Click on the RealBridge link provided on Ascot Bridge Club’s website, located under the menu item Online Bridge – RealBridge Links. Unlike BBO, you won't be able to pre-book 2 hours in advance - just like a Director opening up the church hall and putting out the tables, this link will be live about 20 mins in advance of the starting time. We will also have support for individuals without partners, who can simply turn up - see details later - so don't worry if you've not been able to arrange a partner in time. If you need any moral support to get things up and running, Marguerite and myself are available to answer questions - simply click on our names to email us.
Players must use a laptop or a tablet device - it is not possible to use a phone. Neither will you be able to access RealBridge with Internet Explorer - any of the other web browsers are fine but your device MUST have the latest software updates installed i.e. it is not a good idea to try one that has been sitting idle for a few months or years. Whilst the premise is that your device should provide support for audio and video, it is not mandatory - if you have neither of these, then you can still use the application, simply the rest of us won't be able to see or hear you and the only method for communicating then is via text chat (also available within RealBridge and useful if your technology breaks half-way through for whatever reason). To test whether everything is setup as it should, Visit the RealBridge Camera and microphone test page to troubleshoot video and audio issues.
On the day of the trial, when you click on the trial link, you will see a login screen. Please type in your Full Name, as you wish to be known - note this is then visible within RealBridge so anybody typing in Santa Claus, will easily be identified as telling a lie! Secondly your ID number should be your EBU number - if you do not know your EBU number, either look it up on My EBU area of EBU page (if you have an EBU login already) or email me and I will let you know. You will then enter the Lobby area of the RealBridge - and see a number of tables available for you to sit at. If you've pre-arranged to play with a partner, please see if your partner is already seated and sit opposite, or select a free seat at any low-numbered table (where both you and your parter can sit). If you've simply turned up as a single hoping to get a game, either sit at a high-numbered table and be prepared to accept anybody who comes to sit opposite, or wait in the lobby area to see who else might sit at these higher-numbered tables and then join one of them. (Sadly we cannot guarantee a game if there are an odd-number of people who login on the day). Table Etiquette Once you've sat at a table and others are present, if all is working well you should be able to not only hear them speak but also see them via video link. All your conversations are private and are not recorded - even better, the next table cannot hear what you are talking about, so you can make as much noise as you like until play starts. If somebody other than your partner accidentally sits opposite you, politely inform them that you are waiting for your partner to arrive - and they should click Leave to return to the Lobby area. Play within RealBridge Once play begins, your cards will appear in front of you at the base of the table area of the screen - just as in BBO. When it is your turn to bid, the bidding box will magically appear and look very similar to real bidding boxes used at the club. Simply click on your bid (pass or double). The big difference to BBO is you alert and announce partner's bids just like in face-toface bridge. Please be tolerant if your opponents don't get it right immediately and help them out as necessary. Remember Best Behaviour at Bridge - no shouting at the screen when partner does something you believe is wrong, everyone else can now hear (and see) you!! Your scores will be visible at the end of a round (not each board as in BBO) within a popup window that will automatically appear, listing your current percentage score, plus a list of the boards that you have currently played. As with BBO, we all play the same boards at the same time - to review all the scores on a board, simply click on the board number within this popup. To review the auctions, click on the contract within this traveller. You can always re-launch this window by clicking Scores button at the base of the playing screen. Audio and Video Best Practices Remember you can now be seen - so please ensure that your appearance is appropriate! Remember also that computer microphones are very sensitive and it is very surprising what sounds and conversations can be picked up over the microphone, so if there are multiple occupants where you live, please ensure that you find yourself a quiet spot to play RealBridge to avoid disturbing other bridge players at the table. Moreover, if there are multiple bridge players at the same location, please ensure that you are located in separate rooms - this should be happening anyway for online bridge - and that the doors are closed, so that sound interference (feedback noises) are not heard over audio. Other Features To the bottom right of the screen, familiar buttons are available for Director - to summon the director, when you have a problem - this will send an online alert to the Director, who will appear visually in the top-left of the screen. Claim - to speed up play please click on the claim button once it becomes obvious that as declarer (or indeed as a defender) that you have the rest of the tricks or can claim a stated number of tricks. Verbally these need to also include statements about drawing trumps, as claims in face-to-face bridge would do. Auction - pops up a window reminding you of the auction - this is only available once play of the cards has begun. Undo - this should be used when a mistaken click has been made in the auction - easier than BBO since you can immediately shout "oh i've made a mistake" - correcting a misplayed card during play needs to be very obvious (and not a change of mind) before it is allowed. This will need opposition permission before granting - please be generous if asked, although please call the director if there is a problem. Cog wheel - this is the Settings button providing the user with several options to allow for changing the visual appearance of certain items, plus whether you want double confirmation when selecting bids/cards. Please note that this is slightly different behaviour to BBO - if enabled, first tap selects the item and the confirmation tap MUST be made towards the lower half of the screen i.e. away from the initial tap. This is somewhat cumbersome so that anybody who uses this in BBO might not wish to have this same feature in RealBridge. Please use the trial to try things out - but be prepared to switch things back if you don't like the result! Enjoy the Trial - and if you have any questions on the day, please don't hesitate to ask your fellow players at the table, or when in doubt, call the Director. Please do provide any feedback to committee members as you play them - we want to hear want you think about RealBridge. More detailed information about RealBridge is available on their website, specifically on the Players tab https://realbridge.online. If anybody runs into a problem on the day and needs my input, please call me on my mobile number 07920 231506.