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I play a number of board and card games with varying degrees of skill, but using "algorithms" to avoid the most obvious mistakes. Depending on the game, if you can beat me, you are probably not a beginner, and perhaps a pretty good player.


May
5
comment Why is card counting considered illegal in Blackjack?
@TheChaz2.0: The historical house edge is 4-5 percent against the "average Joe" (who plays poorly). It is some fraction of 1 percent (depending on house rules) against a "skilled" player who plays optimally but doesn't vary his bets based on card-counting. That's just a theoretical construct. It is negative against a skilled card counter who varies his bets. So "bet management" is a key skill in the game.
May
4
comment Are there times NOT to bid 1NT with 15 high card points and a balanced hand?
@PieterGeerkens: I'm a bit confused by your agreement, because I believe that you were the person that taught me to subtract a point for the 4-3-3-3 distribution, plus the fact that there were no "intermediates" (T, 9, 8), when I specified that the x's were 7 or less.
Apr
25
comment What constitutes “wrongful” hesitation in bridge?
Yes, the experts do what you suggested, and it's the amateurs that wait until it's too late. So a pause of three-quarters second, or even a full second every time is legit, as long as it's about the same length each time.
Apr
25
comment What constitutes “wrongful” hesitation in bridge?
In example 2 (and even example 1), you have two cards that "straddle" the 8, so you have a technical problem, right? Then hesitating under those circumstances would be amateurish, but not wrongful, right?
Apr
22
comment What constitutes “wrongful” hesitation in bridge?
"False carding to make the declarer lose count" is not illegal in this instance, but "reinforcing" it by hesitating is, right?
Apr
10
comment Why are bridge games seemingly documented only by the hands and bidding?
@PieterGeerkens: It goes back to a point that you made in an earlier post that West should not double with a "finessable" holding such as KJ9 of trumps because it warns declarer where the finesse is. But if West had KQJ of trumps, he'd have two "forced" (not just possible) trump tricks. Even so, Bond was lucky to find all five little trumps in the South hand, rather than split, say 3-2 South and East (or 2-2 if West has four).
Apr
6
comment When might a Standard American bidder “bend” the five card major rule?
Left to my own devices, I'd be inclined to open, as well as overcall, a four card major with a solid suit like KQTx. IMHO, it's worth a full trick more than a "broken" suit like KJxx, which is why I need the fifth card to open with the latter.
Apr
3
comment When might a Standard American bidder “bend” the five card major rule?
@hunter: Yes, I would consider a "5 card major" consisting of say, 97532 weaker than the typical four card major.
Mar
30
comment When might a Standard American bidder “bend” the five card major rule?
It goes back to this question, that I would be more inclined to bend the rules with a part score, than with love all. boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/14644/…. That includes your suggestion of a weak NT. That's in a "good" game. But your answer to the earlier question was practical; against weak opponents, "tighten up" in a partial and let them hang themselves.
Mar
30
comment When might a Standard American bidder “bend” the five card major rule?
What about the "rule of 15?" bridgeguys.com/Conventions/Rule15.html It says to bid one spade in fourth seat with four spades and 11 hcps because you have the "boss" suit.
Feb
11
comment What is the “pause” rule for dummy play in tournament bridge?
@TimLymington: Related but not quite a dupe. This question was about what pauses were MANDATED by tournaments. (I think it's 5-10 seconds.) The other question was, can I ask for a time out, "outside" the "system."
Feb
10
comment In bridge, should you be more careful with takeout doubles over one spade?
The problem is that if you give the same hand to my LHO, I'm down three (at the two level). Doubled, that's more than the value of most games, unless I'm non-vulnerable against vulnerable. Which is why I would make a takeout double in that situation and not otherwise.
Feb
7
comment In bridge, should you be more careful with takeout doubles over one spade?
amalloy: With the takeout double example I described, I expect partner to make five tricks if he has "nothing." So I am "borrowing" two tricks for take out at the one level. But I am "borrowing" THREE tricks for take out at the two level (over one spade). I'm willing to borrow two tricks but not three (as in your 2NT example), which is why I am unwilling to make a takeout double when vulnerable. (-800 points is more than the game that the opponents will make if partner has nothing, -500 is OK.)
Feb
7
comment In bridge, should you be more careful with takeout doubles over one spade?
What you said is true, because "all finesses are wrong." When "stress-testing" my hand for "nothing" in partner, I do not make that assumption, and that's why I evaluate my hand at "six" tricks. Give my partner six points, say Kxx QJx xxx xxxx and your lie of cards, and we'd still go down (by 1-2), even if we had 27 hcps between us. My evaluations, six tricks with "nothing," nine if partner has six hcps, assume a "reasonable "lie" of cards.
Feb
7
comment Does Monopoly involve skill to a considerable degree?
@John: That's why a skillful but unlucky player can beat a lucky player that doesn't understand things.
Feb
7
comment Does Monopoly involve skill to a considerable degree?
@corsiKa: If "that is not a bluff, that is a lie," then Monopoly is NOT a game of perfect information, because the recipient can't tell the difference.
Feb
7
comment In bridge, should you be more careful with takeout doubles over one spade?
You can make six tricks in 2NT with your hand (not four), and your opponents probably don't have enough to double, (unless one opponent has almost all the outstanding values). If partner has six points, he will be good for two tricks in his hand, plus a third from "synergy" (e.g. a finesse into your hand) for a total of nine. When you bid one spade, you have 4.5-5 tricks if partner has "nothing." So, in effect, you are "borrowing" 2 to 2.5 tricks for all your opening bids.
Feb
6
comment Does Monopoly involve skill to a considerable degree?
@corsiKa: In your poker example, you don't tell your opponent whether or not you have a straight flush card in the "hole." You just bet as if you do, and let your opponent draw his own conclusions. As for Monopoly, $150 for utilities is about the same as maroons, and the utilities' UNIMPROVED rent is better. The bluffer just leaves out the part about houses.
Feb
6
comment Does Monopoly involve skill to a considerable degree?
@corsiKa: A skillful player I once knew tried to bluff someone that two utilities were worth as much as two maroons (which would have given him a monopoly). Which he might have to do to win, if the lesser skilled player got one or more monopolies, plus "stoppers" to all others.
Feb
2
comment Has anyone experienced “too many players” in a game of monopoly?
@PatomaS: Good point.