There are three (or four) steps involved in getting set up to play bridge on BridgeBase Online (BBO).
- Register on BBO
- Associate your ACBL number
- Fund your BB$
- Optional: Save your convention card(s)
Each step is simple. Here are the instructions. (Note: these instructions are for a desktop or laptop. You can also do this using an app on Android or iOS devices. The process is exactly the same, but things will be laid out a little differently.)
- Visit the BBO website (https://www.bridgebase.com/).
- Click Login/Register (in the upper right hand corner of the page).
- Click Become a Member (free!).
- Fill out the form. (Note that you might need to try several different usernames to find one that's available.) If you are an ACBL member, be sure to include that here so any Masterpoints you earn will be applied to your ACBL account. Check the box to agree to the Terms of Service, and click Register.
- A confirmation email will go to your email address with a link to activate your account. The activation must be completed by clicking on the link in your confirmation email within one week.
Associate your ACBL number
If you just registered, you already did this. But if you've played on BBO in the past and aren't sure your ACBL number is associated with your BBO account, here's what you do:
- After you are logged in, find and click ACBL World. (It's right on the main screen under Featured Areas.)
- Now click Update your ACBL number.
- If you already have your ACBL number on file, it will be displayed here. To update it (e.g. if you have become a Life Master), simply click in the box and type your updated number.
- If there is no ACBL number on file, enter your number in the box.
- Click Update.
- When you're done, click either the Back or Home button in the upper left corner of your screen.
Fund your BB$
Game fees on BBO are played with BridgeBucks (BB$). You purchase BB$ with a credit card. One BB$ is equivalent in value to one US dollar.
NOTE: If you're playing on your phone or a tablet, you need to use a browser and go to https://www.bridgebase.com/purchase/pay.php. There you can follow the instructions starting with step 3 below.
- Click BB$ (in the upper left corner of your screen next to your user name).
- Click Purchase BB$. This opens a new tab in your browser.
- Enter your BBO username and password and click Continue.
- Follow the instructions to select the amount you wish to buy and provide your credit card information.
- I recommend selecting an Auto-Purchase option. That way, when your BB$ account runs low, your stored credit card information will be used to add BB$ to your account automatically.
- When you are finished, close the tab to return to BBO.
Save your convention card(s)
If you are playing with regular partners, you will want to save your convention cards on BBO. When you save your card, you can specify which partner you play it with, and then whenever you play with that partner, your convention card will be used automatically and will be available to be viewed by your opponents.
To save a convention card:
- At the far right edge of your screen, select Account. Then click Convention Cards.
- Click "New ACBL Convention Card."
- Fill out your convention card by clicking into each field and typing, or by clicking checkboxes. Be sure to give it a title and enter your partner's BBO username in the area at the top with the dark blue background, in the box marked "Partner." Note: once you enter your partner's name and a title, you can save your card and come back to edit it later. If you fail to enter your partner's BBO username correctly, your convention card will not be posted when you play together in our games.
- When you're done, click "Save Changes."
Note that there is online help all over the BBO website, so if you are unsure about any of these steps, or if you want to update your personal profile, add a convention card, or change BBO settings, it's pretty easy to find what you're looking for.
Playing with a Visitor
Just as in our regular club, visitors are always welcome. However, there are some limitations imposed by ACBL. In order to make life easier for everyone and ensure we don't violate ACBL rules, here are the guidelines for playing in our virtual club games with a visitor.
- In order not to be blocked, visitors have to be added to our list of eligible players. Email Lane with your request to play with a visitor.
- Once your visitor is approved, you will be able to play with that person at any of our virtual club games.
- However, you are limited to one game per week with visitors. Additional games must be played with club members.
- If you violate the rule and play with visitors more than once a week, your visitor(s) will be barred for two weeks. Repeat violations will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
The reason for these rules is that if our club violates the ACBL limitation on visitors, our entire club could be barred from running games on BBO.
Many players use acronyms to chat on BBO. Here are some of the most common:
- glp: Good luck, Partner!
- glo: Good luck, Opponent!
- ntp: Nice try, Partner!
- gtp: Good try, Partner!
- wdp: Well done, Partner!
- wdo: Well done, Opponent!
- typ: Thank you, Partner!
- tyo: Thank you, Opponent
If you see others, it's good to just ask the players in chat.
Enjoy your games on BBO!
Getting Your Results
There are a number of places you can get results of your games on BBO.
- During the game, you can follow your progress in real time. Click on the History tab, and then My Table. If you have a game in progress, you can see your results here.
- The same History tab gives you a chance to look back at past games you've played in. Click on Recent Tournaments, and you'll see a list of games you played with results. Click on a specific game and you can view all the hands and even replay them.
- Results of each of our club games are posted here on our website. Just click on Latest Results in the upper right corner, or select Results in the menu.
- ACBL Live for Clubs and BBO Results are two additional places you can find results.
- Starting on Saturday, August 8, 2020, we've been using hands from The Common Game. You can get those results at https://thecommongame.com/ by entering your ACBL number in the login box. You can also see detailed results with hand records for each game at http://tcgcloud.bridgefinesse.com/ClubWebHost/142398/.