Computer Bridge Games
Computer bridge is the playing of the game contract bridge using computer software. After years of limited progress, since around the end of the 20th century the field of computer bridge has made major advances. In 1996 the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) established an official World Computer-Bridge Championship, to be held annually along with a major bridge event. The first championship took place in 1997 at the North American Bridge Championships in Albuquerque. Since 1999 the event has been conducted as a joint activity of the American Contract Bridge League and the World Bridge Federation. Alvin Levy, ACBL Board member, initiated this championship and has coordinated the event annually since its inception. The event history, articles and publications, analysis, and playing records can be found at the official website.
computer bridge games
Further progress in the field of computer bridge has resulted in stronger bridge playing programs, including Jack  and Wbridge5. These programs have been ranked highly in national bridge rankings. A series of articles published in 2005 and 2006 in the Dutch bridge magazine IMP describes matches between five-time computer bridge world champion Jack and seven top Dutch pairs including a Bermuda Bowl winner and two reigning European champions. A total of 196 boards were played. Jack defeated three out of the seven pairs (including the European champions). Overall, the program lost by a small margin (359 versus 385 IMPs).[volume & issue needed]
In 2009, Phillip Martin, an expert player, began a four-year project in which he played against the champion bridge program, Jack. He played one hand at one table, with Jack playing the other three; at another table, Jack played the same cards at all four seats, producing a comparison result. He posted his results and analysis in a blog he titled The Gargoyle Chronicles. The program was no match for Martin, who won every contest by large margins.
Bridge poses challenges to its players that are different from board games such as chess and go. Most notably, bridge is a stochastic game of incomplete information. At the start of a deal, the information available to each player is limited to just his/her own cards. During the bidding and the subsequent play, more information becomes available via the bidding of the other three players at the table, the cards of the partner of the declarer (the dummy) being put open on the table, and the cards played at each trick. However, it is only at the end of the play that full information is obtained.
Today's top-level bridge programs deal with this probabilistic nature by generating many samples representing the unknown hands. Each sample is generated at random, but constrained to be compatible with all information available so far from the bidding and the play. Next, the result of different lines of play are tested against optimal defense for each sample. This testing is done using a so-called "double-dummy solver" that uses extensive search algorithms to determine the optimum line of play for both parties. The line of play that generates the best score averaged over all samples is selected as the optimal play.
Efficient double-dummy solvers are key to successful bridge-playing programs. Also, as the amount of computation increases with sample size, techniques such as importance sampling are used to generate sets of samples that are of minimum size but still representative.
While bridge is a game of incomplete information, a double-dummy solver analyses a simplified version of the game where there is perfect information; the bidding is ignored, the contract (trump suit and declarer) is given, and all players are assumed to know all cards from the very start. The solver can therefore use many of the game tree search techniques typically used in solving two-player perfect-information win/lose/draw games such as chess, go and reversi. However, there are some significant differences.
In comparison to computer chess, computer bridge has not reached world-class level, but the top robots have demonstrated a consistently high level of play. (See analysis of the last few years of play at www.computerbridge.com.) However see below the Philippe Pionchon's article (1984). Yet, whereas computer chess has taught programmers little about building machines that offer human-like intelligence, more intuitive and probabilistic games such as bridge might provide a better testing ground.
The question of whether bridge-playing programs will reach world-class level in the foreseeable future is not easy to answer. Computer bridge has not attracted an amount of interest anywhere near to that of computer chess. On the other hand, much progress has been made in the last decade by researchers working in the field.
Regardless of bridge robots' level of play, computer bridge already has changed the analysis of the game. Commercially available double-dummy programs can solve bridge problems in which all four hands are known, typically within a fraction of a second. These days, few editors of books and magazines will solely rely on humans to analyse bridge problems before publications. Also, more and more bridge players and coaches utilize computer analysis in the post-mortem of a match.
Bridge is a fun and challenging game to be enjoyed by players of all ages. 247 Bridge is the perfect game for beginners and experts alike, as there are always ? buttons along the way to help you play the game if you are confused, or you can turn these off to play the expert game of bridge you know and love!
Bridge is played with one full set of cards. Four players are required for bridge (lucky for you, we've created amazing artificial intelligence so you can play any time at your computer!). Bridge is a game of partnerships, so the player across the table is your partner, and the players to the right and left are on the opposing team.
Bridge is made up of two main parts. Initially the bidding process and then the game play. Suits are ranked in Bridge from Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, to Clubs, the lowest. This is important in the bidding process and scoring. During the bidding process, players are determining how many tricks they can take with a single suit (or no suit - NT) as Trump. Trump means a card of that suit will always win the trick (if it is the highest of that trump suit played within that trick). If you bid, it is assumed your team will win 6 + the number of tricks bid. So, if you bid 1 Spade, you are saying you think your team can win 7 tricks during the hand with Spades as the trump suit. Obviously you don't know what your teammate has so there is a bit of back and forth and guessing involved, but that's where the fun is! If you don't think you can up your teammate or opponent's bid, just pass. Three passes in a row means a bid is complete and the computer will tell you who wins the bid and with what bid. Doubling is a way to let your opponent know you don't think they can win the amount of the bid they have set during the bidding process. You are upping the ante by doubling the points. A Redouble is used when an opponent doubles your partner and you Redouble, stating you definitely can win that hand with those tricks. A double or redouble is wiped from the board whenever another bid is made after it. There are many complicated ways to determine how to bid which we will not go into here, but you are welcome to research as the internet has a plethora of sites to learn from.
The game play portion of Bridge is where the hand is played out. One hand will always be flipped so you can see the cards. If your team won the bid, you will be playing your teammate's hand. Otherwise, you will see one of your opponent's hands. If your team has won the bid, the goal is to take that many tricks by playing high cards or trump cards. If your team did not win the bid, your goal is to stop the other team from meeting their bid by winning your own tricks. Once the hand is completed either the bidding team will have won or lost and the points will be tallied up accordingly. Only the winning bid team will be allowed to make points towards their game score if they succeed in meeting or exceeding their bet. All other points are tallied in the bonus section of the board. A game is won when a team reaches 100 game points. The bridge match is best two out of three. At the point where a team wins two of the games, all the scores, including the game and bonus scores, are added up to determine the winner.
DISCLAIMER: The games on this website are using PLAY (fake) money. No payouts will be awarded, there are no "winnings", as all games represented by 247 Games LLC are free to play. Play strictly for fun.
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