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Reducing UI during bidding by simulating screen or stop card

#1 User is offline   Sigi_BC84 

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Posted 2006-March-01, 17:09

Hi,

as already mentioned in another thread, I'm making the following suggestion for a new feature:

Since hesitation during bidding often gives the same kind of unauthorized information on BBO as it does playing f2f, it would be beneficial for serious sessions to have either of:
  • The equivalent of the Stop card; this would mean that bidding ceases for a short time (might be adjustable by the table host) if a jump bid is made by any player
  • A virtual screen in the middle of the table, with the simulation of a bidding tray. This would mean that the bids of N and E are not being displayed to S and W before both players have made their call (same for S and W). That way you would not need the Stop functionality, therefore bidding will proceed quicker but still you'll have less information from any hesitating during the auction (this was a somewhat verbose explanation for people not knowing the screen principle).
Should be easy enough to be implement and might benefit the online game!

--Sigi
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#2 User is offline   DrTodd13 

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Posted 2006-March-01, 20:17

Screens are inferior to what you can do online. Online, the better method is to make LHO and CHO's bids appear simultaneously and RHO's bid appear when it is made. This will slow things down just a wee bit so maybe it is better to only use this in "serious" mode.
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#3 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2006-March-01, 20:59

This suggestion has been made several times before... I've never been particularly convinced that the benefits outweigh the costs.

Each time a player makes a call, it provides a great deal of additional information about the hand. If you prevent all of this information to players at the same time, it significantly increases the amount of time that they need to spend thinking about difficult hands. In turn, this increases the amount of time required for the artificial pauses required to prevent UI.

This feature might be reasonable in a VERY serious game, however, until the Bermuda Bowl is being run on BBO there are an awful lot of features that I'd prioritize ahead of this. (For what its worth, strange deviations in tempo on my part are rarely a result of my thinking about hands; rather the normally reflect something amusing in this weeks South PArk)
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#4 Guest_Jlall_*

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Posted 2006-March-01, 23:16

hrothgar, on Mar 1 2006, 09:59 PM, said:

This feature might be reaosnable in a VERY serious game, however, until the Bermuda Bowl is being run on BBO there are an awful lot of features that I'd prioritize ahead of this.

Agree, would slow down the game way too much. Have you ever seen a live game played behind screens? It's ridiculously slow.
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#5 User is offline   coyot 

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Posted 2006-March-02, 02:23

Ridiculously slow? Hmm, played behind screens once and we were having problems with the 8minute limit per board only when opps bid a few slams that were almost impossible to make. So it might be a bit slower when it comes down to interrogating opponents about what their bids exactly mean... but, then, I enjoyed it anyway because screens somehow encourage people to provide full disclosure more willingly.

I certainly like Sigi's idea and I don't think it would be any hard to implement.
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#6 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2006-March-02, 02:38

I would just add a point (probably made before in a previous thread) that UI to partner is AI to an opponent. If you use software to (eg) display several bids simultaneously so that it is not possible to deduce the cause of delay, then you are denying a player the opportunity to exercise his skill in interpreting AI that would have been available to him in f2f bridge.
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#7 User is offline   mrdct 

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Posted 2006-March-02, 06:24

Jlall, on Mar 2 2006, 12:16 AM, said:

Have you ever seen a live game played behind screens? It's ridiculously slow.

I've seen and played plenty of bridge with screens, but believe that to the extent to which it is a bit slower sometimes, the slowness is more linked to the seriousness of the event and perhaps a little bit of inexperience with screens.

One of the larger bridge clubs in Melbourne, Australia uses screens for quite a wide range of club and state competition events, so most of the remotely competent players from that club will get quite regular exposure to screens. Whilst there were some time issues when first introduced three years ago, these days there is virtually no difference at all between the time taken with or without screens and the regulations for most events in Australia do not allow any extra time for screens.

Screens do provide a few UI advantages superior to the standard BBO environment; particularly concealing (to some extent at least) partner's hesitations.

I think it would be great experience for BBO'ers to be able to have a table setting that simulates screens exactly; even to the extent that different alerts and explanations are only revealed at the end of the hand (i.e south and west will only see eachother's alerts and explanations and north and east will only see theirs).
Disclaimer: The above post may be a half-baked sarcastic rant intended to stimulate discussion and it does not necessarily coincide with my own views on this topic.
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#8 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2006-March-02, 06:56

1eyedjack, on Mar 2 2006, 10:38 AM, said:

If you use software to (eg) display several bids simultaneously so that it is not possible to deduce the cause of delay, then you are denying a player the opportunity to exercise his skill in interpreting AI that would have been available to him in f2f bridge.

True, but is this AI realy desireable? Do you want to be confused with the information that RHO might have had something to think about but more likely, something amusing happened in South Park?
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#9 User is offline   Sigi_BC84 

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Posted 2006-March-02, 08:56

DrTodd13, on Mar 2 2006, 03:17 AM, said:

Screens are inferior to what you can do online.  Online, the better method is to make LHO and CHO's bids appear simultaneously and RHO's bid appear when it is made.  This will slow things down just a wee bit so maybe it is better to only use this in "serious" mode.

Um, this is actually what I'm suggesting (the "virtual tray" thing). Alright, it is not exactly a virtual tray with screen, but what you said is what I meant. Thanks for pointing it out anyway :-).
--Sigi

EDIT: Please ignore the above. Read on below instead...
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#10 User is offline   uday 

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Posted 2006-March-02, 10:58

So the idea is to allow you to see RHO's hesitation but not Ps ?

Why not conceal them all, and show all 3 bids when it is your turn? There are some other issues (harder to know when someone is stuck?)), but i'm curious about the reasoning.
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#11 User is offline   Sigi_BC84 

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Posted 2006-March-02, 11:12

uday, on Mar 2 2006, 05:58 PM, said:

So the idea is to allow you to see RHO's hesitation but not Ps ?

Why not conceal them all, and show all 3 bids when it is your turn? There are some other issues (harder to know when someone is stuck?)), but i'm curious about the reasoning.

The reasoning is easy: If you can see RHO hesitating, this does not give extraneous information to your LHO (i.e. RHOs partner...). Now, as soon as you have made your call, LHO gets to see both it and RHOs (== his partner's) call, thereby hiding the information about how long RHO has pondered...

I hope this finally get's the idea across :-).

--Sigi
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#12 User is offline   Sigi_BC84 

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Posted 2006-March-02, 11:37

Regarding stuck players: You can still display the red dot. If there is no dot I don't see many drawbacks to the current method, where you also have to chat to wake people up or see if they are stuck. Only difference would be that there is one less person to be in the position to do that (namely partner of the stuck player).

But since the feature would be for advanced/serious sessions where players are supposed to know eachother I guess it shouldn't be too much of a problem for opps to ping partner if she is not responding for a while (a problem might be opps trying to be polite and partner of stuck person not noticing)...


Regarding this slowing down the auction: There are two possibilities here:

a. Partner's bid gives you problems but not RHO (who, let's say, passes quickly). Not much time is lost in this case compared to the old method because you'll get to see partner's bid together with RHOs swift pass.

b. Partner's bid gives you problems AND RHO, too. In this case, RHO will take her time, then you get to see two calls and take your time. This will take longer than in the older scheme because at the moment you can start thinking as soon as you see partner's call (but you also get the UI that it gives RHO big trouble...). Now if BOTH sides have problems all the time such an auction could indeed be notably slower, but there's no such thing as a free lunch, is there? Even relay systems shouldn't take much longer since there the intervening passes are usually very swift.

Also several people have already noted that games behind screens aren't that much slower because screens are used (I can't speak of first hand experience, however), so why should it be such a big problem online (where much of the overhead such as transferring the tray and opening/closing of the screen is removed).


Regarding showing three bids in a batch: I don't think that's really necessary and it will add to the additional lag induced by the method. But it's nice to see you are starting to think the method through to it's extremes already :-).

--Sigi
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#13 User is offline   DrTodd13 

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Posted 2006-March-02, 11:45

uday, on Mar 2 2006, 08:58 AM, said:

So the idea is to allow you to see RHO's hesitation but not Ps ?

Why not conceal them all, and show all 3 bids when it is your turn? There are some other issues (harder to know when someone is stuck?)), but i'm curious about the reasoning.

Sigi's reply is true but another reason you don't want to show all 3 at once is again the speed issue. If you see two bids at once then you have some time to interpret them while waiting for RHO to bid.
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#14 User is offline   Sigi_BC84 

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Posted 2006-March-02, 11:45

Sigi_BC84, on Mar 2 2006, 06:12 PM, said:

uday, on Mar 2 2006, 05:58 PM, said:

So the idea is to allow you to see RHO's hesitation but not Ps ?

Why not conceal them all, and show all 3 bids when it is your turn? There are some other issues (harder to know when someone is stuck?)), but i'm curious about the reasoning.

The reasoning is easy: If you can see RHO hesitating, this does not give extraneous information to your LHO (i.e. RHOs partner...). Now, as soon as you have made your call, LHO gets to see both it and RHOs (== his partner's) call, thereby hiding the information about how long RHO has pondered...

I hope this finally get's the idea across :-).

--Sigi

Yet another addition: of course you wouldn't see RHO hesitating with the new method, because you can't tell after getting the "bidding tray" which side took up how much of the thinking time.

So in hindsight I don't quite understand your remark about seeing RHO hesitating.

My mind starts to tie itself into knots, so I better stop posting on this thread for a while ;-).

--Sigi
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#15 User is offline   Blofeld 

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Posted 2006-March-02, 11:55

uday, on Mar 2 2006, 11:58 AM, said:

So the idea is to allow you to see RHO's hesitation but not Ps ?

Why not conceal them all, and show all 3 bids when it is your turn? There are some other issues (harder to know when someone is stuck?)), but i'm curious about the reasoning.

Obviously concealing them all is optimum for reducing I (be it A or U).

I think that concealing LHO's and CHO's bids is a compromise to help speed things up, so that you can use at least the time that RHO is thinking to plan your next bid.
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#16 User is offline   Sigi_BC84 

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Posted 2006-March-02, 12:00

DrTodd13, on Mar 2 2006, 06:45 PM, said:

uday, on Mar 2 2006, 08:58 AM, said:

So the idea is to allow you to see RHO's hesitation but not Ps ?

Why not conceal them all, and show all 3 bids when it is your turn? There are some other issues (harder to know when someone is stuck?)), but i'm curious about the reasoning.

Sigi's reply is true but another reason you don't want to show all 3 at once is again the speed issue. If you see two bids at once then you have some time to interpret them while waiting for RHO to bid.

Hmm, I guess you are on the wrong track now, Todd. My idea is to hide the fact that a bid (presumably a jump bid) by LHO might or might not give trouble to partner.

So you can't show LHOs and partners bid at once (because that would hardly hide the fact if or if not partner needed time to think -- the jumps are usually not the calls that are hard to make :-). What you want to show at once is partner's and RHOs bids, therefore you cannot start interpreting partner's bid before RHO has acted. That is the lag issue that Richard mentioned.

What you can do is ask LHO about her bid right away, which you couldn't if you'd see batches of three calls. So that might save time in some cases compared to the "full-on" variant of the method.

So in a way what you'd have is some weird "magic mirror screen" where you can see the person on your left but not on your right...

--Sigi
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#17 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2006-March-02, 13:10

? Why not just show the bids delayed by one to the right. If your pard is dealer, then you see his bid when RHO has bid. Pard only sees your bid when your LHO has made his call.

wtp and no slower than it is now (in total).
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#18 User is offline   DrTodd13 

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Posted 2006-March-02, 13:28

Sigi_BC84, on Mar 2 2006, 10:00 AM, said:

DrTodd13, on Mar 2 2006, 06:45 PM, said:

uday, on Mar 2 2006, 08:58 AM, said:

So the idea is to allow you to see RHO's hesitation but not Ps ?

Why not conceal them all, and show all 3 bids when it is your turn? There are some other issues (harder to know when someone is stuck?)), but i'm curious about the reasoning.

Sigi's reply is true but another reason you don't want to show all 3 at once is again the speed issue. If you see two bids at once then you have some time to interpret them while waiting for RHO to bid.

Hmm, I guess you are on the wrong track now, Todd. My idea is to hide the fact that a bid (presumably a jump bid) by LHO might or might not give trouble to partner.

So you can't show LHOs and partners bid at once (because that would hardly hide the fact if or if not partner needed time to think -- the jumps are usually not the calls that are hard to make :-). What you want to show at once is partner's and RHOs bids, therefore you cannot start interpreting partner's bid before RHO has acted. That is the lag issue that Richard mentioned.

What you can do is ask LHO about her bid right away, which you couldn't if you'd see batches of three calls. So that might save time in some cases compared to the "full-on" variant of the method.

So in a way what you'd have is some weird "magic mirror screen" where you can see the person on your left but not on your right...

--Sigi

How do you know it wasn't LHO who paused for thought before making the jump bid? If there is a pause, in many cases you can guess who made the pause even if all 3 bids showed up at once.
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#19 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2006-March-02, 13:40

DrTodd13, on Mar 2 2006, 02:28 PM, said:

How do you know it wasn't LHO who paused for thought before making the jump bid? If there is a pause, in many cases you can guess who made the pause even if all 3 bids showed up at once.

But it is still only a guess, you could be wrong. The other way, you know for sure...
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#20 User is offline   Sigi_BC84 

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Posted 2006-March-02, 13:45

DrTodd13, on Mar 2 2006, 08:28 PM, said:

How do you know it wasn't LHO who paused for thought before making the jump bid? If there is a pause, in many cases you can guess who made the pause even if all 3 bids showed up at once.

You are right about this.

At the table, usually the jumps are made swiftly and then there is a pause when the next player needs to consider what to do over the jump. If you are disciplined with the use of the stop card, this problem is alleviated to a great extent.

The longer I'm thinking about it the more convinced I am that the best solution is to enforce a pause after a jump bid. No magic screen functionality and the likes.

So I'm voting for the auto-stop-card feature mentioned in my original post.

--Sigi
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