Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Learning to play contract bridge again

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I have mentioned before: although you can play against other individuals on-line, you can also simply play against the computer (playing the other three hands). You bid, then you play—defense or as declarer, depending on the hand and the bid. You then get “points” by being compared to others who played the identical hand: the better your performance relative to theirs, the more points you get; the worse, the fewer.

My own points in the current series (you can always discard the record to date and start anew) range from +11 to -16 (don’t ask—and best not to play after a drink or two). My total right now is +15 and in this current series it’s been as high as +25. Previous series I would discard after reaching -75 or -100 points.

The interesting thing is, I’m doing much better now. It’s not from having studied, though my intentions in that regard were really excellent—of the very first rank, in fact. It’s simply from playing a LOT of hands, and allowing my adaptive unconscious to use its pattern recognition engine to figure it out.

Obviously, I can still improve a lot. It’s sobering to see your ranking against others who played the same hand be, say, 86 out of 97, but it’s exhilarating to see it as 3 out of 90 or 13 of 96—the two most recent hands. And sometimes I’m NUMBER ONE!!! At least for a while.

The thing that interests me, though, is how one can improve simply by playing a lot of games and seeing the (relative) result. It’s much the way in which one’s shaving technique improves over time simply by watching what you’re doing and seeing what results: the adaptive unconscious is quite powerful.

If you’ve not read Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious, by Timothy Wilson, you really should. VERY interesting book.

And if you like card games, you should try

Written by LeisureGuy

13 March 2015 at 5:47 pm

Posted in Bridge, Games, Software

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