Bridge Base Online Help

ACBL Masterpoint tournaments - How they work

For your planning purposes, the ACBL schedule never changes. All times listed on the tournaments are Eastern Standard or Eastern Daylight depending on the time of the year. For instance, every day of the week, the 9am game starts at 9am Eastern, 8am Central, 7am Mountain and 6am Pacific.

The ACBL Robot tournaments in either the 12-board or 18-board formats start frequently, in both MP and IMP scoring. Just check the ACBL Tournament Schedule when you log in looking for a game starting soon. You won't ever have to wait long for another game to start.

To access our ACBL games on Bridge Base Online (BBO), click on ACBL World. Then click on ACBL Tournaments which will take you to the tournament area.

Notice above the listing of tournaments you will see 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 Completed tournaments for recently completed games.

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

Conventions Allowed

ACBL rules apply in these games which are restricted to the ACBL General Convention Chart. Mid-chart or higher conventions are not allowed.


All ACBL pairs games on BBO are stratified into three Strata, A, B and C. The Strata are determined by the number of BBO and ACBL points held by players in each game. This means the Strata are fluid and can change from game to game. The points held by the players in the given game are gathered and divided into the three Strata, with Stratum A being those players holding the most BBO and ACBL points, Stratum B the next third highest and Stratum C the players with the fewest points of the group.

The three groups of players in each Stratum are now distributed among the sections as close to equal as we can manage and the game begins. This stratification allows us to award points to the players in each Stratum for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc., and for Overall awards in ACBL pairs games. Of course, a player placing in the overalls and in his section will be awarded the highest award for overall or section placement, not both.

Reporting Masterpoints Won to ACBL

We report ACBL points won in our games to the ACBL once a month on the 1st day of the month following the month in which they were won. Points won in June, for instance, are reported on July 1st, points won in July, are reported on August 1st. We can only report points for players who have given us an ACBL number. You can check to be sure we have your ACBL number, and that it is correct, by clicking on ACBL World and at the next menu, clicking on Update your ACBL number.

Registering for a Tournament

Entry fees for ACBL tournaments are $1.25 BB$ for the 12-board games, and $1.50 BB$ for the 18-board games. If you prefer playing in Speedball games, you can choose from our regular Speedball pairs games, or our Individuals - all directed games. We also offer Individual ACBL duplicate robot tournaments where you play against other humans sitting in the south seat. In the ACBL robot tournament games there is no director, they start and end automatically after the posted time limit on the tournament description is reached. Each human player has the best hand at the table, they play with exactly the same (robot) partner and they all have exactly the same (robot) opponents. You are therefore competing against all other "humans" sitting in your seat, not competing against robots.

Our ACBL Robot games are stratified and points are awarded to players in all A, B and C Strata. Overall awards are not awarded for our ACBL Robot games but players in each Stratum can win points according to how they place in their Stratum.

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 tells you the entry fee for that tournament. Register $1.25 means the entry fee is $1.25 BB$.

When you register for a tournament, you click the button agreeing to pay the entry fee. This gives us permission to deduct that entry fee from your account when the game starts. We don't actually do this, though, until you are seated in the tournament and you have begun playing.

So clicking the agree to pay button only gives us permission, it doesn't actually pay the entry fee.

Partnership Options

A popup window gives you the option to fill in your partner's username and choose your payment option. Click the box if you will pay for both yourself and your partner. The default is you pay your entry fee and your partner pays their entry fee. Clicking the Invite button after filling in their username sends the invitation for your partner to accept or reject the payment option offered by your invitation.

Need help finding a partner? Click Show Partnership Desk. Scroll through the players who have added their username. Each of the names on the Partnership Desk will have specific information for that player. 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), and select your Payment Option if this is a game with an entry fee.

When you find a partner you think will be compatible and fun to play with, click the 'Invite' button following their name, which accepts their offered payment option. To offer your own payment option, fill in their username on the left side of the screen, and click the Invite button. They will be sent a system message telling them you want them as a partner, and if they accept, the registration as a partnership is completed.

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.

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 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.

Another feature will automatically replace a disconnected player to his seat when the game ends IF that starting player has played at least as many or more hands than the sub player. Of course, replacing the original player won't actually happen, because the disconnected player may not be online at that time, but the points won will be automatically awarded to the player who played the most boards. If the original player played equally, (six hands played by the original player, and six hands played by the sub), the original player will be awarded the points. If the original player played fewer hands than the sub, then the sub will get the points.

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