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Playing against robots On the phone

#1 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2021-September-06, 12:23

Hi. If I am helping a beginner, is it OK to talk on the phone if we are only playing against robots?
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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#2 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-September-06, 18:05

When are you "only playing against robots"?
Not that long ago, I was invited to join a group of players who were playing challenge format tournaments on BBO.
One of the players ran a Twitch.TV channel.
The tournaments typically involve all players paying between $0.29 and $0.50 and competing for masterpoints.
Every player plays the same hand as the other players with robots starting East, West and South.
Each tournament took about 30 minutes to complete.

The Twitch commentator was in the same room as their spouse.
During the play of the hand, I watched the progress of the commentator - who was discussing each hand with other players.


I didn't think it took very much integrity to realise the possibilities for cheating.
But the operator was under the impression that the activity was 'educational' and a bit of 'fun'. This illusion was enhanced because if their channel became more popular, they would make money from it.

Wikipedia talks about this form of behaviour in their entry on Cheating in online games: in https://en.wikipedia...n_online_games.
They call it 'look-ahead cheating.'

Quote

Look-ahead cheating is a method of cheating within a peer-to-peer multiplayer gaming architecture where the cheating client gains an unfair advantage by delaying their actions to see what other players do before announcing its own action.

I call it 'past-posting' in reference to the George Roy Hill film: The Sting. A technique that is also used IRL https://www.youtube....l=MarionPortman

This is not the form of behaviour that you describe.
I think that assisting a weaker player in succeeding by transferring knowledge to them that they would not otherwise have access to could be described as 'twinking': https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twinking

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Twinking is the act of transferring gear intended for higher level characters to lower level characters that would be incapable of obtaining the gear on their own. Twinked characters have a huge advantage over untwinked characters, as well as the rest of the game world.


To decide whether or not a behaviour is cheating, I would apply the harm principle.
Ask the question: Does the behaviour cause harm/damage to other players?
If you are playing with a friend and you tell them something that they are not aware of AND your action results in a better outcome (score), then the other players were harmed by definition.
If you are playing on a practice table where the result is not compared with others, it is impossible to cause harm.
If you are taking advantage of a quirk in the system that any other player has equal access to, you are not causing harm. This last point is how the stock market works - if you have information that others do not have access to, you are guilty of insider trading.

I like playing with robots as opposition. I find that it enhances my bidding and playing skills because the robots cannot cheat.
In the end, I get to compare what I did to others doing the same thing.
But, I don't forget that I am playing against people.

The motto of the CFMEU - a somewhat socialist society is "Touch one, touch all". Urban guerillas made a song about it - https://www.youtube....annel=Guerillas
Primum non nocere.


non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#3 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2021-September-09, 17:09

Practice table — thanks for the idea; it is perfect. Playing in the casual area also does not harm anyone, I guess, but it ban be helpful for my friend sometimes to see the whole hand.
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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