Registering with BBO
1) In an Internet web browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome etc) Go to www.bridgebase.com
2) Click ‘Play bridge now’ (red button in centre)
3) Click ‘Become a member (free!)
4) Type in a User name. It will need to be unique and it will show ‘Unavailable’ in blue if your chosen User name is already taken. Try adding a number or choose an unusual nickname if your preferred username is unavailable.
5) Type in a password and then type in the password again. The password may only contain letters and numbers. Type in your email address, this will be held by BBO but will not be made public.
6) Type in your real name if you want that to be displayed to other BBO users, otherwise leave this blank. Leave the ACBL number field blank. It should look something like this:
7) Click the checkbox for ‘I agree to the Terms of Service’
8) Click Register. BBO will then send you an email to the email address you provided. In the email will be a link which will say 'Click here to confirm'. Once you have clicked that your account will be setup and you can then login.
Setting up a Table, and Joining Manchester Bridge Club Games
1) Go to www.bridgebase.com, click 'Play Bridge Now'. Enter your User name and Password and then click Log In. You should now be logged on and it should look like this:
BBO has multiple different ways to play.
Find a specific tournament
To search for a specific tournament, for instance a private game organized by your club, click COMPETITIVE, then All Tournaments.
There is a Search box at the top. Type the host name, or some keyword from the tourney title.
How to register to a tournament
Now that you found your tournament, click on it. You will reach this screen.
Type your partner’s username in the Invite box, and click the Invite button. You both need to be online
Find your friends
Friends and players you follow are listed in the People panel.
If you already have friends and bridge partners using Bridge Base Online, ask them what their BBO username is. Once you know their handle, you can add them to your friends list online.
Online friends will be listed to the right of your screen, in the People panel, in the Friends tab. Click a name and you will be able to chat to them.
Playing a Private Game
1) Click ‘Casual’
2) Click ‘Start a table’
3) At the top choose whether you would like IMPs or Matchpoints scoring.
4) Reserve seats for the people who you wish to play with. To reserve a seat click on North, South, East or West and then enter the BBO username of the person. If it is just you and a partner then leave East and West blank. If the person’s name appears in blue then they are logged in, if it is in red they they are not currently logged in although you can still proceed and the seat will be reserved for them.
5) Kibitzers are spectators. You can choose whether to allow them or not. If you are setting up a table just for friends then you may wish to use the Invisible option, this will mean that other people will not see the table and so will not try and join.
6) Then click ‘Start Table – Relaxed game’ or ‘Start Table – Competitive game’. Both are free. At least in theory Competitive game should be a slightly higher standard.
7) The game should then start and any free seats will be filled up automatically.
You can retain your anonymity by playing one of games on the home page: Just Play Bridge, Just Declare, Matchpoints, IMPs are free games for individuals where your partner, and opponents, are robots who play a strong no trump and 2/1. You will not get significant comparisons on how you do in these games, but your partner and opponents are very quiet and do not mind if you take a long time to make a bid or play a card, and will not object if you stop in the middle of a hand to make a coffee.
Playing with real people on BBO is a little like the Wild West. The key is to find and make friends and gradually expand your network so that you can always find a game when you log in. The main difference to face to face bridge are:
Alert your own bids
Chat with both or one opponent privately.
Announce your basic system at the start
How to ask for an undo
How to make and accept claims
General Advice is:
It's tempting at times to overstate one's skill level. Sometimes players also understate their level because they're timid or just don't realize how good they really are. It's very helpful to be as accurate as possible in advertising how well we play bridge. Following these guidelines when stating your level of expertise will make for a more pleasant bridge playing experience:
Private This indicates you do not wish a skill level to be displayed when people view your profile information.
Novice Someone who recently learned to play bridge.
Beginner Someone who has played bridge for less than one year.
Intermediate Someone who is comparable in skill to most other members of BBO.
Advanced Someone who has been consistently successful in clubs or minor tournaments.
Expert Someone who has enjoyed success in major national tournaments.
World Class Someone who has represented their country in World Championships.
Of course, you may at times find that you disagree with another's assessment of his expertise. If this is the case, it is not appropriate to mention this to him via private or public chat. You may be correct, but it may also be that he's just having an off day.