ABTA: Home of the American Bridge Teachers' Association

“To help those who teach bridge to do it better, more effectively, more knowledgeably, more professionally.”



PLAYING BRIDGE ONLINE

Last night I logged on to Bridge Base Online (BBO), a free online game playing site, and watched some of the world's very best bridge players compete in a championship with expert commentary, all happening in real time. I also played a few hands myself.

Getting started on BBO is very easy. Just go to www.bridgebase.com and download the software. Follow the instructions provided and set up your user id and password. My user id is lml (my initials) so say hello if you see me. You may need some help getting used to the interface but there are some hosts online who can help you.

When you play on BBO you are asked for your level. If you are new to the game you can put in beginner and somewhat more experienced players can chose intermediate. There will be lots of games for you to play with other players at your level and many more experienced players will be happy to play with you too. Just remember these key things:

  • When you are declarer always say "thank you partner" (typ) when you see dummy (whether or not you like the hand).
  • When you are dummy always say "good luck partner" (glp) even if you don't like the contract.
  • When partner does something good tell them.

I also like to say, "well done opponents" when I think it is deserving.

There are a lot of other online bridge sites as well, some free and some with fees for some or all activities. I really like Swan Games for watching the World Championships. They show results at all the tables in real time as well as showing featured matches.

Other online bridge sites:

Swan Games
Free rooms and paid memberships. You can watch Vugraph broadcasts as a guest.

Okbridge
Paid memberships.

Bridge Club Live
Paid memberships.

What a wonderful activity! The only equipment you need is a computer with Internet access. You can play a little or a lot and every time you play I know you will enjoy the challenge. And you can play with people from Australia to China to Dallas Texas online twenty-four hours a day. Now compare that to golf or tennis.