Online bridge

One of the very few good things to say about the current coronavirus epidemic is that there are now many more online bridge sites than there used to be, and most are much more sophisticated than they once were. A good many of you have expressed interest in online lessons and supervised play now that all face to face dates in our calendar have had to be suspended.

As far as lessons are concerned, if you are interested in taking part in these, I would like to suggest that as a first step you should sign up to become a member of Bridge Base Online. It is free to join and all you have to do is create a username and password. BBO, as it is known for short, is the most advanced of all online bridge sites and has recently been undergoing modernisation. It is the one that all professional players use and the one I use too.

The drawback with it is that the robots it uses and most of the players you can play with at an online table use American bidding methods, which are different from the ones most people play and teach over here. Those methods typically involve a strong No Trump and you need five cards to open the bidding in a major suit, whereas in the UK we play four-card majors and a weak No Trump.

However for teaching purposes that does not matter as the teacher can control everything that happens at the table. What I would like to suggest is that once you have become a member you send me your username so I can set up tables where only those I invite can play. That way it will be possible to create a suitable teaching environment and also, I believe (though have not yet had confirmed), replicate something that is in principle similar to our Tuesday sessions with multiple tables.

I will provide more details shortly when I have fully explored the possibilities. In addition to teaching on BBO, I will also be creating a number of teaching videos and webinars to explore particular topics. The first necessary step however, if you do want to keep learning during our enforced absence, is for you to send me your usernames (to arb.oxford@gmail.com) so I can add them to the teaching/supervised play database. I look forward to hearing from all of you.

BBO website

 

 

 

4 comments

  • Dear Jonathan

    I am delighted to read your emails and have registered for BBO. My username is Blewbury.

    Having recently retired I became a member at Parson’s Green and, having played kitchen sink bridge for years, have just completed Caroline’s Improver course.

    I have moved to Blewbury and have started to receive your emails with a view to contacting you in the very near future. Reading your email below I thought I would get in touch as I would love to be included in on-line lessons during these problematic times.

    Kind regards

    Kate

    >

  • Hi Jonathon. Is it possible using BBO for friends to play together?
    Regards
    Steve Haley

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