Westwood Duplicate Bridge Club
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Sol Hartman Paintings
Sol Hartman Paintings

Many thanks to Sol Hartman for hanging several of his paintings at the club!

For information, please see Sol’s web site.

The photo above shows Richard Burns sitting next to Sol’s “Richard.”

Click here for our March Newsletter.

RealBridge

We now run Saturday morning games at 10:00 that are open to all. Many thanks to Stan Piltch for organizing these games.

There won’t be a game on Saturday, February 20, due to the Hollywood Magic online tournament.

We are happy to run other invitational or open games. If you have a group of eight or more that would like to play occasionally or regularly on RealBridge, please contact me.

(The ACBL does not allow masterpoint awards for play on RealBridge because their contract with BBO is exclusive 😤. See Frequently Asked Questions.)

— Tim Hill (thill75@wesleyan.edu, 781-929-7673)

 
 
  Real Bridge with Real People
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RealBridge takes online bridge to the next level, with built-in video and sound, bringing the true face-to-face experience online. Please click here to learn about RealBridge.

Most of us who’ve had the opportunity to try RealBridge have loved it! After seven long months of cryptic user names, cryptic typed chat, no faces, and no voices, it’s great to see and talk to your opponents and partner, and the user interface is excellent—more like, well, real bridge. ..........

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  RealBridge Instructions

Preliminaries: Please take a few minutes to check your setup before your first RealBridge session.

  • Use almost any computer or large-screen tablet with camera, microphone, and speaker(s).
    • Phones don’t work well.
    • iPads that are more than five years old don’t work.
    • Don’t have a camera? Click here. If you want to use your phone or tablet as a web camera while playing on your computer, see this article. (While you can play without a camera and microphone, we’d rather you didn’t—the experience is much better for you and other players if you do have them.)
  • Use a modern browser that supports camera and microphone input, such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari. A couple restrictions:
    • Internet Explorer doesn’t work. Use Chrome, Edge, or Firefox
    • On iPads, only Safari works.
    • (Up-to-date macOS version 11—“Big Sur”—and Safari now work. The “issues” reported earlier have been resolved.)
  • Be sure your browser is up-to-date:
    • Chrome on macOS: On the Chrome menu, choose About Google Chrome
    • Chrome on Windows: In the upper-right corner, click ︙, choose Settings, and click About Chrome; or go to chrome://settings/help
    • Edge on Windows: In the upper-right corner, click ⋯, choose Settings, and click About Microsoft Edge; or go to edge://settings/help
    • Firefox on macOS: On the Firefox menu, choose About Firefox
    • Firefox on Windows: In the upper-right corner, click , choose Help, and choose About Firefox
    • Safari on macOS: On the Apple menu, choose System Preferences, and click Software Update
  • Test your camera and microphone:
  • Please use a headset if other players hear echos or background noise from your system.

Log Into RealBridge

  • Arrive 15-30 minutes early the first few times
  • Close any other video conversation apps (FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, etc.)
  • Click on the provided link. The link is different for each session. The link takes you to the session login form.
    • Name: your full real name (e.g., “Tim Hill”—not just “Tim” or “Hill” or a BBO-like cryptic handle)
    • ID number: your email address
    • Click Login.
  • After you log in, you’ll be in the “lobby.” You’ll see the tables with the names of the players sitting at them. The empty seats have Sit buttons.
  • If you have a partner, Sit at a low-numbered table (by clicking Sit E, for example). Partners should sit opposite each other 🙄.
  • If you don’t have a partner, Sit at a high-numbered table. If there are others sitting at high-numbered tables, Sit with them, talk to them, and decide if you want to play together. (To move to a different table, click Leave.)

At the table

  Frequently Asked Questions

What do I put in the ID number field?

Your email address.

Are ACBL masterpoints awarded?

Short answer: No 😤. (We can award cash prizes.)

Long answer: Early in the covid era, the ACBL contracted exclusively with BBO to run Virtual Club Games, Support Your Club Games, and Online “Regional” and “North American” Tournaments. That contract prohibits awarding ACBL masterpoints for play on any other online platform (except for the grandfathered “unpigmented” masterpoint games on Funbridge, OKbridge, and Swan).

(If you don’t like this policy, you might write to your representatives on the ACBL Board of Directors and Board of Governors.)

Even without masterpoints, we think RealBridge has so many advantages over BBO that many of us will want to play on RealBridge, at least occasionally!

How do I use convention cards?

RealBridge doesn’t support convention cards at present. It’s courteous to give your opponents a one-sentence system summary at the start of a round, and of course you should make the normal alerts and announcements (see the next question).

How do I alert?

That depends on the alert mode chosen by the director.

Normal mode: Alert (or announce) as you do in face-to-face play: when your partner makes an alertable (or announceable) call, click ALERT and either say “Alert” or make the appropriate announcement.

Self-alert mode: As on BBO, silently click ALERT and, if asked, silently type an explanation. (Alerts and explanations are visible to both your opponents but not to your partner.)

Screen mode: Imagine a sound-proof screen placed diagonally across the table so that North and East can see and hear each other but can’t see or hear South or West (and vice-versa). Alert both your own bids and your partner’s. Only your screenmate sees and hears your alerts.

Screen mode with self-alerts: You can only see and hear your screenmate, but you alert your own bids and type explanations as in self-alert mode.

Can I kibitz?

Not yet. (RealBridge does now support delayed kibitzing for major events.)

What if my device stops displaying what it should or stops responding to clicks?

First, try leaving the table and returning (by clicking Leave and then clicking the appropriate Sit button).

If that doesn’t work, try reloading or closing your browser window (or quitting your browser altogether) and then logging back into our RealBridge room (via the link you used in the first place).

How do I find a partner?

Meet others looking for partners at high-numbered tables. Log in at least 15 minutes before game time. Click a Sit button at a high-numbered table and talk with the others at that table. To move to a different table, click Leave, and then Sit. When you’ve found a partner, Leave the high-numbered table and Sit opposite each other at a low-numbered table.

(Players in the “lobby” can communicate by typing “chat,” but you can actually see and speak to each other if you Sit at a table together.)

Do I have to be a Westwood, Puritan, Midcape, or Dennis-Yarmouth member to play? Do I need permission to bring a guest?

No and no. Our club-organized RealBridge games are open to anyone. Our player-organized invitational games are open to any invited players.

I thought STOP cards were banned. Why do I see STOP cards on RealBridge?

The ACBL gave up on STOP cards because they were often abused and ignored. On RealBridge, players can’t abuse STOP cards because they’re automatically shown for ten seconds with every skip bid, and players can’t ignore STOP cards because they can’t call while the STOP card is showing. It’s all good!

What do you charge for RealBridge sessions?

Typically $5 without cash prizes or $6 with cash prizes. (We charge $6 on BBO. RealBridge charges us less than BBO, and the ACBL doesn’t get table fees for games without masterpoints, so when we charge $6 we return our cost savings to players as prizes.)

How do you collect table fees?

We bill you monthly by email. You can pay with a check or via an electronic payment system.

I’m having audio and/or video problems.

Click the “redial” icon to the right of your name to restart your embedded audio and video (see “Audio and video controls” in the RealBridge Player Guide).

Why am I hearing voices or noise?

Probably because a player’s microphone is picking up background conversation, radio, television, or other noise. You can figure out which player’s microphone it’s coming from by selectively turning down their volume—click the speaker icon to the left of a player’s name (see “Audio and video controls” in the RealBridge Player Guide).

Why am I hearing echos?

Probably because a player’s microphone isn’t suppressing echos from his speaker. You can figure out which player the echos are coming from by selectively turning down their volume—click the speaker icon to the left of a player’s name (see “Audio and video controls” in the RealBridge Player Guide). A player whose system isn’t suppressing echos should use a headset or adjust the volume and placement of microphone and speakers.

  RealBridge Prize Schedule
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It’s less expensive to run games on RealBridge than on Bridge Base Online, and and when we run RealBridge games at the same price as BBO games we give the savings to players in prize money. ..........

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