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Re: [Bug-gnubg] strange rolling

From: Tom Martin
Subject: Re: [Bug-gnubg] strange rolling
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2013 19:54:23 +0000

On Sun, 2013-03-31 at 10:21 +0200, Thys du Preez wrote:

> Dear Guys & Dolls,



> I am a Gnu fan but have one serious complaint: why cheat?


It sure looks like that, doesn't it?  When I play humans I'm often amazed at the long streaks of luck that occur.  But when I have a mysterious piece of software generating the rolls, it's natural to think something other than the dice gods are at work (especially since I wasn't accustomed to losing).  My own luck streaks were easily enough explained once I realized that GNUBG isn't totally sadistic and throws me a bone occasionally to keep me from suffering a stroke.   


But there's a GREAT alternative - simply change the rolls you don't like.  Some people have a hard time doing this, but I'm convinced that it's clearly the best way to use a bot.  Let's say you've reached an interesting position and a joker essentially ends the game.  "Too bad - it would have been fun to play out" you think to yourself.


But not if you have a "no game-winning jokers" philosophy.  If you think the position is entertaining or instructive, just reroll the dice. It takes discipline to reject one’s own good fortune, but it’s easy to start out by letting your blood pressure tell you when to adjust the bot’s dice (or even your own, should you roll a crushing anti-joker).  When I do, not only do I find the game more interesting but my control issues with the bot disappear.  Plus I learn more and if the position is especially interesting, I save it and replay it later.


A word of warning though – the side effect is that you will make more mistakes than usual so the bot’s rating of your game will decline and that will seem galling in light of your improved results.  So don’t worry about your overall rating and just focus on understanding your errors.

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