Bridge Base Online Help

Free tournaments

You've played in our Casual Rooms, the Main Bridge Club and the Relaxed Bridge Club and now you think you'd like to start competing and join some tournaments. But you're not sure how you'll do, perhaps a bit timid, and you'd like to have some practice tournaments before joining an entry fee game. Now is the time to check out some of our many free tournaments here on Bridge Base Online (BBO).

The people running these free tournaments do it because they just like to. They are volunteers. They enjoy providing games where people can have some fun competition. Our no fee tournaments run the gamut from short Individual games, to regular 12 board pairs games, from Matchpoints to IMPs to Total Points. And if you like the excitement of Goulash games, you'll find those too.

Some of the free tournaments require membership. Usually it's only a matter of asking for it and you will be accepted. You can find the names of the directors or organizers on the tournament description on the far right of the tournament name and number. Click the tournament name to see tournament details regarding membership, or locate the club manager's email address in our list of Club Contacts under the "Bits and Pieces" section of the Bridge Base Online Help files.

Under the section Play or Watch Bridge click on the line, List all tournaments. You will then be shown a listing of Pending (highlighted in a red background), All Tournaments starting soon.

Notice above the listing of tournaments are several options to refine the list (Pending, Running, Complete), a search window to type in, a Clear button to clear your search keywords, and a Refresh button. Pending tournaments lists games which have not yet started; click the option you want to change the games listed to Running tournaments, or Complete tournaments for recently completed games.

Immediately below the option buttons just described is a listing of tournament organizations - these are links you can use to restrict your tournament listing to ACBL Masterpoint Tournaments, BBO Masterpoint Tournaments, Robot Tournaments, Free Tournaments, or All Tournaments.

Click the Free Tournaments link and see the listing of tournaments which fall under that listing.

The Refresh button will renew the listing of games to add new games and remove games which have either begun or ended.

Click in the Search window above the tournament organizations listing, and type in a keyword, for example the username for the tournament host in the game you want to play. Tournaments matching that keyword will be displayed in the listing.

The Headings (Host, Title, Type, Start, Entries, Register), located above the list of tournaments can be used to sort the list. Click one of the heading names and watch the list change. To change back, click the heading again.

Registering for a Tournament

Now you have found a game you're interested in playing so you will click the Register button on the second line of the tournament name, and to the right of the number of players already registered, and the time remaining until the tournament begins. The Register button also tells you the entry fee (if any) for that tournament. Register $1 means the entry fee is $1 BB$. Free tournaments will not have a "$" on the Register button.

Partnership Options

A popup window gives you the option to fill in your partner's username - then click the Invite button. Clicking the Invite button after filling in their username sends the invitation for your prospective partner to accept or reject.

Need help finding a partner? Click Show Partnership Desk. Scroll through the players who have added their username. Clicking on the name of a person there will show you that player's profile and allow you to initiate a conversation with him.

You can also simply add your name to the Partnership Desk. If you want to add your name, click that button (Add your name).

When you find a partner you think will be compatible and fun to play with, click the 'Invite' button following their name.

To review partnerships already registered for a pending tournament, click the "# of Registered Partnerships" link under the tournament name and number. On the right, you'll see a list of partnerships registered for the game.

Some tournaments offer the option to play with a robot partner. Clicking the "Register" button will show if that option is available and if so, just click "Play with Robot ($0.25) and the robot partnership fee is deducted from your BB$ account.

Substitute Players

Beneath the listing of tournaments you can click on the "Substitutes" button when you'd like to be a sub and don't really care which tournament. This will add you to the substitute list where any tournament director can call on you to sub in any tournament or team game.

To be added as a sub in a specific game, change the tournament listing to Running tournaments, refine your list of Running tournaments to Free Tournaments to locate the game you want to play in as a substitute player, and then click the Tables button on the tournament. Under the listing of tables is the "Substitutes" button. Clicking "Substitutes" will register you as a substitute player in just that one tournament.

Becoming a TD

We're often asked how a person can become a tournament director for our free games. If this is something that you'd like to do there are some qualifications. You should have used BBO for a period of time so you know the BBO software and how it works. You should have a record of being friendly to people with no Zero Tolerance violations. It's also valuable if you have helped other tournament directors with some of their games so you have a good general idea of how to direct tournaments. If you feel you qualify and this is something you'd like to do, you should send your request to the email address: support@bridgebase.com.


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