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Advice on Playing online Phila. area beginner ready to take the next step

#1 User is offline   Thorn610 

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Posted 2019-June-22, 08:20

I have been playing BBO robot bridge and I think I am ready to take the next step to play bridge on line?

What is the best way to take the next step?

Thanks
Thorn
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#2 User is offline   spotlight7 

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Posted 2019-June-22, 08:51

View PostThorn610, on 2019-June-22, 08:20, said:

I have been playing BBO robot bridge and I think I am ready to take the next step to play bridge on line?

What is the best way to take the next step?

Thanks
Thorn



Try the relaxed club.
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#3 User is offline   RuflRabbit 

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Posted 2019-June-22, 09:44

View PostThorn610, on 2019-June-22, 08:20, said:

I have been playing BBO robot bridge and I think I am ready to take the next step to play bridge on line?

What is the best way to take the next step?

Thanks
Thorn


Hi, there. My advice: google and read the SAYC pamphlet and commit it to memory. It has more conventions than you will need at first but it is otherwise an excellent starting point for what two strangers can play without discussion. Post in your profile either that you play full SAYC (probably more than you want to play right now) or that you play Standard American and list the conventions you play. E.g.,

Standard American, stayman, major suit transfers only, regular blackwood

(A lot of people only play the major suit transfers after notrump openings. If you haven't been playing the major suit transfers, I urge you to do so, but if you don't play them, list "no transfers" in your profile.)

Have fun! And be prepared to let some water run off the duck's back. There are some rude people, but also many nice ones. :)

RuflRabbit
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#4 User is offline   Thorn610 

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Posted 2019-June-24, 07:58

View PostRuflRabbit, on 2019-June-22, 09:44, said:

Hi, there. My advice: google and read the SAYC pamphlet and commit it to memory. It has more conventions than you will need at first but it is otherwise an excellent starting point for what two strangers can play without discussion. Post in your profile either that you play full SAYC (probably more than you want to play right now) or that you play Standard American and list the conventions you play. E.g.,

Standard American, stayman, major suit transfers only, regular blackwood

(A lot of people only play the major suit transfers after notrump openings. If you haven't been playing the major suit transfers, I urge you to do so, but if you don't play them, list "no transfers" in your profile.)

Have fun! And be prepared to let some water run off the duck's back. There are some rude people, but also many nice ones. :)

RuflRabbit


Thanks for the sound, albeit confusing reply? It sounds like I have a lot to learn and look forward to the task!
Thorn
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#5 User is offline   HardVector 

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Posted 2019-June-24, 08:51

Don't say you play any convention you don't know (play). That will just enrage any person you play with when it comes up. If you don't play any conventions, just list that in your profile. Put as much information in there that will allow your partner to figure out what kind of bidding and defensive signals you will be using.
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#6 User is offline   RuflRabbit 

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Posted 2019-June-24, 14:16

View PostThorn610, on 2019-June-24, 07:58, said:

Thanks for the sound, albeit confusing reply? It sounds like I have a lot to learn and look forward to the task!
Thorn


Please tell me what part you found confusing and I will be happy to clarify. :)

RuflRabbit
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#7 User is offline   etha 

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Posted 2019-June-25, 04:04

Try to find some sensible people to play with. Maybe consider joining one of the clubs e.g. http://pigpen.org.uk/IAC/iac.php. I wouldn't bother learning any systems until you find people to play them except some basic 5 card major strong notrump system, like the robot plays so you have some idea what the opponents bids mean. Most people play this sort of system.
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#8 User is offline   RuflRabbit 

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Posted 2019-June-25, 08:41

View Postetha, on 2019-June-25, 04:04, said:

Try to find some sensible people to play with. Maybe consider joining one of the clubs e.g. http://pigpen.org.uk/IAC/iac.php. I wouldn't bother learning any systems until you find people to play them except some basic 5 card major strong notrump system, like the robot plays so you have some idea what the opponents bids mean. Most people play this sort of system.


Unfortunately, the robots don't play a "basic" system. IMO, the GIB 2/1 system has far too many conventions for a beginner. That's not to say it's not useful to play against the bots - it's enormously valuable - but it's important to have a grounding in something that's more basic, such as SAYC.

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#9 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2019-June-29, 13:08

View Postetha, on 2019-June-25, 04:04, said:

Try to find some sensible people to play with. Maybe consider joining one of the clubs e.g. http://pigpen.org.uk/IAC/iac.php. I wouldn't bother learning any systems until you find people to play them except some basic 5 card major strong notrump system, like the robot plays so you have some idea what the opponents bids mean. Most people play this sort of system.

View PostRuflRabbit, on 2019-June-25, 08:41, said:

Unfortunately, the robots don't play a "basic" system. IMO, the GIB 2/1 system has far too many conventions for a beginner. That's not to say it's not useful to play against the bots - it's enormously valuable - but it's important to have a grounding in something that's more basic, such as SAYC.
IMO it's better to start with a good basic system that's locally popular -- e.g. On BBO, click Account --> Convention Card --> 2/1 .

You can edit the card at your leisure and summarize it on your profile. And, of course, playing with a BBO robot -- you can click on a call, to display and learn its meaning. You can practice with lots of like-minded partners. You have less heresy and inferior practice to unlearn, later.

Scottish expert, Ying Piper, taught 2/1 to her daughter's primary school class. The girls assimilated it enthusiastically, quickly, and easily. They performed well in inter-school competition,
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#10 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-June-29, 15:16

View Postnige1, on 2019-June-29, 13:08, said:

Scottish expert, Ying Piper, taught 2/1 to her daughter's primary school class. The girls assimilated it enthusiastically, quickly, and easily. Later they did well in inter-school competition,


I've not tried teaching bridge, but I keenly observe the progress of those learning it with various systems.
My conclusion is that (outside of internet) it's best to start with simple strong club systems and then progress to 2/1 or precision.
But starting with a modern 2/1 is feasible.
The worst option of all is to start with "standard" 4 or 5 card major systems, although it's essential to study them later to understand the basis of modern systems.
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#11 User is offline   RuflRabbit 

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Posted 2019-June-29, 15:51

View Postnige1, on 2019-June-29, 13:08, said:

IMO it's better to learn a good basic system that is locally popular -- e.g. 2/1 on BBO


If it were truly locally popular on BBO, there might be an argument for it. But in my experience, it's not. And just to check my sense of it, I checked the profiles of 100 people playing in casual games. 11 listed 2/1 as one of the systems they played. A beginner, especially, is just not going to sit down at BBO and expect that most partners will be playing 2/1. And even if a beginner who has started learning 2/1 sits with a pard who plays 2/1, it doesn't mean they're going to be on same page for which conventions and treatments they'll be playing as part of the system.

I'm not sure exactly where the disagreements are, but just to be clear:

I don't think it really matters whether beginners start by learning that a 2/1 call shows a game force or not. Either can work while the fundamentals are being learned. But I do not think it's good for them to be overburdened with conventions at the outset, and in my opinion, GIB 2/1 does that.

For those who are fans of starting beginners with 2/1, is there an accessible, relatively complete system summary of the type that the ACBL provides for SAYC?

RuflRabbit
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#12 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-June-29, 20:12

View PostRuflRabbit, on 2019-June-29, 15:51, said:

For those who are fans of starting beginners with 2/1, is there an accessible, relatively complete system summary of the type that the ACBL provides for SAYC?

RuflRabbit


I suppose you could just use the SAYC system and add 2/1 GF and (semi)forcing 1NT response.

There is not any one system called 2/1GF. The term applies to any system where 2/1 is GF. It is easier, in my opinion, than Standard American, because in the latter you have to discuss all sorts of auctions to decide which ones are GF.

It is worth noting that the Yellow Card experiment was a failure.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#13 User is offline   RuflRabbit 

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Posted 2019-June-29, 20:28

View PostVampyr, on 2019-June-29, 20:12, said:

I suppose you could just use the SAYC system and add 2/1 GF and (semi)forcing 1NT response.

There is not any one system called 2/1GF. The term applies to any system where 2/1 is GF.


Yes, this was my point in saying, "it doesn't mean they're going to be on same page for which conventions and treatments they'll be playing as part of the system." But I also think there's some extra risk in a beginner sitting down and saying "2/1" when playing opposite a more experienced player. There are certain things that are typically played by those who play 2/1 and more experienced players sometimes assume that anyone playing 2/1 plays them.

Perhaps it would have been clearer if I had said "For those who are fans of starting beginners with some form of 2/1, is there an accessible, relatively complete summary of your favored version such as the type of summary that the ACBL provides for SAYC?"

RuflRabbit
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#14 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-June-30, 01:57

View PostRuflRabbit, on 2019-June-29, 15:51, said:


I don't think it really matters whether beginners start by learning that a 2/1 call shows a game force or not. Either can work while the fundamentals are being learned. But I do not think it's good for them to be overburdened with conventions at the outset, and in my opinion, GIB 2/1 does that.

For those who are fans of starting beginners with 2/1, is there an accessible, relatively complete system summary of the type that the ACBL provides for SAYC?


GIB 2/1 is not only overloaded with conventions but also significantly out of date. I see many more 2/1 profiles than you, though.

BBO Italia has an excellent 2/1 system summary for beginner/intermediate, unfortunately not in English.
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#15 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-July-01, 08:29

View PostVampyr, on 2019-June-29, 20:12, said:

There is not any one system called 2/1GF. The term applies to any system where 2/1 is GF.

Maybe that's true on your side of the pond, where 2/1 is a relatively recent import. In the US, I've played with plenty of pick-up partners and there's a pretty common concensus of what conventions are considered part of the default 2/1 system:

Forcing 1NT
New Minor Forcing
Fourth Suit Forcing to Game
RKCB (1430 seems to be most popular, but you should confirm with partner)
Inverted Minors
Lebensohl over 1NT interference and doubles of weak 2
Texas Transfer
Splinters
4-way Transfers

Plus everything in SAYC.

#16 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-July-01, 10:54

View Postbarmar, on 2019-July-01, 08:29, said:

Maybe that's true on your side of the pond, where 2/1 is a relatively recent import. In the US, I've played with plenty of pick-up partners and there's a pretty common concensus of what conventions are considered part of the default 2/1 system:

Forcing 1NT
New Minor Forcing
Fourth Suit Forcing to Game
RKCB (1430 seems to be most popular, but you should confirm with partner)
Inverted Minors
Lebensohl over 1NT interference and doubles of weak 2
Texas Transfer
Splinters
4-way Transfers

Plus everything in SAYC.

I'm not sure that 2/1 has really caught on in UK yet, not to the point where it is the most common system at any rate.
In most of mainland Europe it has, and the default list is considerably shorter:

Forcing 1NT
RKCB (1430 seems to be most popular, but you should confirm with partner)
Splinters
4-way Transfers.

That's about the only common ground.

1NT is more likely to be semi-forcing than fully forcing.
XYZ is more popular than NMF, but many play neither.
Inverted minors are rare.
Pretty much everyone except the French seems to open 4432 as 1.
All 2/1 sequences including 1 2 are unconditionally game forcing, for some even 1 2.
2 is more likely to be Multicolor than natural.
2M might well be 2 suited.
Good players will know Lebensohl or Rubensohl, but many play natural or home grown alternatives.
Texas transfers need agreement, as do splinters over minors or auto-splinters.
Michaels and Unusual are common but need agreement.
There's a lot more attention to control-bidding rather than RKCB or heavily loaded splinters.

You couldn't play well with a pickup partner without some discussion, but you will usually do little damage with one from your own country or a "similar" country (Italy and Turkey for instance).
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#17 User is offline   RuflRabbit 

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Posted 2019-July-01, 13:36

Pescetom, you're saying there are a lot who are playing 2/1 without inverted minors? For reasons that should probably be introduced in a separate thread, I'm interested to know how this is working for them, and whether they have found they have to make any other adjustments to make that work well.

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#18 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-July-01, 15:51

View PostRuflRabbit, on 2019-July-01, 13:36, said:

Pescetom, you're saying there are a lot who are playing 2/1 without inverted minors? For reasons that should probably be introduced in a separate thread, I'm interested to know how this is working for them, and whether they have found they have to make any other adjustments to make that work well.


I play that way myself, and find it works fine. Having said that, I never played inverted minors regularly so I'm interested to know if we're missing anything important. Here's how some of us play it in Italy (many national systems including our own are more natural yet still do not use inverted minors).

We play that a 1 opening always promises 4+cards, a 1 opening promises 2+cards, a 2 response is nebulous and game forcing.

So the sequences 1 2 and 1 2 are game forces which handle the upper range of a strong raise in inverted minors.

After a natural sequence 1 2, a rebid of 3 is interdictive, a new suit is forcing (might be 3-card, but a major bid twice is a real 5-6), 2NT 18-19, a jump bid is a splinter and 4NT is RKCB (but I play 4 as RKCB here).

After a natural sequence 1 3, a major shows a stop for 3NT but might turn out later to be a control-bid (rebid of major is a real 5-6). 3NT is signoff, splinters and RKCB are as over 2.

After a 1 opening most responder hands with clubs go through 1 1NT, or 1 1 which does not guarantee 4-card (if opener rebids 2 then he must have a 5+card fit anyway). In the infrequent sequence 1 3 responder shows 6+cards limit.
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#19 User is offline   laz49 

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Posted 2019-July-01, 19:11

I think on should go to a real bridge club and see what real hands look like. I am certain that the BBO has all kinds of unusual splits and unfortunate lies of the cards. another misfortune is that I find it a convenient place to play and still like any bridge game. I am not the world's best player but I do have over 2000 ACBL master points. I just finished a set of 8 boards and was down a total of 14 tricks. Bad bidding you say? No this was a declare only game.
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#20 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-July-01, 21:34

View Postbarmar, on 2019-July-01, 08:29, said:

Maybe that's true on your side of the pond, where 2/1 is a relatively recent import. In the US, I've played with plenty of pick-up partners and there's a pretty common concensus of what conventions are considered part of the default 2/1 system:

Forcing 1NT
New Minor Forcing
Fourth Suit Forcing to Game
RKCB (1430 seems to be most popular, but you should confirm with partner)
Inverted Minors
Lebensohl over 1NT interference and doubles of weak 2
Texas Transfer
Splinters
4-way Transfers

Plus everything in SAYC.


But most of these conventions are played in Acol as well. Not forcing 1NT, and not NMF; rather simple or 2-way checkback. You have just made a list of some of the most common conventions that people will generally play regardless of their general approach. and called it a “default 2/1 system”.

When does it become not that? When they play a Multi, or a Mexican 2, or 2-way Checkback? When they play Bergen Raises? Weak NT? Kokish? Lucas Twos? Mini-Roman? Transfer responses to 1? Polish Club?

What defence to their 1NT does this “system” specify? What, if any, forcing M raise? What sort of jump raises? Jump shifts? Jump overcalls? What are three-level responses to a 1NT opening? Is Puppet Stayman played? If so, which way round? How do we respond to weak twos? There are so many other things that would be spelled out in an actual system.

What I take from this is that the convention of 2/1 GF is played in combination with a player’s other favourite conventions.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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