Luise Lee

The advantages of playing with robots…

In some ways, its nice that bridge is a 4 player game.  It can be an enjoyable social evening (provided, of course, that you enjoy spending time with the other three players).  However, I am finding that in my quest to become a “BRIDGE PLAYER”, (as apposed to just a “bridge player”…  Judy understands what I mean :), the fact that I am limited in my learning by not having a regular bridge partner to play with is becoming increasingly evident.  It’s nice that Linda offers to play with me when we are both online and available for an hour or so, but there are many, many other times when our schedules just don’t seem to mesh very well.  I have started to realize the many, many benefits of renting a robot as a bridge partner.  Here are my top 8:

8)  Robots are FAST!  I never have to sit around and wait for someone else’s thinking process to complete

7)  Robots will never, ever complain when **I** stop to think for a minute about a challenging (IMO) hand!

6)  Playing with robots is wild and unpredictable (therefore, fun!) — you never know when they are going to go completely crazy, have a few screws loose and bid a grand slam and go down 5 or 6 tricks 🙂

5)  Robots are always available when you want to play

4)  Robots don’t care when you have to get up walk away in the middle of the hand because your two-year-old comes to your desk covered head-to-toe in her Daddy’s shaving cream!

3)  Robots don’t leave in the middle of a hand when they get a bad result, or when their partner makes a really stupid and outrageous bid.

2)  Robots are easy to beat…  When you are still just learning the game, it’s refreshing to see a + on your side of the IMPs rather than a very, very big negative number.

And my #1 favourite reason for playing with robots:

1) Robots will never, ever notice your mistakes! They don’t remember, and you will never have to explain your line of reasoning (however flawed) with robots when your logic falls short of perfection.


Judy Kay-WolffMay 13th, 2009 at 7:44 pm


Very few are blessed with the god-given power of being a born BRIDGE PLAYER. Some people are “naturals” and just get better and better with experience and the advantages of being mentored by some of the established icons who help them along the way. There are many world famous successful business men and women who adore the game and settle for the pure enjoyment of playing — recognizing their limited abilities — and participate merely for the fun of the challenge.

Being married to two Hall of Famers, I was always on the outside looking in* — but it is uncanny how much sophisticated knowledge I attained by eavesdropping on Norman and Edgar during their post mortems. I often amaze Bobby with my familliarity with card combinations and safety plays. (*My dear friend Larry Cohen commented, after Bobby and I got married — something to the effect that once again I will have to settle for being the second best bridge player in my family).

There were countless treasured advantages of watching the big boys in action! Most people never get to realize and accept the great disparity between bridge and BRIDGE. My close exposure to top flight bridge was a true blessing that I wouldn’t have traded in for the world — but no denying it is a leveling experience and takes a tremendous negative impact on one’s ego.

However, Luise, with your resourcefulness, obvious intelligence and determination (when your children grow up and the shaving cream episodes disappear) — I have not only high hopes but confidence you are going to acquire the expertise which now appears so far off in the future. Hang on, kid! It’s really worth the effort — robots or no robots!

Sally SparrowMay 15th, 2009 at 9:06 am

In my limited experience playing online with robots, I miss the “typ” and “glp” you get from a real partner. And the “wdp” if you make it and “nice try partner” if you don’t. I am in the same boat as you (though not nearly as advanced) – I don’t have a regular partner with whom I can play, but I often play with my mother (which is great, she teaches me as we play!) or one of her students. Perhaps we can get together and play sometime? Against robots?

Luise LeeMay 15th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

I’d love to 🙂 What’s your BBO name? I’ll add you to my friends list.

[…] liked or found interesting.  For example there is a blog by Master Point Press’ Luise Lee About the advantage of playing with robots and a description of Precision 8  by Kevin […]

Leave a comment

Your comment