Bridge Base Online Help

Robot Tournaments

What are Robot Tournaments?

Robot Tournaments are an exciting twist on the game of Bridge. Each table in a Robot Tournament consists of a single human player, sitting South, and three robot players sitting in the other three seats. In other words, if you play in one of our Robot Tournaments, your partner and your opponents will always be robots!

We offer four types of Robot Tournaments on BBO: Robot Reward Tournaments, Robot Race Tournaments, Robot Duplicate Tournaments and Robot Rebate Tournaments. BBO Points, a measure of your success as a player on our site, are awarded to the top finishers in all three types of Robot Tournaments.

There is another aspect of most of our Robot Tournaments that is different from the way bridge is usually played: the human player is always dealt the "best hand" at the table (defined as the hand with the most high card points). Always having a good hand makes bridge more exciting and fun for most players!

When you are playing in a Robot Tournament, your current score and ranking will be displayed at the bottom left of the bridge table display. The highest-ranking players and their scores will be displayed to the right of the bridge table. As such, you always know where you stand in one of our Robot Tournaments and this knowledge might have an impact on your strategy.

Human Declares or Classic Game

In the Human Declares game, the human player is switched into the North (Robot), seat whenever North is the declarer. The human player then declares the hand. When the hand is over, the human is switched back to his original seat. In the Classic game format, the human player remains in their seat.

Robot Reward Tournaments

In addition to the BBO Points that are offered in all of our Robot Tournaments, the "rewards" you can win in Robot Reward Tournaments are BB$ prizes. In any given Robot Reward Tournament, most of the BB$ entry fees collected go into a prize pool. When the tournament is over, the prize pool is distributed to the highest-ranking players. We currently run Robot Reward Tournaments with both $1 and $5 entry fees. The advantage of playing in our $5 Robot Reward Tournaments is the possibility of winning larger prizes.

Some of our $1 Robot Reward Tournaments are not run according to the "best hand" principle described above. These tournaments include the designation "Random Hands" in their title. As the name suggests, the hands that the human player are dealt in these tournaments are totally random, as opposed to the human always having the best hand at the table, as is the case in all of our other Robot Tournaments.

Like most Robot Tournaments, Robot Reward Tournaments last 25 minutes. These tournaments are not duplicate tournaments either in terms of the deals played at each table or the method of scoring. Scoring is done using Total Points. For example, if you bid and make a vulnerable 3NT, then 600 points will be added to your total. When the tournament ends, the player with the highest total wins.

In Robot Reward Tournaments each player can play as many (or as few), hands as he wants and is able to complete before the clock runs out. You will find that there are some interesting time management strategies in these tournaments that are not present in "normal" bridge games - in some situations it makes sense to play as quickly as possible whereas in other situations it makes sense to refuse to bid or play when it is your turn! This would not be allowed in a "normal" bridge tournament, but it is perfectly acceptable practice in our Robot Reward Tournaments.

Since BB$ prizes are awarded in Robot Reward Tournaments, it is natural for players to be concerned about cheating. However, it is impossible to cheat in these tournaments! Here's why:

There is no way for you to communicate with your partner - it's a robot!
East and West are robots, so, they have no desire to cheat. Why would they?
Each human is dealt a totally different set of hands, so, there is no possibility of collusion.
Kibitzing is disallowed for all Robot Tournaments.

Robot Race Tournaments

Robot Race Tournaments are similar in many ways to Robot Reward Tournaments. Here are the differences between these two types of Robot Tournaments:

BB$ prizes are not awarded in Robot Race Tournaments (they are in Robot Reward Tournaments)
The entry fees for Robot Race Tournaments are only 25 cents (compared to $1 or $5 in Robot Reward Tournaments)
The same deals are dealt at every table of a Robot Race Tournament (each table has its own unique set of deals in a Robot Reward Tournament)
All Robot Race Tournaments use the "best hand" format while some Robot Reward Tournaments use "random hands"

Robot Duplicate Tournaments

Like Robot Race Tournaments, the entry fee for Robot Duplicate Tournaments is only 29 cents. Robot Duplicate Tournaments are scored duplicate style, in both MP and IMP.

Another aspect of Robot Duplicate Tournaments that makes them different from Robot Reward and Robot Race Tournaments is, in Robot Duplicate Tournaments, you must finish playing all eight deals in the alloted time (30 minutes), in order to finish in the overall rankings and to win BBO Points if your ranking is sufficiently high.

Playing eight deals in 30 minutes may seem like a lot, but our robots tend to bid and play very quickly! Even if you tend to play bridge at a deliberate pace, you rate to have no trouble finishing all eight boards before the tournament ends.

Robot Rebate Tournaments

Robot Rebate Tournaments are similar to Robot Duplicate tournaments. The twist is this - if you score about 55% you get 150% of card fee as a prize. Just as with Robot Duplicate, you must finish all the deals in order to finish in the overall rankings.

What about abuse?

Our robots are quiet and polite. They may never thank you for a well played hand, but they will never yell at you for not making a contract. Interaction between the human opponents is not allowed so there is no chance of cross table abuse.

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