If you wanted to play a faster game at the bridge tables, I would advise you to spot distributions and high-card points on sight – and then learn how to do it at a faster pace from there.
But when it comes to online bridge, there are other tricks that might improve your bridge playing speed.
These online bridge tricks have less to do with your bridge aptitude, and everything to do with your technology and how you’re using it.
Does your internet connection make you respond just a second slower than everyone else at the table – or lead to dropped connections and an inconvenient game?
Do you spend more time than you should clicking your cards, or hovering your cursor over the next choice?
Could simple device lag be to blame for a loss of speed during online bridge?
Check out these online bridge tricks that’ll make your play faster.
1. Prioritize your connection higher up
If you have more than one device linked to a router or wi-fi hotspot, a slower connection can mean that your device is listed lower down on the “priority list” for all of them.
Usually, the broadcasting device or primary connection gets the highest priority allocation. Other devices are below this, and will lag as a result.
Check the router or hotspot settings to see which devices get top-notch connections, and which don’t. Moving your chosen bridge device higher up on the list is an almost guaranteed stronger connection.
2. Move your router around
Connection coverage sometimes has a lot to do with where your device is placed in relation to your router or hotspot.
When there’s a high-power device (such as a microwave) in the way, or you find yourself in a signal dead spot, the only thing you have to do is move around and play bridge somewhere else.
Your chosen bridge-playing area almost certainly has a “signal sweet spot” where it’s better than anywhere else.
3. Free up more device space
Devices get overloaded with unused apps or software, junk files, and practical tons of usage history over time. While these things might take up a lot of space, they are files your device doesn’t really need – but keeps anyway.
Free up device space where you can, and you’re almost guaranteed that your devices will function better and faster in general.
Clear your browser’s history and saved files from time to time, sort through your list of movies or music, delete software that you haven’t used in a while, and clear your Recycle Bin often.
It could mean much faster bridge games.
4. Use keyboard shortcuts for bridge
Keyboard shortcuts are a great time-saver, and I would know this as someone who spends a great deal of time in front of the keyboard.
Learn general device shortcuts, know at least a few basic browser shortcuts, and apply the shortcuts when you play bridge.
On BBO, cards and bids can be typed into the chat window. Just type your card and suit together, and press Enter.
For many players, it’s better than hovering over their hand with the mouse.
5. Alter the zoom ratio
When the eyes are darting around the screen, it leads to lost time (and sometimes, much slower bridge playing).
Avoid this and change the zoom ratio for your device. Usually, it’s with the click of a magnifying button, or somewhere in the main Display settings.
When you have a better view of your cards, you automatically cut down the time your eyes would spend looking around.
6. Learn to touch type
A mouse can waste time, but a keyboard might do the same depending on how you use it.
If you are relying on staring at your screen and then glancing at your keyboard, by how many estimated minutes are you slowing down your bridge game?
If you use your computer to play online bridge, take the time to learn basic touch typing. You don’t have to type like the alien from Men in Black, but knowing where keys are by feel saves a lot of time.