Vincent Brévart

Vincent Brévart

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Tips for Leaders

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Helping a player to install SimiliBridge

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You can suggest to a player that he should install SimiliBridge at home on his personal computer. Doing so, you offer him an additional possibility of learning the game at his pace, enjoying himself with complete freedom, and training himself to play better. He will most probably develop increasing confidence and get to like bridge more quickly.

But it is not certain. It depends a lot on the player's age and personality. A young player, very busy with his homework, his sports activity and video games, will run the program once out of curiosity. He will play during a short quarter of an hour, but quickly tired of it, will skip to something else. You cannot even be sure that he will ever launch the program again. As for the adult player, he will sometimes be disappointed or irritated by a simple input mistake, upset about a first failure or discouraged by the difficulties he can expect. And his initial enthusiasm might well vanish in front of a cold and insensitive machine.

No miracle, but...

So, you should not expect the program to work miracles. A player who is not really interested in the game played at the table will not suddenly get a passion for the equivalent computer game. However, you should not neglect the exceptional conditions created by this kind of program :

  • You can play when you want, and therefore often at the most favorable moment.

  • You play alone, with no one watching. So, no embarrassment. You can make a mistake without feeling ashamed or guilty.

  • You can play at your pace. You have time to think and reason, with no external pressure.

  • You have time to replay a deal card by card, to understand your mistakes and try different lines of play.

  • You can play at your level, with players who know the same techniques as you, who reason rather in the same way, and whose way of playing you understand.

  • You can study new techniques, read the help pages, have a look at the examples, and gradually understand the logic of the game.

  • You can be delighted at a result that maybe would be considered catastrophic by some other players.

  • You can train yourself to play better, so as to be more confident when playing at the table with other bridge players.

The leader should think of the few persons who have no time or taste for attending a course, who had the misfortune to be introduced to bridge by too highbrow a book, a too complicated program or some relatives with too few teaching skills. Persons who still have the right, like anybody else, to play bridge and have fun with it. And who may receive this program (or another, it doesn't matter which) as the luck to at last find the ideal conditions for getting initiated and for learning.

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Two little precautions before proposing SimiliBridge

When a player wishes to install SimiliBridge on his personal computer, you should of course encourage him to do so, while taking two little precautions though :

  1. The player must already be introduced to minibridge AT TRUMP

    So as not to distort the game, SimiliBridge doesn't allow to play only at No Trump. So, it is better for a new user to be already introduced to playing at trump, so he can understand the different kinds of contract and be aware of the rules concerning the trump suit.

    This can lead the leader to rapidly explain how to play at trump, what is not so bad in itself. The trump suit brings some variety to the game, and players who play too long at No Trump may sometimes end up having a slight mental block with trumps.

  2. The player should have already played a few deals on SimiliBridge

    It will be easier for a new user to get used to the program at home if he has already played a few deals on SimiliBridge (one or two are enough) with the leader's help. It is not absolutely necessary, but it is true that when learning to use a program, we can be stopped or annoyed by little problems that will be soon resolved if the leader is nearby : cancelling a bid or card, finding the decision table and the bidding slip, reading the tool tips, replaying a deal, etc.

    It would even be good to show to the player how he can change the rule preferences (bidding and playing techniques) so he can play at the appropriate level. But this can be done subsequently, once the installation is completed.

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How to help to install SimiliBridge

To help a player to install SimiliBridge on his personal computer, the leader has the choice between the two following solutions :

  1. Installation from a CD

    Some leaders have the possibility to create a CD allowing to install SimiliBridge automatically. This can be done very simply by writing to the CD the SimiliBridge180e.exe file (the version number may vary), as well as a small text file that must be called autorun.inf and that will allow the installation program to run automatically as soon as the CD is inserted into the drive.

    autorun.inf file

    Create a text file that you name autorun.inf and in which you write the following lines :


    Replace 250 by the right version number. If the program file and this autorun.inf file are on the main folder of a CD, this will allow the installation program to run automatically when the CD is inserted into the drive.

    The advantage of this solution is that it makes the installation very easy. Its little drawback is that you need to rewrite the CD at each new version, and that if you have several players, lending the CD to each of them can take a long time. Nevertheless, this solution remains the best one for the novice computer user or someone who has problems connecting to the internet.

  2. Downloading from Internet

    The second solution consists in inviting the player (or his parents if he is of school age) to download SimiliBridge from Internet. To give the address of the download site and describe the whole installation procedure, the leader can print the help page accessible by the menu :

    Help / The technique lists / How to download SimiliBridge from Internet

    This menu opens the following help page :

    If you print this page by the Print button, you can give the player all the information he needs to make a successful download and installation. The advantage of this solution is that it is not very costly and that it makes the user able to install a new version all by himself. Still, it requires an Internet connection and a little know-how on the topic.

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How to help to set the preferences

It then remains to help the new user to set its own preferences, so he can play at the level which is the most suitable for him. If he is a beginner, he has probably clicked the choice that was recommended to him on startup. Then, the only techniques that are checked are the basic ones. So, the leader should rapidly invite his player to check some additional techniques, so that the game becomes more interesting.

To more easily tell a player which techniques he should check, the leader can use the 5 technique lists provided in SimiliBridge, that are accessible by the menus :

Help / The technique lists / Technique list 1 (2) (3) (4) (5)

Each technique list is displayed more or less in this way :

If you print a list by the Print button and check the appropriate boxes, you can easily show to a player which techniques he should enable. According to the player's level for the bidding and playing, you will choose one of the lists numbered 1 to 5.

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