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Playing on BBO

This page contains instructions on how to register on Bridge Base Online (BBO), and join a teaching session.

Registering With BBO to get a Log in name

The first thing you will need to do is register with BBO to get a log in name.  It's free.

  • Go to this page:  BBO Log in  and click Register
  • Select a User Name (up to 10 characters) and Password.   You don't have to use a real name or personal details. You need to remember them because BBO does not have lost password functionality unless you enter an email address too..  You register only once, after that you just go to the same BBO page and Log in.  If you ever forget your log in name or password you will need to register a new name.

    Here are some screen shots of the process:  click here.

    For a video of the process with a bit more information, click here. (Note: the BBO screens have changed a bit since this video was made). 

  • Once registered you can log in and start to familiarise yourself with the site.  A good first thing to do is find your Account and edit your Profile.  Select your region (New Zealand) and at least your first name so opponents and directors or teachers know who you are.  You can upload a photo if you want. Another good thing to do is add your partners and teachers/directors as a friend (see video above for the process).  

    For another video explaining more of the basics of BBO, click here.

Joining a Tournament
  • First log in to BBO
  • Under the top section Play or Watch Bridge, choose Competitive (I know, 'Casual' sounds more inviting, but it's just a name)
  • Choose Free Tournaments.
  • You will see a list of pending tournaments.  Tournaments don't show up here until 2 hours before they are due to start.
  • Look for your tournament.  You will be able to tell from the Title or the Host which it is.  If there is a long list you can use the search option if you know what you are looking for.
  • Click on your tournament (click on the title not on the name of the host)
  • You should see the registration screen. There are options Register, Details, Entries, and Partnership Desk.
  • If you have arranged a partner to play with, click Register, enter the BBO Name of your partner, and click Invite.  Your partner must be online at the same time to accept the invitation.  A box will pop up on their screen inviting them to join you in the tournament, and they must click Accept.
  • You can check that you are entered by selecting the Entries option on that top line. It will show all of the pairs entered.
  • If you haven'r arranged a partner, click Partnership Desk and add your BBO Name there.  If there are other people registered with the Partnership Desk you can invite them to play - but they must be logged in to accept.  If there is no one to accept your invitations, wait until nearer he start time.
  • Once registered in the Tournament or with the Partnership Desk, you can log off BBO.  But be sure to log back in at least 10 minutes before the start of play, especially if you need to sort out a partner.  If you are not logged in when the Tournament starts, you will miss out.  Play starts without you!

    Here are some screen shots of the process: click here.
 Playing in the Tournament
  • When the tournament starts you will be magically transported to a bridge table and your hand will appear.
  • Have a look at the videos in the links below they do a great job introducing you to the system.
  • If your name is in yellow it is your turn to bid or play.
  • After the round finishes there will be a delay before the next set of hands is dealt to allow others to catch up before the next round starts.  Next round starts when everyone is finished.  You can use this time to chat amongst your selves, or look at the last hands.
 
Some Key Tips
  • When it is your turn to do something your name will light up yellow.
  • When it is your turn to bid the BIDDING BOX will turn up in front of you.
  • You select either PASS or you make a BID by pressing the number and then the suit or no trumps and press okay
  •  DUMMY cannot do anything so if you are declarer you will play the cards for Dummy.

Getting familiar with play on BBO
  • To call the director for help, some have a Director button, others can use the 'hamburger' menu, top left.  Video.
  • How to send messagesvideo
  • How to claim: video
  • Asking the opponents to explain a bidvideo
  • How to alertpicture video
     You can enter suit symbols into your explanations by putting an exclamation mark before the suit e.g. !S for
     There are also some common emojis available, such as :)  ;) etc.
  • While waiting for the round to finish, you can browse other results in 'Other Tables': picture
  • How to review the auction: video
  • How to review the last trick: video
  • How to undo: video  (note: undos are not always enabled for a tournament)
  • How to change your settings: video
  • The round clock: video
Commonly used abbreviations used in messages
typ = thank you partner
glp = good luck partner
wdp = well done parther
wdo = well done opponents
vnh = very nice hand

Other things you can do on BBO
  • BridgeMaster.  This is a great set of instructive hands starting from Beginner to World Class.  Log in, go to Solitaire and then Bridge Master.  Make sure you choose the right level!
  • Daily Free Tournaments.  There are daily free tournaments where you play against robots.  Log in, go to Competitive and Free Tournaments.  Look for host BBO and for tournaments that are already started (first tournament in the list is usually a week-end tournament).  Note that the robots use a different bidding system called 2/1.
 
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