Branford-Madison Bridge Club
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Your Directors

Don Brueggemann - Branford and Shoreline Bridge Clubs - - 203-415-6600

Rick Seaburg - Branford and Old Saybrook Bridge Clubs - - 203-915-5987

Margaret Macilvain - Branford and Shoreline Bridge Clubs - - 203-376-2752

Rick Townsend - The Bridge Forum - - 860-249-6266

Bill Segraves - The Bridge Forum - - 475-900-6797


Documents Listed:

  • Convention Chart for Our Club - ACBL Basic Convention Chart
  • ACBL Alert Procedure
  • Psychic Bids
  • The "Smart Dummy"
  • How to Find a Partner

News Page

This page has information previously posted as "Tip of the Week". For a full list of forthcoming events, see "Calendar" on the menu and for a list of results see "Results".


Directors continue to receive complaints that players are not alerting their own bids as required on Bridge Base Online. What bids do players need to self-alert? Any bid that requires an alert or an announcement in face-to-face Bridge requires a self-alert on BBO. There was one exception made for the Branford-Madison Bridge Club on BBO – it is not necessary to self-alert a “standard” No Trump bid showing a balanced 15 to 17 HCP hand.

In face-to-face Bridge we alert our partner’s calls when we are required to do so. In online Bridge, however, we self-alert. This may sound odd at first, but it is actually an improvement over the live version of the process. Partner cannot see/hear our alert, but the opponents can. Similarly, the opponents can privately ask questions of you or partner without unauthorized information getting passed.

When it is your turn to bid, and you realize that the call you are about to make requires an alert, before doing anything else click the “Alert” button. The “Alert” button will turn red and a cursor will appear. Type an explanation for your call on the line here. After you have entered your alert explanation you are ready to select your call. Once you bid it is too late to alert. First select the level of your bid, then the suit or No Trump. When your bid appears in the auction diagram box it will be outlined in red – that red outline is not seen by your partner.

If your opponents want more information about your bid, they can click on the “Explain” in the pop-up bubble that is shown at the table (but not seen by your partner).

In face-to-face play there is a “delayed” alert for certain bids. On BBO you cannot make a “delayed alert” because once the bidding ends you can no longer access the “alert button”, and play will begin. Therefore for those formerly “delayed” alerts you must make the alert when the bid is made.

For a video on alerting on BBO, “CTRL + click” on this link:




The “chat” function is very useful for communication on BBO. A player can “chat” with their partner, another player, their opponents, the “table”, the “lobby” or the director. The director also has the ability to “chat” with the tournament as a whole – before, during or after the tournament ends. If you click on a specific players username you can have a “private” chat that no one else can see – if you do not make the chat “private” other people can see what you are saying.

Be warned! Do not put something in a chat that you do not want other people to see – keep “private” messages private. Don’t publicly criticize your opponents – or even worse, criticize your partner. Above all, don’t gloat about your accomplishments in public.

A “chat” feature that I find very useful as a director is “Chat Manager”. Click on a vacant space in the “chat” window (the area where you receive messages from the director) and a menu will appear. One of the menu items is “Chat Manager”. If you click on that item, you can load in chat messages that are saved to your BBO account. After you save “chats” you can bring them up to use by clicking on :”Chat Manager”. This feature saves a lot of typing and can make your chats more meaningful.





There is no crying in baseball, and there are no take-backs in duplicate Bridge. Some players would prefer the existence of an “undo” option to allow them to take back a card or bids that have erroneously been chosen due to misclicks on a mouse (or misfingering on a smartphone). But just as we don’t allow players to change cards that have been played in the face-to-face game, there are no undo’s in sanctioned online games. Just like revoking when playing face-to-face, accidents happen.

If you want to minimize the risk of misclicks, you can go to your “Account” tab on BBO and click on the “settings” tab.That menu contains options to “Confirm Bids” – you will have to hit an OK button every time you bid. There is also an option to “Confirm cards” which requires you to double-click each time you play a card.

  Bridge Classes in 2023




New Bridge Classes starting in 2023


Bridge Class to start in September A 4 week class to improve your defense (defense is 50% of your game!). There will be no textbook, but there will be hand-outs and discussion of the following topics: Opening Leads, Defensive Signals, 2nd Hand Play and 3rd Hand Play. The class will play 4 pre-arranged hands each week to discuss how the hand was bid, how the declarer played the hand, and how the defense should have cooperated to defeat the declarer. The hands the class will play are from Don B’s favorite “teaching” hands from previous classes. Lessons will be held at the Community House in Branford beginning Wednesday, September 6, 2023, at 10:00 AM, and will be a series of 4 lessons lasting for approximately 1 and ˝ hours. Maximum class size limited to 20 “students”. The fee is $50.00 for Branford residents, $60.00 for non-residents. Sign up for this class at Branford Parks & Recreation, 46 Church Street, Branford, (the Joe Trapasso Community House) 203-488-8304, the website for registration is

Instructor – Donald Brueggemann

For class in Branford (cost of registration is $90.00 for Branford residents) sign up for this class at Branford Parks & Recreation, 46 Church Street, Branford, 203-488-8304, the website for registration is

For class in Madison (cost of registration is $90.00 for Madison residents) sign up at the Madison Senior Center, 29 Bradley Road, Madison, 203-245-5627.