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... and chatting to them

How do I find and chat to friends?

When you log in, BBO checks to see which of 'your' people are online and pops a number next to the  People  tab on the right of the screen: here I appear to have 5 friends online.

To see who they are (and what they're doing), you simply click on the  People  tab. I've done that (see right) and on this occasion:

  • one of my friends is playing solitaire
  • two others are playing in games
  • one is 'kibitzing' (watching) a match – actually, running a BBO training session for 4 Bath members *
  • and one is simply loitering in the lobby – handy, as I'd like to fix up a game with him – see below.

* If you need help playing bridge on BBO, email chris@boxbridge.co.uk and we'll try and arrange something for you.

How to chat with a friend

Now that you know who's online, you may want to chat to them. Here I'd like to fix up a game with Stuart ...

Method 1: Bring up their profile

Click on the friend's username to bring up their profile as a pop-up box. You can then type a message into the 'Message' area and send it by clicking the  Chat  button – see right.

Your conversation appears in the large white 'chat area' at the bottom of the screen. Like this:

  Which brings us to ...

Method 2: Use the message box at the bottom of the screen

Right at the bottom of your screen, beneath the white chat area, there's a message box with a blue button on the left. Whereas writing in the message area on someone's profile sends chat only to them, this one is a universal message box – it sends a message to whoever/wherever is named on the blue button.

When you first sign on, the button defaults to  →Lobby  –  a message sent to the Lobby will go to pretty well everyone who's signed in and not actually playing or kibitzing, which isn't particularly useful – so before you send any message from here, make sure it's going to end up in the right place. If you click on the button, it'll give you various options, depending on where you are and what you're doing, but for now we just want to chat to friends.

This is how your direct your chat where you want it to go:

  • Click on the  Lobby  button  – it'll bring up an option marked  Private  (as in the pic right)
  • Click on the word  Private  and you can then type in the username of the person you want to chat to – in this case stuart76:

  • Now the button will change to read  stuart76  – and any messages you send from here from now on will be sent to that person.
  • If you later want to send a message elsewhere, simply click on the blue button again and change it.

As you can see in the picture (right) BBO keeps a record of other people you've been chatting to recently (In my case, bonaman and sponte) so it only takes a click to switch the chat back to them.

We'll come back to this chat area, which has an important role when you're actually playing.

Meanwhile, here's how to get yourself and your partner signed up for a Bath BC event ...