Bridge Base Online Help

The Third Opponent

When you play Money Bridge on Bridge Base Online (BBO) your partner will always be a robot. A significant factor in your success as a Money Bridge player will involve you learning how to get the best out of your robot partner. Here are some tips that should help:

- Our robot players use a relatively simple version of a basic Standard American 2/1 bidding system. That being said, it is the case that the way our robots "understand" certain bids may not seem "standard" to you. Bidding misunderstandings with a robot partner can be costly so do what you can to avoid them!

- You can greatly decrease the chances of having a bidding misunderstanding with your robot partner by examining how the robot will interpret your bid BEFORE you actually make it. This can be accomplished by moving your mouse over the appropriate button(s) in the bidding box - whenever the robot "understands" a particular bid you are considering, an explanation of that bid will be displayed on the screen. If you disagree with a bid explanation, keep in mind your robot partner is still going to believe that explanation and act accordingly.

- Learning how to take advantage of the strengths and weaknesses of the robots will help your results in Money Bridge. Please review the GIB System notes and familiarize yourself with these notes.

- Robot bridge-players, like humans, find some bridge problems easier than others. Also, like humans, robots tend to spend more time "thinking" when they are faced with what they "think" is a difficult bridge problem. It is the case, however, that a given bridge problem that would be easy for a human is often difficult for a robot (and vice versa). As such, it is dangerous to draw inferences based on the amount of time that a robot took to come up with a given bid or play.

- Overall the robots play a reasonable game of bridge, but they definitely have their strengths and weaknesses. The more you play with and against the robots, the more you will learn about how to exploit the strengths of your robot partner while exploiting the weaknesses of your human opponent's robot partner. You may want to consider a subscription to the robots and spend some time practicing with the robots when you are not playing money bridge. Our help files have a section which describes the process of obtaining a subscription.

- Partnership-related aspects of defense (for example, leading partner's suit, returning partner's suit, signaling properly, interpreting partner's signals properly, etc.), are among the robots' weaknesses. On some hands you will do better to take control of the defense yourself rather than relying on your robot partner to cooperate.

- The robots, like all human players, are very capable of making costly mistakes. If you play a lot of Money Bridge on BBO it is only a matter of time before a poor bid or play by your robot partner costs you some money. For example, perhaps your robot partner will one day make a stupid bid thereby turning +800 into -800. It is natural to feel frustrated when this happens to you.

- Our most successful Money Bridge players have learned to control their frustration with robot partners and just go on to the next hand. It is easier to do this if you keep in mind that your human opponent is stuck with the exact same robot partner as you are. You will therefore benefit just as often from his robot partner's mistakes as you will lose when your robot partner makes mistakes. This makes Money Bridge on BBO a very fair game - in the long run robot mistakes will cancel out and the most skilled humans will be the ones that win. Besides that, being frustrated does not rate to be good for your bridge performance on future hands!

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