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Ruminations re F2F vs Online Bridge

I'm becoming more convinced that, unless something drastic occurs, face-to-face bridge will continue to decline in participation at most (but not all) levels. Let's look at some of what I consider online bridge's advantages over going to a local club (in ACBL-land):

1) You save time and money: online is $1/session on BBO and $50/yr on OKBridge, events last one hour, and you don't have to drive, no hotel costs, and you get to enjoy the comforts of home.

2) Online bridge does away with insufficient bids, leads out of turn, revokes, and a number of other mechanical irregularities.

3) Self-alerts aren't heard by partner and, since you're the one both making the bid and explaining it, the chances of misinformation are almost non-existent.

4) I haven't witnessed anywhere near the level of unpleasantness or outright rudeness online that I've seen on a regular basis at clubs and sectionals.

Now, some of the old-timers I know argue that it is too easy to cheat online, but they're also frequently complaining about the folks who cheat at the club and tournaments, so I figure this argument is a wash -- different forms of cheating, maybe, but the extent is probably about the same.

The only real advantage I see to face-to-face bridge anymore is the social aspect between sessions and after a game, but even that has all but disappeared from the game compared to what it was 20-40 (or more) years ago.

I look on the ACBL web-site at tournament results, and I see attendance that is about 1/4 of what I remember from the 70s and early 80s, when I would see over 100 tables entered in a Sectional pair game or Swiss (Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Westwood, Long Beach, Culver City, etc). It can't all be the aging of the bridge-playing population or, if that's the case, then the game is on life-support.

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