Author Topic: Time for a Pairs Bridge Playing App?  (Read 928 times)

Gravitino

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Time for a Pairs Bridge Playing App?
« on: May 13, 2020, 18:31:43 »
For some weeks I have thought that there will be no more face-to-face bridge until there is a vaccine. This week, Vallance said there may never be a vaccine. Bernard Magee said this morning that he believed club bridge is probably a year away.  We face a near-term future in which duplicate bridge with physical playing cards is impossible.

I was thinking: how about a bridge-playing app to supplement the BridgePal scoring program, in which all players have a tablet, rather than a hand of cards.  They would conduct the auction and play through that tablet, which would be linked to a server in the same room. So long as all the players are in the same room, within WiFi contact distance, they needn't be very close to the opponents or their partners.

Is such an app feasible?

Gravitino

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Re: Time for a Pairs Bridge Playing App?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2020, 06:37:56 »
I am slightly disappointed that no-one has replied on the viability of this idea.

A couple of months has elapsed since I proposed it, and face-to-face bridge looks as far away in the distant future as ever. Bridge holiday companies, for example, face the difficult conundrum of whether (and how) to run holidays booked for September/October of this year in continental Europe. Most likely, the Foreign Office will have by then allowed beach holidays to resume, but there will be no way that face-to-face bridge, a standard component in the afternoons and evenings of these bridge holidays, to be safely run.

A pairs bridge-plaing app would remove any need for playing cards, it could observe the two-metre rule, and yet keep everyone in the same ballroom/conference room, thereby minimising the risk of cheating which is so widely suspected oN online venues such as BBO.

johng

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Re: Time for a Pairs Bridge Playing App?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2020, 09:43:36 »
We certainly don't have time to do any development like this, and I'm not sure that I see the point. A large number of EBU clubs are now running virtual duplicate sessions on BBO, and these work very well. Our development effort since lockdown has been applied to software (https://mirgo2.co.uk/bboextractor) that enables the detailed results of these sessions to be extracted from BBO and published on Bridgewebs or Pianola in the same format and detail as club sessions. There is the added advantage that we capture the bidding and play of all boards at all virtual tables and this is included in the upload to Bridgewebs. This means it's now possible to review the bidding/play in Bridge Solver Online - so in this way it's better than when the hands are played with physical cards in the club environment.

In a hotel you could obviously play on BBO when the players are seated in the same room, providing that an internet connection is available, either via the players own mobile data connection, or via a wifi router that has an internet connection. These days, most hotels are likely to have internet access. It needs a director who has the authorisation to run BBO tournaments, and players need to pay a small fee to play in the tournament, just as they would in the club.

I don't know whether there are already any networked bridge playing apps which will work purely over wifi without an internet connection. I will leave this investigation to others.

John

Gravitino

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Re: Time for a Pairs Bridge Playing App?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2020, 22:47:45 »
John

Many thanks for the reply. There are many who would argue that BBO isn?t proper bridge, as defined by the laws, because that software will not allow you, for example, to revoke or make an insufficient bid. I believe further that BBO implements the US version of the rules, not the EBU?s. There is a case to be made for having an English bridge engine, and I don?t see why that engine need involve the Internet, just as BridgePal scoring doesn?t use the Internet.

Best wishes

Gavin

johng

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Re: Time for a Pairs Bridge Playing App?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2020, 14:39:20 »
Gavin,

This could be what you are looking for - http://yourbridgeclubonline.co.uk . It's still under development but is being actively used by Winchester Bridge Club. Read more about it at https://www.itwriting.com/blog/11725-developing-software-for-playing-bridge.html

John
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 18:55:40 by johng »

Red_Kite

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Re: Time for a Pairs Bridge Playing App?
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2020, 18:43:56 »
Hello Gavin,
Have a look at stepbridge.co.uk which is what we are using.

Best regards
Neville

AlaninMY

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Re: Time for a Pairs Bridge Playing App?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2020, 02:56:16 »
I agree with John that there are already online bridge games available. BBO, BridgeClubLive and Stepbridge can all be used to set up a club game. But the ability to review the bidding and card play is a great tool for review with partner afterwards or for reviewing with new players to help identify their mistakes. John, would it take much to add a facility for North to record these items during play? With an option to bypass recording for those who do not wish to take their mind off the game.

johng

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Re: Time for a Pairs Bridge Playing App?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2020, 12:53:06 »
It's a question of the effort involved and whether there would be a sufficient demand for the capability. At the moment we are still busy with software development to assist online bridge (i.e. BBO Extractor/BBOtoXML, Bridge Solver Chrome extension), and probably not likely to get back to doing more development on BridgePal until (if) the majority of clubs get back to playing face to face bridge.

Even when players do go back to clubs, I wonder whether it will be with physical cards or playing bridge on tablets. After playing online bridge, where bidding and card play are recorded automatically, it seems a big hassle to have to use a system where all this information has to be entered manually. It would be a lot more convenient if clubs played using tablets rather than physical cards, and there are an increasing number of online systems that will handle club bridge. The latest of these is RealBridge, which has just been launched and is being used by the English Bridge Union for their Autumn Congress. It also incorporates video/audio integration, so players can see the others at the "table" if they are playing remotely. Bridge Club Live is also rumoured to be incorporating video/audio. Perhaps BBO will do do eventually. Availability of such systems may reduce the rate at which people return to the clubs.

Just prior to lockdown I had released an initial version of the BridgeDealer app - see https://mirgo2.co.uk/bridgepal_forum/index.php?topic=197.msg555#msg555. This app is able to deal a predealt hand using the phone/tablet from camera or read a deck of cards. My intention was to integrate it with the BridgePal app, and the reading capability could be used to record the play of a hand after the hand has been completed (providing the cards are not shuffled and are stacked in the deck in the correct order). That still doesn't handle recording of the bidding though.