Last minute tips for the NABC Robot Individual (Nov 23-25)

ACBL’s NABC Robot Individual (November 23-25) has started. This is the only online event that awards Red and Gold masterpoints and an NABC title. It’s stratified — you compete against your peers.

Some last minute tips

Minimize misclicks by turning on “Confirm Cards” and “Confirm Bids” in Settings (click Account, then Settings).

If your table closes unexpectedly with an error, do not panic. It’s usually a network glitch. Simply click the tournament again to resume your play.

Once you started playing, you don’t have to play 24 boards in a row. You can stop and come back later to finish your daily set. Just make sure you finish before midnight US Eastern Time.

Remember to log in each day to play your boards. This is a three day event with daily sessions. You cannot catch up later if you missed a day.

A few things about playing with the robots:

  • Your strategy. Over the years we have invited numerous experts and frequent robot players to hold lectures, lessons and give advice on how to do well when playing with robots. In most cases, playing good, consistent bridge is plenty! Don’t try crazy tricks unless you know what you are doing. “Normal bridge”, in a long multi-day event like this works very well.
  • About psyching. One of the most frequently asked question about robot tournaments has always been: Are you allowed to make “psyches” in this event? The answer is Yes. Everyone gets the same robot. You may receive a good score when attempting to mislead the robots. Or… you may not. But you will compete in a fair environment with equal opponents and partner robots.
  • When in doubt, mouse over. This means you should always try to understand exactly what your bids are going to mean to the bots before you make them. Don’t assume, mouse over and check!
  • Do not panic over bad boards. Sometimes, even if you feel you did nothing wrong, the robot may put you in a bad contract. Remember that there are hundreds of players in your seat, who probably had the same line of thought as you did. Keep cool, do your best in the play and you might discover this is just an average board — or even a top.
  • Do not rely on robots to signal. Yes they sometimes signal. Usually just for the first few tricks, and only if they *think* it matters. Safest play here is just this – do not assume robots are signaling.
  • Robots make neutral leads, and assume you do too! Don’t be surprised when they don’t return your lead, or don’t listen to your signals. They also like to lead from shortness.
  • Most doubles are takeout. Robots tend to shy away from penalty doubles of non-game contracts. However they are more confident about penalty doubles for game and higher contracts.

Final Update and Reminder

ACBL’s NABC Robot Individual begins November 23, 2019. For the next 3 days, you will need to visit BBO and play at least once a day to continue in the event. 24 boards every day. Any incomplete boards are flat zeroes, but you have plenty of time to complete all boards daily.

If you need to take a break you can stop and come back to resume your daily session, provided you complete your boards before midnight US Eastern Time.

Good luck everyone!