Play Bridge With The HBC at the Club and Online at BBO
BBO Games: The field will be stratified and you'll be helping to generate revenue for the club. Unless otherwise noted, each event will consist of 18 boards and take about 2 hours to play. Except for special games, the entry fee is $5 per player. Of that amount, $3.75 (or $15 per table) will flow back directly to HBC. The games will be officiated by HBC directors, who've been trained to administer online games. $3 fee for regular directorless games. Results can be found on the HBC Website Results Tab as well as ACBL Live and BBO.
What Do I Need to Do?
How Do I Sign Up For HBC Games?
Board of Trustees/Directors Partnership Program
General Help With BBO (signing up, etc.)
What Do I Need to Do?
To play in these games, you’ll need to:
belong to the ACBL
register with Bridgebase.com and create a BBO username
include your real name and ACBL number on your BBO profile
have won masterpoints at HBC in the past year (If you haven’t won masterpoints in the past year, please see *Note below to become eligible.)
purchase "BBO dollars" using a credit card or Apple ID
have a partner who meets the same conditions
Our tournament directors (TDs) have a list of HBC members who’ve registered at BBO, but if you registered after Thursday, April 9, please be sure to send your new BBO username to email@example.com before you try to play in an HBC-only game. Also be sure to go to the HBC website and add your name and username to our online list by clicking here.
Note: Although all HBC members as well as new players who have taken our classes are eligible to play in HBC-only games, if you haven’t yet won masterpoints at HBC or if you’re a member who hasn’t played at HBC during the past year, your BBO username will need to be added to the eligible list manually. Please email your name and BBO username to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you need to be added to the list.
Also, please let us know if you want to play but need a partner, and we’ll try to match you up. Please be sure to provide your name, BBO username, contact information, and in which game(s) you’d like to play.
Finally, we ask that all HBC members who are playing online or plan to play online go to the HBC website and add their names and usernames to our list. It’s an important step to help us make sure our eligibility list is accurate and up-to-date.
How Do I Sign Up for HBC Games?
Registration for each event opens on the BBO website two hours before game time.
You and your partner both need to be logged in to register! Then one partner simply clicks "Competitive" in the section headed "PLAY OR WATCH BRIDGE," then "ACBL Virtual Clubs" in the section headed "TOURNAMENTS."
A list of events will appear. Find the Hartford Bridge Club game on the list and click it. There is another game that uses the initials "HBC", but our game is listed under out full name the Hartford Bridge Club. You’ll be asked to provide your partner’s username, who’ll then be asked to accept the invitation. After your partner clicks “Accept,” if registration is successful, you’ll immediately receive confirmation of your registration.
On the list of ACBL Virtual Club events, you’ll see a colored circle next to The Hartford Bridge Club game. The process is actually very intuitive and easy to follow.
If, instead of a confirmation, you receive a message that you’ve been “blocked,” immediately email your name and BBO username to email@example.com and we’ll do our best to correct the problem.
Once you’re registered, you and your partner should log back in to BBO at least five minutes before game time. At game time, you’ll be automatically brought to the first board and you’ll begin to play!
Both partners need to be logged into BBO when the game begins or you'll be automatically dropped from the game. Don't assume that because you logged in to register an hour previously, you're still logged in. Most likely you aren't -- even if it looks like you still are.
Be at your computer, on the BBO site at least 5 minutes before game time. Click any button on the site to check your log-in status. Even better, log out and then log in again to make doubly sure you're logged in
Each game will consist of 18 boards -- 6 rounds of 3 boards per round. All pairs play the same boards simultaneously. In all games (except beginner games), you’ll have 21 minutes to complete the three boards in each round, which should allow plenty of time, even for inexperienced online players. (Note: More time per board will be allowed in the 0-200MP game.)
Tips to Remember
Try to bid and play in tempo, as you would in a "live" game.
You must "self-alert" any conventional bids before you make the bid. Simply click the "Alert" button and type a brief explanation in the text area that appears next to it. Only the opponents –- not your partner -- will see your alert and explanation.
At any time during the auction, if you’re unsure about the meaning of an opponent's bid, click the bid and your opponent must explain -- even if it hasn't been alerted. You may call the director if the opponent fails to respond to your request.
But you must also be sure to respond to an opponent's request for information about your bids, even if you think the meaning should be obvious. Respond by clicking Explain and typing your explanation in the box that appears. DO NOT type your answer in the message area at the bottom of the screen. FYI: If you forget to alert your own bid at your turn to bid, you can click on your own bid later to let the opponents know they might have missed something
You’re not allowed to change a bid or play if you make a mistake, so choose carefully! We suggest you go to Accounts and then Settings and turn on Confirm Bids and Confirm Cards, which makes both bidding and card play a simple 2-step process.
Keep an eye on the clock, which will count down to zero. When the clock reaches zero, you immediately are moved to the next round. If you don’t have time to finish the final board, the TD will make a decision as to the outcome/score for that board.
If you need to call the TD during a hand, click the square with the three horizontal lines and then click "Call the TD." You’ll be asked to type a brief reason for the call, such as "excessively slow play," "failure to alert," "technical problem," etc. The TD will magically arrive and adjudicate!
Every round is timed and most rounds do go the full 12 or 18 minutes. But if you finish early and the clock says there are 5 or 7 minutes left in the round, don't assume you'll have that entire time to take a hygiene break or get a fresh cup of coffee. Rounds will end early if all tables finish early.
Don't leave your table manners at the club just because you're playing online. Resist the urge to comment about the opponents' bids.
Do not call the club if you have trouble getting in to an online game - the phone at the club is not manned 24 hours a day and it's unlikely you will find immediate help there. Instead:
Log in to BBO.
Click on the line at the bottom of the screen that says Add Friend.
Type vacb113241 on that line.
You have now added the HBC game director to your "Friends" list and can chat online with that game's director, who will help you get into the game and solve any other pre-game problems.
Game results are available shortly after the last round. You can also go back and look at results (including scores at other tables) by clicking "History" from the user menu on the right side of the screen.
Please let us know if you have any questions or need more information. We can't wait to see you online!