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masking hesitations

#1 User is offline   oldboltoni 

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Posted 2020-November-25, 18:28

what if each player only gets to see the three previous bids only when it's their turn, instead of the current setup of seeing each bid as it appears. It might help to reduce awkwardness around hesitations to a degree.
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#2 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2020-November-26, 08:56

Or two at a time?
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#3 User is offline   morecharac 

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Posted 2020-November-27, 10:59

That would slow down auctions for some of us.

My computer can be slow to show what's happened. (This happens a lot)

My connection can be uneven.

I use the time between my bid and partner's bid appearing to think about possible rebids.

I know that any other player can also be hobbled by the same issues.

If my partner is noticeably slow I know that there's a decent chance she's typing the explanation of an Alert.

Lastly, I've got Aspergers. My mind wanders off so badly that I actually put it near the top of my profile. Waiting for two or three bids to appear when my mind's perambulating would make anyone else think BBO is having some serious software issues.
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#4 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-November-28, 13:59

View Postmorecharac, on 2020-November-27, 10:59, said:

That would slow down auctions for some of us.

Is that really more important than having a clean auction?

View Postmorecharac, on 2020-November-27, 10:59, said:

If my partner is noticeably slow I know that there's a decent chance she's typing the explanation of an Alert.

Or you know something else that can only cause you problems.

Hiding the timing of three calls might be excessively slow/frustrating for the lowest levels of play, but I think it makes sense as a way to improve the game at higher levels.
Masking single call times with a minimum + random delay when unusually fast might also be useful.
All things the future electronic play laws have to regulate.
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#5 User is offline   morecharac 

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Posted 2020-November-28, 16:19

View Postpescetom, on 2020-November-28, 13:59, said:

Is that really more important than having a clean auction?

What is a "clean auction"? One that's quick or one that lacks hesitations?

If incomplete boards rise significantly then the cure is worse than the disease.

View Postpescetom, on 2020-November-28, 13:59, said:

Or you know something else that can only cause you problems.

Maybe for some people. My connection is so inconsistent that there are a lot of possible causes for apparent hesitations.

View Postpescetom, on 2020-November-28, 13:59, said:

Hiding the timing of three calls might be excessively slow/frustrating for the lowest levels of play, but I think it makes sense as a way to improve the game at higher levels.
Masking single call times with a minimum + random delay when unusually fast might also be useful.
All things the future electronic play laws have to regulate.

And so we run into the age-old catering to the high-level players at the expense of us lowly peons, who greatly outnumber the masters. (Bitterness due to former club manager who would cancel games because all his buddies were going to the same out-of-town event.)

If you can come up with a system that allows such masking for players good enough to fly through their auctions yet doesn't cripple those of us who actually need to think about the information we've received solely from the bidding, then good, let's implement that.

One of the better players at my home club has a simple system - he counts to ten before making a call, even when it's the only plausible call with his hand. Better than nothing and a decent idea to mask when a player has a bust hand but snowballing with longer auctions when players have gone into control cuebids. And Precision? Is there enough Yiddish in the world? (Such a wonderful language for expressing dismay.)

There is no good solution. There are solutions that do more damage than the problem they seek to cure and three bids appearing at once is one of them.
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#6 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-November-29, 16:19

View Postmorecharac, on 2020-November-28, 16:19, said:

What is a "clean auction"? One that's quick or one that lacks hesitations?
If incomplete boards rise significantly then the cure is worse than the disease.

One where players have no UI from partner and correct explanation of agreements from opponents.
BBO's awkward choice between unclocked and incomplete boards for slow tables is unfortunate, but not unsurmountable for a diligent TD.
I far prefer to fix an incomplete board.

View Postmorecharac, on 2020-November-28, 16:19, said:

And so we run into the age-old catering to the high-level players at the expense of us lowly peons, who greatly outnumber the masters. (Bitterness due to former club manager who would cancel games because all his buddies were going to the same out-of-town event.)

If you can come up with a system that allows such masking for players good enough to fly through their auctions yet doesn't cripple those of us who actually need to think about the information we've received solely from the bidding, then good, let's implement that.

There is no good solution. There are solutions that do more damage than the problem they seek to cure and three bids appearing at once is one of them.

Catering to high-level players at the expense of others? Never from me.
Yes it would be possible to do some masking and still allow players to think for a reasonable time.
Masking can work to the advantage of slower players, not against them, making them more compatible with faster players.
There is always a good solution.
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#7 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-November-29, 19:18

View Postpescetom, on 2020-November-29, 16:19, said:

Catering to high-level players at the expense of others? Never from me.
Yes it would be possible to do some masking and still allow players to think for a reasonable time.
Masking can work to the advantage of slower players, not against them, making them more compatible with faster players.
There is always a good solution.


High-level players will often have more to think about than less able players. And each call bring made increases the things they have to think about. Not being able to think about the implications of each call as it is made will massively slow down the game for all players at all levels.
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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#8 User is offline   oldboltoni 

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Posted 2020-December-04, 06:33

IN SUMMARY

- there are pros and cons
- there is an inference that partner may be alerting when there is pause, which is another reason to do some level of masking.
- there is a suggestion to show two bids at a time (which is closer to the use of screens in 'material' bridge)
- there is a suggestion to have a blanket delay of 10s.

I do not see the value for being able to bid instantly. That's tantamount to UI per se.

So what about a delay (maybe 7 or 8s if 10 is too long), to remove the instant bid.
and showing two bids at a time. That slows up the thinking process less than 3-at-a-time

While we are at it let's add a shorter delay in the card play too, say 3-5s.
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#9 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-December-04, 07:28

View Postoldboltoni, on 2020-December-04, 06:33, said:

IN SUMMARY

- there are pros and cons
- there is an inference that partner may be alerting when there is pause, which is another reason to do some level of masking.
- there is a suggestion to show two bids at a time (which is closer to the use of screens in 'material' bridge)
- there is a suggestion to have a blanket delay of 10s.

I do not see the value for being able to bid instantly. That's tantamount to UI per se.

So what about a delay (maybe 7 or 8s if 10 is too long), to remove the instant bid.
and showing two bids at a time. That slows up the thinking process less than 3-at-a-time

While we are at it let's add a shorter delay in the card play too, say 3-5s.


You omitted that there is also a suggestion to randomise many delays.

Yes I agree that different levels of play suggest different combinations of delay mechanisms and you suggest one profile that is reasonable.
More in general, I think the online laws should oblige certain mechanisms to be available to organisers and (after due experimentation) mandate certain profiles of use of these mechanisms for certain levels of competition.
It's also worth noting that some advanced players often self-delay to avoid transmitting UI with an insta-bid, recovering this time would partially offset artificial delays.
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#10 User is offline   morecharac 

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Posted 2020-December-06, 22:12

A minimum time for a bid to appear seems reasonable, so long as it actually is reasonable given the auction. It's very easy to think of auctions where anything but near-instant passes would give UI - e.g. one side opens 2C and has reached the 5 level, anything but near-instant passes from the other side would carry danger of UI. If you're in the realm of the Delayed Alert,* how often are both sides bidding?

While we're at it, maybe we could force the Explanation window to pop up before there's been time to bid.

There seems to be a definite lag there, as the auction advances past the person who obviously asked for the explanation, waited a reasonable time for it, then given up and bid, all before the window ever pops up for me to answer.

* Do Delayed Alerts even apply in BBO? For those unfamiliar, they kick in above 3NT, starting no earlier than the opener's first rebid, and in F2F duplicate are Alerted after the Auction has finished but before the opening lead is selected.
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#11 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-December-06, 22:41

View Postmorecharac, on 2020-December-06, 22:12, said:

* Do Delayed Alerts even apply in BBO? For those unfamiliar, they kick in above 3NT, starting no earlier than the opener's first rebid, and in F2F duplicate are Alerted after the Auction has finished but before the opening lead is selected.


Do Delayed Alerts apply anywhere? Sometimes we will give a summary of our bids before the opening lead, but this is a courtesy, not part of some alerting system.
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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#12 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-December-07, 09:27

Answer: Delayed Alerts (ACBL) are never used with Screens (by ACBL regulation) and by inference do not apply to self-Alerting (as in BBO) because the whole point is that those "alerts" are frequently of more use to partner than the opponents. But since partner doesn't see them...There's a [edit: released] "Appendix O" for online play, where this is made explicit.

And I love the insularity of the world. It's not surprising that someone with 10 posts hasn't seen a world outside the ACBL. It is surprising that someone that has been in this forum for nearly its entire time hadn't heard about a 30-year-old regulation (which, granted, she's never had to care about).

For the ACBLers among us - if you had never heard of Delayed Alerts or didn't know how they worked, get ready to learn. The coming Alert Procedure does two things that will mean that *everybody* will be DAing as a matter of course:
  • "Normal" Blackwood and Gerber are still not Alertable - but the responses are (and, by definition, unless over an *opening* 4NT call, Delayed).
  • Control cue-bids are Delayed Alerts, even if below 3NT.


Which, to me, seems like a velvet glove over iron fist "request" to be "courteous", in Vampyr's ("actively Ethical", in the ACBL's current (and my)) terms. And one I'm all for.
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#13 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-December-07, 09:53

Folks might find the following of interest

https://www.dropbox....alysis.pdf?dl=0
Alderaan delenda est
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#14 User is offline   morecharac 

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Posted 2020-December-07, 11:58

View Postmycroft, on 2020-December-07, 09:27, said:

For the ACBLers among us - if you had never heard of Delayed Alerts or didn't know how they worked, get ready to learn. The coming Alert Procedure does two things that will mean that *everybody* will be DAing as a matter of course:
  • "Normal" Blackwood and Gerber are still not Alertable - but the responses are (and, by definition, unless over an *opening* 4NT call, Delayed).
  • Control cue-bids are Delayed Alerts, even if below 3NT.



I wondered if there was an update coming.

Hope they don't remove the Alert on support doubles/redoubles because they're still not used by a lot of players.

But then I know a fair number of other players who don't use Reverses and ACBL told me I have to Alert when bids that look like Reverses occur rather than Pre-Alerting that we don't play them at all, so sensible doesn't always enter into it.

Ooops, subject creep.
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#15 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-December-07, 14:17

More creep:

I was an unofficial reviewer of the document, so I've seen it in its (close to) final form as submitted to the BoD. Edit: It's been approved, and in force January 1, 2020. It was close to the final form.

You are going to be disappointed about the support doubles. While many do not play it any more, it is assumed that enough will know that it's possible and should be checked. In fact current guidelines are to be "no double is Alertable starting with opener's rebid" (unless it meets the "notwithstanding clause" that doubles that are anti-lead-directing or lead-directing for other than the bid suit, are always Alerted). People will learn this, the way they learned that some players don't play 1-X-2-X as penalty, and if you don't know, you should ask, back in 1990 (the last time the ACBL changed the Alert Procedure).
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