Sunday, October 08, 2006

A New Bidding System for Bridge


Friday evening I roped David Elkins, Ari who has come to the game group occasionally, and my Mom for a bridge game. We played for an hour or so. David and I played together, because we have a special system.

A special system? you ask. And what, pray tell, is our special system?

Come listen in to our description of the system that we laid out during the bidding. The players are Ari (A), David (D), Mom (M), and me (Y).

A: Pass.
D: Pass.
M: Pass.
Y: 1 diamond.
D: Alert.
M: What does 1 diamond mean?
D: 11 to 15 points and a 5 card minor.
A: What system are you playing?
Y: You've heard of Standard American?
A: Yes.
Y: And Precision?
A: Yes.
Y: Well we call this system "Im-precision".
A: ?
Y: *twinkle* See, we found the traditional bidding systems to be overly difficult. We worked very hard in creating a new bidding system that was easier to work with, and we came up with this one, which we found dramatically increases our playing success.
A: ?
Y: See in the traditional bidding system, a bid of one indicates that you need to get seven tricks or you go down. In our system, a bid of one only means that you need to get five tricks. As you can see, that makes it much easier to succeed.
A: Uh ...
M: Wait a minute.
D: Yes, also every bid is a game. Or slam. That gives us bonus points.
A: So, if you bid 4 hearts, and we make 4 tricks, then you're saying that we set you but you still made the contract?
Y: Oh, no. You didn't set us, because we only had to make 8 tricks. Also, we don't lose any points if we don't make our bid in our system.
D: Yes, we can only win points.
Y: Exactly. We find this whole competitive thing, you know, winning and losing, isn't good for our self-esteem. So we can't lose points in our system. We only get points, no matter what we make.
D: Or what we bid.
Y: Exactly. We're thinking of renaming the system to be the "Happy Self-Esteem" bidding system.
A: ...
Y: By the way, it's your bid.

Give it a try, boys and girls. But remember, it's patent pending.


Sat afternoon I played with David, who I may remind you was once the Israeli Scrabble champion. As such, his vocabulary includes thousands of words that I still don't remember. However, my pattern recognition ability is pretty good, so I do well at Anagrams.

At the end, we both had roughly the same amount of words, tiles, and probably points, but since we didn't agree on a scoring method, we can't say exactly who won according to the traditional method of scoring.

Nevertheless, we both agreed that I won, because I took a "U" and a "P" from the middle of the table and rearranged LOCATION to form a much better word.


- More on games in the real world, Geospacial Semantic talks about location-based board games, which are board games using live players.

- Luchabra describes an interesting looking new abstract game. I like the way he also adds a number of optional themes that can be tacked on, for those that need one.

- GROGnads points out a few interesting books, including two by Tom Vasel in collaboration??? Here's the third. I must get to the bottom of this. Oh, To-ommmm!

- Also pointed out on BGG, the Mathematica Journal tackles board game design.

1 comment:

ludustroika said...

Saludos (that means hi in Spanish) and congratulation on your pod cast… I think it was great, I already listened to it three times in a row… it is great to finally associate your writings with a voice!

I am a big fan of your blogg and I am glad that little by little time is making justice to the work you do… bien por ti (that means good for you!)

Sincerely, Francisco Ortega from México.