The pros and cons of online Bridge

Having tried online bridge for the first time about a couple of weeks ago I am still having difficulties adjusting to it. Fortunately there are a significant number of advantages to compensate for some really irritating disadvantages.

The Disadvantages of online bridge are:

The trump suit swishes to one side before I start, so I get significantly disorientated.

In real life bridge I can start and continue to have a pleasant relaxing conversation with my partner and our opponents and THEN pick up my cards and begin evaluating my hand; not to be distracted and lose all focus by having to work out which abbreviated welcome symbols I am supposed to use and then have to deal with impatient players before I have had the chance to settle down again.

In real life bridge you have to wait for the slower tables to finish, which gives you a rest and a chance to further one’s pleasant conversation; not to have the next lot of cards beamed down on you Star Trek-style without having even to physically take them out of the board and squabble gently as to where to put the wallets away.

There is insufficient time allowed for snack breaks, toilet trips, and dealing with at the door deliveries, etc.

The constant pinging in the background is more reminiscent of a soulless supermarket and really drives me mad.

On the other hand, I admit that there are a number of significant Advantages:

Above all there is a FAR better chance to analyse any particular hand into much greater depth afterwards.

You get instant feedback as to how you are faring (although of course that can have a depressive effect on bad days!).

It gives far less opportunity for manipulative players to unduly influence the tournament director.

You get a much wider range of bidding and playing styles,

There are many more participants than in a normal club.

You can play at any time of the day or night!

It is a lot cheaper, safer, and more convenient to play at home than having to travel.

Given time I could doubtlessly add a lot of other advantages and opposing irritations and unreasonable distractions to my list.

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Club Manager
7 months ago

Like anything new it takes a bit of getting used to. However, don’t let the long list of negatives in the article above put you off. Most people find it a pleasant experience. If you need to leave the table for a minute, just say so in the table chat bar. Most people will understand but best to do it when you are dummy if possible, just like real life!

Edward Clutton
7 months ago

Online bridge – Tuesday – good things come in threes

I played with friends from the golf club and we used Zoom to chat to each other throughout the session – worked a treat.

I found a lovely 6NT!

Just as we finished, I “bumped into” a Belgian friend of mine who still works in Abu Dhabi – cue for another hour’s bridge – most enjoyable

Small world!

Hamish Robertson
7 months ago

I understand the negatives, but having now played 3 times feel the positives far outweigh the neg’s.
— and you get to play with exotic opponents like HarryS2369, MargaretY246 and Fairy Princess!

Iain Sime
Iain Sime
7 months ago

I agree that table bridge is better, but we don’t have that option at present. Playing online keeps the mind active if nothing else.
A couple of suggestions:
If the pings irritate, turn the volume on your computer to mute.
If the door bell rings, chat message to table “Sorry, door, brb.” (BBO acronym for Be Right Back).
Similarly for other interruptions.

Julia Palmer
7 months ago

Agree to play with regular partner, and ideally against a regular partnership. (In theory the game should be less random) . If it’s regular partner/opps, then people more tolerant if you need a break, just say “BRB 2 mins” etc. If you say nothing and just disappear then people get somewhat confused by “silence” at your corner of the table. On BBO you can adjust settings to turn off all sound, and to stop all “lobby chat”. Don’t know enough about BCL. Nothing is perfect, but one benefit of online bridge is that it prevents all leads out of turn… Read more »

Bronwen McWhinney
Bronwen McWhinney
7 months ago
Reply to  Julia Palmer

I agree with the no revokes!! I was about to and it wouldn’t let me. I do find though that I get weird optical mistakes like thinking a bid was an overcall when it wasn’t. It’s happened about three times.

7 months ago

The Club is, as D has advised, now happily registered on BridgeClubLive.

If, like me, you struggled to find NMBC on their list of clubs, you need to look alphabetically under T ….
… The New Melville Bridge Club.

Christine McLaren
Christine McLaren
7 months ago

I really like BCL site and experience. Not so keen on BBO mainly because the scoring is less clear, To me anyway, and there is no time to analyse hands/play before the next hand is dealt. haven’t tried the DIDO tournament yet but will give it a whirl this week. I enjoy using Skype or Zoom when playing with friends – it almost feels like a session at the club. Maybe the DIDO experience will feel like that too?

Carol Lamond
7 months ago

i can see what you are saying Christine, and understand that if you are sitting at the table and all 4 of you are o zoom it can feel a very social and enjoyable. However, for caution DONT go into DIDO with your partner and use zoom, or any other social media If other members realise that you are in contact with your partner, it is possible that they will accuse you and report you for cheating. Now i am sure you wont be cheating, however, in an on line system you wont be able to prove that. Opponents may… Read more »

Pamela Warner
Pamela Warner
7 months ago

I have played only once so far, thankfully with a partner known to me. Great to be playing bridge again, but I have a lot of facility to build up, so it will definitely be a matter of steady learning/adjustment. … The biggest issue for me what that whatever position you are in (N, S, E, W) , you will be shown at the *bottom* of the screen. I was West, but being at the bottom of the screen, kept assuming I was South….. Note to self – avoid excess confusion by trying and sit south next time! One interesting… Read more »

Moyra Forrest
7 months ago

Finding Bridge Club Live very friendly – would recommend the Improvers and Individual tournaments if you’re looking for variety.
Just so sad that some of our most isolated members don’t have the equipment/know-how/confidence to enjoy too. BCL’s Social Room lets you play as few/many boards as you wish.