Bridge Base Online Help

Reporting GIB Bugs - Do's and Don'ts

Bridge Base Online offers GIB to its users, either for free or at a small cost depending on when and how it is used. GIB is a bridge-playing robot, or computer program. Since GIB is a computer, there are certain things it does really well as a bridge player.

For example, GIB never miscounts a suit. It never misses a spot card. It never forgets its own system. It never fails to notice… well, anything. Overall, GIB plays better than the average player on BBO – in fact, this has been proven, as when GIB plays in BBO tournaments that humans played in as a test, it consistently performs well above average.

However, GIB is far from perfect. When GIB does make an error, it tends to be a dramatic error of the type that humans would rarely make. Why does this happen? There are quite a lot of reasons. GIB may be programmed incorrectly for the auction. GIB may have misunderstood what someone else meant by their bid, and reached a faulty conclusion. Sometimes when GIB doesn’t know what to do, it examines a bunch of simulated hands to reach a decision, and although those simulations tend to be quite accurate, they can from time to time reach a silly conclusion for a variety of reasons.

It is very important to BBO that GIB plays as well as reasonably possible. After all, many customers pay money to rent GIB, and they deserve a good product. What does BBO do to improve GIB? The answer is, a lot, but it all starts with you! BBO needs the help of its players to find problems with GIB so they can be fixed. If you find any problem with GIB, there are a lot of ways to report it. By reporting a hand in any of these ways, it will always be seen and considered.

Send an Automated Report for a Tournament Hand

You can send an automated report. After playing the hand, click MY BBO on the top horizontal row of buttons.

And click on Hands and Results to select that option.

Click the option for Recent tournaments and select the tournament which contains the hand you wish to report by clicking on the link in the list that will be displayed. A list of the boards played for that game will be displayed in the next window.

Highlight the hand you want to report in the left hand column, and click the Export deal button on the bottom right hand side, under the board displayed.

Select the option to Send robot Report.

Fill in the box with your analysis by following the list of Do's and Don'ts outlined below. When your brief synopsis is complete, click Send and your report is on its way to the people who need to see it.

Report a Robot Hand in a Club Game

Go to My Results on the far right vertical list links.

Or click the MY BBO button on the top horizontal row of buttons if My Results is not showing any boards. If you have logged out since you played the board you wish to report, the board will no longer be showing.

Click the option for Recent hands and select the board you wish to report by clicking on the link in the list that will be displayed.

Highlight the hand on the list of hands. Toward the bottom of the screen on the right hand side under the board displayed, click on Options.

Mouse over Export deal, and click on Send to member. You will want to send your robot report to member name "georgi." You have the opportunity to type a brief message stating what you believe went wrong, then click Send.

Again, follow the guidelines below for the Do's and Don'ts listed below to make your report as useful and informative as possible. Click the Send button when your report is completed.

Report from the Official Archives

You can send a report directly to

by sending us an email and including a link to the hand.

Go to the Official Archives and type the BBO username who played the board in the blank space. Specify the date range. Next right click the Movie button and select Copy Link Location. Paste that link in your email and include your analysis of the board following the Do's and Don'ts listed below.

Report to the BBO Forums

You can post to the BBO forums, in this sub-forum which is specifically designated for reporting problems with GIB. You need to create an account for the forums using your BBO username and password, and they are case sensitive, so Password is not the same as password. If you aren't familiar with our forums, it is great resource for all things to do with the game of Bridge and the BBO community.

GIB Robot Discussion

Do's and Don'ts

In order to be most helpful, and help facilitate BBO’s improvement of GIB, please consider the following Dos and Don’ts. Please note, these are meant as a general guide to help us all, not hard and fast rules.

DO report bugs you find at your table, even if they were by your opponent GIB instead of your partner.

DON’T be rude in your message when you report the bug. We are trying to help you!

DO report bugs in either the bidding or the play. It’s easier for us to work on the bidding, but we work on improving the play as well.

DON’T report a bid that you think isn’t best if it’s not really a bug, assuming GIB did make the proper system bid, or a very reasonable choice.

For example, If GIB holds AT3 K2 8754 K763 and the auction goes 1H (2D) to him, none of P, 2H, X, or 2NT are really “bugs” that we are likely to be inclined to fix.

Or if GIB bid Stayman with a balanced hand including four small of its major and AQ doubleton on the side, we probably won’t change it even if you think just raising to 3NT was a better idea.

You can always check with us if you aren’t sure, but ultimately we try to go with what seems to us the best mix of “good bridge”, and what most GIB users want (many of whom are not expert bridge players, and might be confused that GIB passed with 10 points or failed to bid Stayman).

DO analyze the hand correctly! Maybe that 4NT bid was supposed to be Keycard Blackwood for hearts after all. Or maybe GIB dropped that K from Kx under the ace because it could be endplayed if it didn’t, so it hoped partner had QJx.

DON’T report a bug just because GIB doesn’t play your favorite convention. You can make suggestions if you like, but we have much more important things to work on than Exclusion Keycard Blackwood (such as improving how GIB uses regular Blackwood).

DO read the explanations of the bids! A common example is something like 1NT (2C) P (2D) P (2H) 2S, where 2C showed a single-suited hand, 2D asked which suit, and 2H confirmed hearts. Partner’s 2S bid is generally a 4 card suit, since if GIB had a 5 card suit it would have transferred directly over 2C. The explanation explains that 2S would likely be a 4 card suit. It can’t be stressed enough, please read the explanations of the bids, and you will save yourself a lot of trouble!

Thanks again to all BBO users who use GIB, and who report its problems to us so we can fix them. Your contributions are invaluable and much appreciated. We will continue to work on improving GIB, as well as implementing some new features and ideas down the road if possible.

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