The latest version of Bridge introduces our all new state of the art advanced Bridge card play engine playing at a significantly stronger level. At the end of this description is further information about the new engine which we hope answers some of the common forum questions.
Reporting problems with hands.
Whilst we are more than happy to investigate potential issues please can you ensure you provide the Deal Id/number, the selected bidding conventions (if not the default ones) and the dealer of a hand so we can at least play the hand here to investigate further.
Bridge is played by four players who form two partnerships. Players within a partnership face each other across the bridge table. Traditionally, the players are referred to by the points of the compass - North, East, South and West. The two partnerships are North/South and East/West. Games are played to the best of three. The winner is said to have won the "rubber". A game ends when one partnership scores 100 or more points below the line.
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* Top free Bridge game, now with super strong card play engine.
* Comprehensive Bid analyser
* Supports 5 card majors, strong 2 clubs, weak 1NT, Jacoby Transfers, weak-2bids and 2NT 11-12 points conventions.
* Automatically supports and plays Stayman, Gerber, Blackwood conventions.
* Choice of multiple card sets, card backs, card tables and backgrounds.
* Uses the Rubber scoring system.
* Extensive score card information.
* Ability to locate deals matching many bidding criteria
* Auto bidding.
* Auto card play.
* Full undo and redo of all bids and cards played.
Why does Bridge take some time to calculate a card to play:
Very simplistically, but to give some idea of the problem domain: At trick 7 there are 28 cards remaining. 28 cards can be arranged in 28! (28 factorial) ways. This is the outer limit of the number of permutations of the cards at this point. A player can see 14 cards, their own and dummys. This leaves 14 cards in unknown locations. 14! = 87 thousand million, or 6 days of processing if you can process 10 million per second.
Bridge has perfect knowledge of all the bids and cards played to that point. It knows how many of each suit are remaining + how many 'points' each hand will have used. E.g. if a hand opened the bidding and has played 8 HCP worth of cards it should still have some high cards left. If you have played 2 rounds of Clubs and it can see 4 within its own hand and dummy then someone must be void.
It can therefore deduce approximately where the remaining cards are likely to be. This enables Bridge to reduce the computation time down from potentially days to secs on an average device. In short it can eliminate a significant number of the permutations.
Why does Bridge need to do this.
If you consider how you play, assume you are South, North is dummy.
Generally your thought process is if I play X, what will E play so I can play Y from dummy + what will W play in response. A classic example being a finesse where you are looking for the probability of winning either one or both tricks to know whether it makes sense to play the cards in a particular order.
This is exactly the process the new Bridge engine is performing thus enabling it to play a stronger game.
We fully appreciate the consequence of the new engine is it can take time to choose a card to play at tricks 7, 8 and possibly 9 depending on the hand, device and cards already played. We also appreciate that not everyone may want a stronger engine which is why there is a Game preference to switch off the new engine.
We hope the above gives some insight into the computational complexities surrounding Bridge and helps to answer some of the forum questions around the new engine taking a period of time to choose a card at certain points.
Apr 2015 (5.21.48)
Reduced the card play engine strength by about 2%. Along with other enhancements this reduces the card selection time at tricks 7,8 and 9 significantly for nearly all hands.
Feb 2015 (5.21.46)
This update introduces the all new state of the art advanced Bridge card play engine playing at a significantly stronger level. By analysing the probable permutations of the remaining cards Bridge will frequently find an extra trick to make or defeat a contract.