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Beginners Intimidating

#1 User is offline   Allan3nt 

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Posted 2020-October-07, 01:45

Hi as a beginner (no partner) I find it difficult finding games which are at my standard. It’s intimidating getting dropped into main club and casual area as both have advanced players or tables tied. A beginner doesn’t want to ruin games either. They just need practice for the ideas they’ve picked up. What do other beginners feel. Any ideas out there??
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#2 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-07, 05:23

View PostAllan3nt, on 2020-October-07, 01:45, said:

Hi as a beginner (no partner) I find it difficult finding games which are at my standard. It’s intimidating getting dropped into main club and casual area as both have advanced players or tables tied. A beginner doesn’t want to ruin games either. They just need practice for the ideas they’ve picked up. What do other beginners feel. Any ideas out there??


Its frustrating at any level I think - its all very different to a nice casual relaxed social game around a table
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#3 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-October-07, 05:51

View PostAllan3nt, on 2020-October-07, 01:45, said:

Hi as a beginner (no partner) I find it difficult finding games which are at my standard. It’s intimidating getting dropped into main club and casual area as both have advanced players or tables tied. A beginner doesn’t want to ruin games either. They just need practice for the ideas they’ve picked up. What do other beginners feel. Any ideas out there??


Here are some suggestions -- although these depend on how much of a beginner you really are. If, for example, you have read some bridge books/articles and understand the basics of a bidding system (any bidding system), then I hope these are useful to you:

1. Within the Solitaire section of BBO, you will find different options (which will not cost you BB$s) to play bridge with robots. The robots are basic, their play standard is not very high but it is a very useful place to practice your cardplay, counting etc.

2. In the Practice section, you have Bridge Master. They have a combination of hands which are useful practice. These hands are unforgiving (i.e. if you make a mistake, the software will move defenders' cards around to defeat you). I found these very valuable to sharpen my skills.

3. When you are in the lobby, send out a public announcement that you intend to set up a BEGINNERS TABLE and would like other beginners to join in a casual/learners game. Hopefully you will soon have a bunch of BBO friends with whom you can regularly play without being judged harshly. However, note that unless all of you focus on improving your techniques, these sessions will not be helpful in the long run.

4. Join the BIL (Beginner/Intermediate Lounge) club. They have some tournaments, some teaching sessions and other activities.

5. Finally, if you can afford it, consider joining the Prime Club membership or spending BB$s on Robot tournaments.

Hope this helps.
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#4 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-08, 00:50

It's funny, the usual message that goes out in the lobby is along the lines of "looking for two experts please". I am not ctiquing the above advice at all but its a shame that to get a relaxed friendly game on this site you either have to play robots or pay extra for a club with hardly any tables open
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#5 User is offline   CeciD 

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Posted 2020-October-12, 12:57

View Postthepossum, on 2020-October-08, 00:50, said:

It's funny, the usual message that goes out in the lobby is along the lines of "looking for two experts please". I am not ctiquing the above advice at all but its a shame that to get a relaxed friendly game on this site you either have to play robots or pay extra for a club with hardly any tables open


Exactly! And for those of us on a very low budget, there doesn't seem to be a way to improve in bridge during the pandemic. Every once in awhile a teaching table doesn't hide chat from Kibitzers, and I will try to learn that way. I have borrowed books and read a lot, but often still get very discouraged playing on BBO.
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#6 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-October-12, 13:27

View PostCeciD, on 2020-October-12, 12:57, said:

Exactly! And for those of us on a very low budget, there doesn't seem to be a way to improve in bridge during the pandemic. Every once in awhile a teaching table doesn't hide chat from Kibitzers, and I will try to learn that way. I have borrowed books and read a lot, but often still get very discouraged playing on BBO.


Learing bridge has always been tough, but it is now less difficult than ever before.

Other important resources are reading the forums (even this one, particularly stuff written years ago) and watching vugraph. Plus tools like Bridge Solver that allow you to see how play failed / could have succeeded on a given layout.
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#7 User is offline   CeciD 

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Posted 2020-December-23, 10:48

View Postpescetom, on 2020-October-12, 13:27, said:

Learing bridge has always been tough, but it is now less difficult than ever before.

Other important resources are reading the forums (even this one, particularly stuff written years ago) and watching vugraph. Plus tools like Bridge Solver that allow you to see how play failed / could have succeeded on a given layout.



I googled "bridge solver" and a lot of different things came up. Which one are you referring to? Thought I'd check it out. Thanks for the tips.
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#8 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2020-December-23, 11:45

View PostCeciD, on 2020-December-23, 10:48, said:

I googled "bridge solver" and a lot of different things came up. Which one are you referring to? Thought I'd check it out. Thanks for the tips.


https://mirgo2.co.uk/bridgesolver/
the browser extension is quite useful when using chrome/chrome variants such as the newer Windows Edge; as you review bbo hands you can hit the button to analyze the hand in multiple contracts unlike with BBO's GIB which only analyzes the contract actually played.

Beginners, keep in mind when using double dummy solvers such as the above, that they only show you how to triumph *if you knew the location of all 52 cards*. This is often *not* the percentage way to play if you can only see the 26 cards you normally see while playing. E.g. double dummy you can play ace and pick up a singleton K offside. Or take a first round finesse for Jxxx onside. But these plays would hardly ever be justified on a single dummy basis. So try to calculate what the actual percentage line is, if the other hands where shuffled to some extent but still consistent with the bidding, for common splits and layouts, whether the double dummy line is the same as the single dummy line or not.

Post hand to this forum if you need help on how to analyze the best line.


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#9 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-December-27, 17:30

Bridge master is also good, at least the first two levels, for beginners. This can be done without a partner.

I second trying to get into the BIL.

My standard advice is to find *a* partner, and then play an open table for a while. Keep track of your opponents, if you find one of the right level and temperament, follow them and grow your "group". Some of those will think the same as you and you now have another partner. Playing in BIL club will self-select for people sort of at your level, which helps.
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
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#10 User is offline   rdylan 

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Posted 2021-February-26, 15:35

This may be a faux pas on a site about BBO, but I have found that trickstercards is much friendlier for beginner players. Their robots are not nearly as good as GIB, but they are free. The live players are all either beginners or have zero expectation that a random partner will be anything other than a beginner. It's rubber bridge, so you won't get duplicate comparisons, hand history or analysis. But if you just want to play, it is significantly less intimidating.

I've been using a mix of BBO and trickster for several months now, successfully balancing enjoyment and learning.
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