already exists on BBO and would require minimum modification.

Those that wish to play the occasional BBO tournament can always come back to the mother site and play there. The pay site would be geared mainly toward those that like a casual game of bridge but are discouraged by the constant table turnover and the growing number of cheats that play on the free BBO site.

I know that OK Bridge is a site already in operation that has an annual fee, but their fee is too high and their rating system stinks. Their interface does does not come close to that of BBO.

In the past 6 months I have discovered and reported a number of regular pairs that cheat and a review of boards and averages in excess of 1 IMP per board over 1000's of boards indicates blatant cheating by any number of methods that are commonly known. I have seen none of those that I have reported vanish from the BBO scene.

I wish BBO would conduct a survey to see the level of interest in such a pay site. I think it would be very surprising.
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#2 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2018-August-22, 14:16

I'm sensitive to the problem, but skeptical of the proposed solution.
We are in an age where appearance counts more than substance, at least in popular culture.
People are prepared to pay thousands of dollars to make their body look better on instagram, or to dope and win at sports...
why should a reasonable entry fee discourage cheats?
If anything it might do the contrary.
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#3 User is offline   DozyDom 

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Posted 2018-August-22, 16:03

I fail to see why a charge would be more discouraging to cheats than to other players.
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#4 User is offline   Wayne_LV 

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Posted 2018-August-22, 17:26

View Postpescetom, on 2018-August-22, 14:16, said:

I'm sensitive to the problem, but skeptical of the proposed solution.
We are in an age where appearance counts more than substance, at least in popular culture.
People are prepared to pay thousands of dollars to make their body look better on instagram, or to dope and win at sports...
why should a reasonable entry fee discourage cheats?
If anything it might do the contrary.


I am not suggesting an entry fee for every game. My suggestion is a membership fee in a private online bridge club..
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#5 User is offline   Wayne_LV 

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Posted 2018-August-22, 17:29

View PostDozyDom, on 2018-August-22, 16:03, said:

I fail to see why a charge would be more discouraging to cheats than to other players.


Who knows what human nature really is these days. I would like to think the cheats would stay on the free BBO website where there are a lot more "victims" and refrain from paying hard cold cash to destroy the game for serious players.
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#6 User is offline   Wayne_LV 

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Posted 2018-August-22, 18:56

View PostDozyDom, on 2018-August-22, 16:03, said:

I fail to see why a charge would be more discouraging to cheats than to other players.


I am not suggesting a change to the now active BBO site. I am suggesting the creation of a new site that uses the same programs for dealing and scoring the hands, that is a pay site for a reasonable annual fee that would attract more serious players and discourage cheats, novices, and players that cannot stay at the same table for more than 2 deals. Wow my English teacher would give me hell for that run on sentence :).





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#7 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2018-August-23, 07:15

View PostDozyDom, on 2018-August-22, 16:03, said:

I fail to see why a charge would be more discouraging to cheats than to other players.


Because most cheats on BBO do so because BBO is totally anonymous and if a cheat is caught, all they need to do is create another user account and they are playing within seconds of getting thrown out for cheating on their previous account. Or maybe they have lined up a bunch of ID's in advance, so they just switch to the next ID when caught cheating.

If you had to forfeit your membership fee for cheating, that would eliminate 98% of cheaters IMHO. Also, you need to pay your membership fee to BBO, so BBO could require some form of ID. That would shine a light on miscreants who cheat because their names would be known to BBO, who could forward names to their national organizations. Suddenly, cheating wouldn't be a no cost misadventure.
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#8 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2018-August-23, 08:35

Providing a free service was one of the founding principles of BBO. The purpose of the site is primarily to keep the game alive by attracting as many players as possible, and find a way to make some money in the process.

#9 User is offline   Wayne_LV 

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Posted 2018-August-23, 10:48

View Postbarmar, on 2018-August-23, 08:35, said:

Providing a free service was one of the founding principles of BBO. The purpose of the site is primarily to keep the game alive by attracting as many players as possible, and find a way to make some money in the process.


My suggestion is not to abandon the founding principles of BBO. Keep BBO as it currently is, in every way.

My suggestion is to use the BBO technology to create another bridge site that is strictly devoted to traditional bridge for serious players. No advertisements.

Using existing programming, I doubt it would take more than a few man weeks to modify the code and have a site up and running. A cost that I think could easily be recovered within 3 months of opening the new site and accepting members. In addition to revenue from players (like me) that rarely spend a dime on BBO, I predict you would see a lot of players coming from OKBridge for the superior interface and to escape the Lehman rating system.

Only one name per player should be allowed with general systems information required on the profile and an ACBL convention card available, same as currently on BBO. The user name should be the real name, but not openly displayed. Only the name on the profile would be seen by others. Profiles should contain at least general system description, such as "SAYC", "2 over 1", "Forcing 1C", etc. The name shown on the profile could be changed at anytime, but players can play only under one name, no multiple player names.

MyHand records should be available for this site in same format as currently used on BBO.

Use another site name and URL, but limit access to paying members for a suggested annual fee of $50. I cannot see how this would lessen BBO's revenue one iota, in fact it should increase the revenue for those that own the BBO franchise.

This new site would give serious online bridge players a place to play in club games,12 board tournaments (non ACBL), and team matches, with a dramatically reduced amount of turnover, joke bids, and hopefully less cheating.

BBO members can always come back to BBO for games that are not offered on the new site, such as ACBL tournaments (which could also be offered on the new site), and to keep in touch with old friends (many of us go back to the days of MS Zone bridge).

Practice and teaching tools on BBO are excellent and should be included on the new site (another cut and paste programming effort).

On the new site, players proven to be cheating or overtly abusing other players can be banned, only now they cannot just create another user name and continue their frivolous ways. Now to get back into the new site would require the payment of ANOTHER annual fee using another name on the account -- a step I doubt many would repeat.
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#10 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2018-August-23, 11:30

View PostWayne_LV, on 2018-August-23, 10:48, said:


Using existing programming, I doubt it would take more than a few man weeks to modify the code and have a site up and running. A cost that I think could easily be recovered within 3 months of opening the new site and accepting members. In addition to revenue from players (like me) that rarely spend a dime on BBO, I predict you would see a lot of players coming from OKBridge for the superior interface and to escape the Lehman rating system.


Do you honestly think that the interface on BBO is better than OKBridge?

I donít really think people want to ďescapeĒ the Lehman rating system, considering the number of people who would like to see a similar one implemented on BBO. And you can always hide your rating.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#11 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2018-August-23, 13:06

This suggestion is...hopelessly naive. Players have cheated at the highest, world championship levels. $50 is nothing, even to most club players.
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#12 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2018-August-24, 07:47

View Postbarmar, on 2018-August-23, 08:35, said:

Providing a free service was one of the founding principles of BBO. The purpose of the site is primarily to keep the game alive by attracting as many players as possible, and find a way to make some money in the process.


While providing free playing is great, it's hard to scale up profits when customer's don't pay anything. In any case, there are all sorts of paid robot games, ACBL robot games, ACBL live player games where people pay for a service.

You don't have to take away the free service, just add a premium service which coincidentally also provides an income stream to BBO.
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#13 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2018-August-24, 07:59

View PostVampyr, on 2018-August-23, 11:30, said:

Do you honestly think that the interface on BBO is better than OKBridge?


I thought the BBO windows versions was great. The web version (old and current beta version) doesn't even follow the laws of bridge in displaying dummy.
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#14 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2018-August-25, 20:19

View PostWayne_LV, on 2018-August-23, 10:48, said:

My suggestion is not to abandon the founding principles of BBO. Keep BBO as it currently is, in every way.

My suggestion is to use the BBO technology to create another bridge site that is strictly devoted to traditional bridge for serious players. No advertisements.

I understand what you're suggesting. My point is that segregating BBO into the "good site" (everyone pays, hopefully curbing cheating) and the "bad site" is a bad idea.

What about all the people who like kibitzing? If the good players go over to the pay site, they'll have to pay to watch them.

#15 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2018-August-26, 00:17

View PostTylerE, on 2018-August-23, 13:06, said:

This suggestion is...hopelessly naive. Players have cheated at the highest, world championship levels. $50 is nothing, even to most club players.


I think that the OPís point is that with credit card purchases you have to give a name and a billing address.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#16 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2018-August-26, 13:56

View PostVampyr, on 2018-August-26, 00:17, said:

I think that the OPís point is that with credit card purchases you have to give a name and a billing address.

I've never tested whether our credit card processor actually checks whether these match what's on the card.

You might think that we could just prohibit different accounts from using the same credit card. But this would block spouses who share a card, or parents paying for their children.

#17 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2018-August-26, 20:13

View Postbarmar, on 2018-August-25, 20:19, said:

What about all the people who like kibitzing? If the good players go over to the pay site, they'll have to pay to watch them.


It might take a smallish amount of programming, but you could let spectators kibitz without paying anything. They would only have to pay if they wanted to play at the pay site.
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#18 User is offline   0 carbon 

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Posted 2018-November-04, 13:00

View PostDozyDom, on 2018-August-22, 16:03, said:

I fail to see why a charge would be more discouraging to cheats than to other players.

Cheats using 2 IDs would have to pay 2x as much.But a pair of cheats using Skype/phone/... would be less affected.

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#19 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2018-November-05, 16:27

View Postjohnu, on 2018-August-23, 07:15, said:

Because most cheats on BBO do so because BBO is totally anonymous and if a cheat is caught, all they need to do is create another user account and they are playing within seconds of getting thrown out for cheating on their previous account. Or maybe they have lined up a bunch of ID's in advance, so they just switch to the next ID when caught cheating.


IMO, JohnU's illuminating insight suggests a way of reducing bad behaviour, including cheating.

Suppose that players applying for BBO-membership had the option of registering with their real-name, verified in some way. (For example NBO#. Thus, I could give my SBU# or ACBL#, which BBO could check on the appropriate website. The software could check that no other a/c -- past or present -- claimed the same NBO#).

Table-bosses/Tournament-organizers would have the opportunity to restrict entries to verified users.

Not a panacea but, arguably, an improvement.
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#20 User is offline   0 carbon 

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Posted 2018-November-05, 17:00

Cheaters play/bid absurdly well and not based on their own cards.  Monthly history is usually above 60%.. Cheaters do better defending than declaring. Check successful defence for psychic plays. Check 80-100% slam successes for odd bidding.
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