Support Your Club!
ACBL Blackpoint Games on BBO
If you are unable to play in one of HBC's BBO games, you can still support the club. The ACBL and BBO have worked together to come up with games to benefit brick-and-mortar clubs. BBO has now added daily online competitive pairs games, the proceeds of which will go to the players' local clubs. Every time you play in one of these games, up to 80% of your game fee will flow back to HBC, as detailed below.
Here's how it works. Both you and your partner must be registered members of BBO. You also must each complete a profile on the site, which includes your ACBL number, skill level, and a convention card that you've agree to play. (You can choose a generic Standard American Yellow Card (SAYC) or a 2/1 card, or create a customized card with your partner.) You'll also need to deposit funds into your online BBO account, using either a credit card or your Apple ID. You can do all that by clicking "Account" in the main menu of the BBO site.
Once you've done that, you're ready to play! Currently, three ACBL Support Your Club Black Point Games are held each day -- at 10:00 a.m., 5:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. EST. You and your partner will need to register for a game up to 2 hours before it begins. To do that, you each must log onto the BBO site. One of you will then click "ACBL World" on the main menu, and then “Support Your Club ACBL Black Point Game” on the game menu. You'll then register for the game. During the (very simple) registration process, you'll be prompted to invite your partner to join you.
When it's time to play in the game, you and your partner will automatically be sent to a table where you'll be matched with an opposing pair. The game consists of 6 three-board rounds, and you'll have 21 minutes to complete each round.
If you need to alert a bid, you must click the Alert box on your screen before you make the bid and then type in the meaning of the bid if asked by the opponents. (Unlike "live" bridge, here you alert your own bids rather than your partner's.) Remember to bid and play in tempo, as you would normally.
The cost to play in each game is $5 per person. That's more expensive than other competitive games on the site (most of which are individual games that cost about $1.25), but these games have been set up so that $4 flows back to your club. ACBL knows where you play bridge and will allocate the $4 in proportion to where you've played in the past 12 months. So you'll be supporting HBC if you participate in these games, as up to 80% of your game fee will flow back to the club.
The first of these games took place on Thursday, March 19. Our experience so far is that the games are very popular (many reach their limit very quickly after registration opens), so you need to make sure you register early (two hours before game time). The games run very smoothly and efficiently and you'll be finished in two hours. Final scores are available almost immediately, with hand records and results at other tables. Best of all -- just like at the club -- you'll be awarded ACBL masterpoints if you score well. The games are stratified so you don't have to be an expert player to win points -- players at all levels are taking part. The masterpoints are even being counted in the ACBL's masterpoint races!
Please let us know if you have any questions about these games or how to sign up for them. We hope you'll take advantage of these and other games on the BBO site so you can enjoy playing bridge while you're staying safe at home. We will continue to keep you informed regarding new developments.