Q: I've never played bridge online, but I'm curious if those who do play online believe that "table feel" and other psychological elements are still a factor in the game?
A:-I suspect the inferences for experienced online players are as valid as they are for equally experienced F2F players. The sad part about this issue is that I am unaware of any effort by online bridge providers to improve their service with regards to this issue. I am quite surprised that at a minimum no one has instituted mandatory pauses over skip bids. It would be equally possible to insert random variations in bidding tempo to make UI less of a problem. I suspect the effect on playing speed would be minimal and the improved quality of the game would be significant. -play a little online bridge but I have noticed a major difference. I play poker live and online also and the feeling of blindness in tense online situations is scary. I never knew how much I needed the in-person clues from my opponents as I did the other night online. It isn't quite so bad in bridge but it is also true that I have nothing at stake in the bridge game. I came up with the phrase "Playing poker online is like training a dog without looking at him." I think that applies to bridge also. Of course, this HELPS as well as hurts when I play with my regular partner because she absolutely RADIATES UI and being online means I don't have to spend so much time asking myself, "did you know this was right without her sighing like that?" Playing against people who leak information is, I am afraid, a bigger part of my bridge than I would have thought before I started playing bridge in space, where no one can hear them scream.