BBO’s Just Declare Bridge

BBO’s Just Declare Bridge

Just Declare Bridge is a solitary bridge game available through Bridge Base Online that allows you to play a game of bridge against intelligent robot players – with you as the game’s declarer by default. It can be a great way to practice your skills and improve your overall game with just a click.

Just Declare Bridge

Just Declare Bridge is available on Bridge Base Online. Alternatively, you can also check out Just Declare through the ACBL’s website using your BBO login details.

Note, this will allow you to declare bridge hands – in other words, practice your whist and dummy play. If you’d like to play an entire hand including the bidding. you can visit Just Play Bridge which will be the same interface but with all the bells and whisltes.

How it Works

JDB puts you up against BBO’s robot players. Each game puts you in the declarer’s seat by default – and you’re also choosing the cards for your virtual bridge partner.

The first interesting thing about JDB is the fact that it skips the bidding stage completely. All bids are pre-selected by the system, and you have to make it work from there. This makes it a great way to practice your game away from bidding.

The second thing is a live score-board. You can keep track of other players and their scores if they’re currently online.

If you want to see the bidding table, just click up top where you see the contract. Users online right now are displayed to the right of the cards with their scores.

Note: Remember to hover over to the settings and turn off the sound effects (or your speakers) if you don’t want the daylights scared out of you by loud shuffling noises.

Once you’re done, you can view your score and the amount of won tricks. Either read them and weep – or rejoice. If it went badly, press refresh and try again.

The terms “solitary” and “bridge” don’t often go together, and this is a great initiative to see. It’s as great for regular players who want to practice as it is for anyone who wants to pick up the game for the first time.

The Robot Behind the Curtain

Bridge Base Online utilizes GIB as their default robot bridge player. It’s considered to be one of the world’s best.

The name is short for Ginsberg’s Intelligent Bridge Player – but also stands for Goren-in-a-Box. It was developed by software guru and card player Matt Ginsberg, and has been tweaked from there until it’s become the equivalent of Big Blue, the famed chess AI.

Want to know more?

We know the potential merits of robot bridge well, and we’ve written about the World Computer Bridge Championships before – check that out here.

More information about GIB and its use on BBO is available at the Bridge Base website here.

The company behind the software can be found over here, or you can read one of the early studies about GIB from the 1999’s written by Matt Ginsberg himself.

By Alex J. Coyne