Thursday, December 31, 2009

BBO Robot Races (bridge)

It all started with me reading JLW, and MOJO and Ashton off of JLW's links. They were talking about playing the robot matchpoint duplicates, and given that I'm on another poker hiatus, I decided to play some. I didn't get to play the ACBL 12-board ones, but played a good number of the 8-board ones that go off very frequently. When my BB$ balance started getting low, I decided to play some robot races which would actually pay out BB$. That was the start of ... something.

The robot races are amusing enough for me and with the fast pace, feed into my ADHD perfectly. I've built my BB$ bankroll from 2 to about 26 over the course of 2 days. I pretty much followed the basic strategy that JL mentioned on his blog (which he no longer updates), and after enough games, made some tweaks that I feel work really well. One of the things that I noticed was that because of the speed level of the GIBs in the races, they are very very very bad. Significantly worse than the ones that play in the matchpoint duplicates.

Some of their tendencies include almost always covering an honor with an honor (the old Zia Bols tip), switching suits against your notrump contracts even though you're wide open, rarely ducking, and rarely underleading an A or K in the middle of the hand.

So if you're interested in playing against the GIBS for bridge purposes, I would avoid these. Even if you stumble into some interesting play contracts, your aim is speed and the defense you receive will be poor. If you just want to do a lot of clicking, toss some virtual cards, and enjoy constantly playing hand after hand, then these might be for you. My full strategy really takes out a lot of what people consider to be fun at bridge, so I won't share all of it. I will say that to succeed at a high rate, you have to know when to bash slams and in general how GIB reacts to jumps in different situations.

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