Introduction

We are committed to maintaining a pleasant atmosphere on Bridge Base Online. Playing on this site should be seen as a privilege, not as a right. As you will see, our site maintains higher standards of conduct than most other online sites. All members are expected to follow our rules as they are outlined in this document.

If you see another member violate any of our rules, please e-mail: abuse@bridgebase.com

First time offenders will be warned that their behavior is not acceptable and they will be put on probation. Subsequent complaints concerning a member on probation will result in that member's permanent expulsion from this site.

If a member is expelled from this site it is illegal for that person to try to return. Unfortunately, it is not always technically possible for us to keep that person away, but we will get that member's ISP and the police involved if necessary. We are serious about this.

We will detail some common abusive practices in this article. Members should be aware this is not an exhaustive list of objectionable offenses and we reserve the right to take action against any other unpleasant behavior taking place in our site. 

Online Bridge Guidelines

Bridge is a game and the vast majority of our members play online bridge for recreational purposes. Bridge may be the greatest game ever invented, but it is still only a game. If you do not like how your partner bids or plays it does not matter. Finish the current hand and send a polite chat message to the table before leaving.

There are only 3 possible excuses for a player to leave a bridge table in the middle of a hand:

Even under these circumstances, it is appropriate to inform the other players at the table before you leave in the middle of a hand (unless you are disconnected of course).

The following are considered serious offenses. Repeat offenders will be expelled from BBO:

Thinking about cheating?

We consider cheating in any form a serious offense to all other members and will take stern action against confirmed cheaters. This includes barring of the member from future games on BBO, forfeit of any BB$/MB$ left in account and any masterpoints won, reporting the offender to relevant National Bridge Organizations (NBOs) and more.

What do you really gain by cheating? A few more IMPs or masterpoints? Do everyone a favor and play ethically.

Chat guidelines

We have members from all over the world playing on BBO and this is one of our strengths. While English is the "official language" of this site, plenty of our users do not speak English at all or have only limited English skills. Members are sometimes offended over what is really no more than a language problem. Please be aware of the possibility of a misunderstanding before you get upset by a chat message from another member.

The following are considered serious offenses. Repeat offenders will be expelled from BBO:

The following are examples of bad manners. You will have trouble making friends if you:

Profile Image Guidelines

They say an image is worth a thousand words. Please be conservative in your choice of image. Images that are offensive, disruptive or hurtful will be removed without warning. If you run across an image that you find offensive, let us know.

Guidelines for Undos, Redeals, and Claims:

The only acceptable time to ask for an undo is when you have misclicked. If you make a poor bid or play or for any other reason, it is inappropriate to ask for an undo.

There are only a few cirumstances under which it is appropriate to ask for a redeal:

All members have the right to reject an undo, redeal, or claim request for any reason. Members are not required to explain why they have rejected such a request and it is inappropriate for a player to be offended if one of his requests is rejected. If your undo, redeal, or claim is rejected and you do not want to play at the current table anymore, finish the current deal and send a polite chat message before leaving.

Advanced players should understand that while a claim looks "obvious" to them, it may not be obvious to other less advanced players at the table. Do not be offended if your claim is rejected. Just continue to play the hand out and reclaim if your opponents ask you to do so.

Guidelines for Alerts:

All members should understand that, due to the fact that we have members from all over the world as well as members of all levels of ability and experience, not all players will agree on which bids should be alerted and which bids should be considered "standard".

The management of BBO is not going to get involved with trying to make rules in this area. It is up to our members to try their best to provide their opponents with information that may be helpful to them. Always remember that it is against the laws and spirit of the game of bridge to conceal information about your partnership agreements from your opponents.

The BBO software is designed so that players alert their own bids. This is called "self-alerting" and it is opposite to the approach that is used in live bridge clubs and tournaments. If you have any doubt as to whether one of your bids should be alerted or not, it is appropriate to alert.

If an opponent asks you for the meaning of one of your bids, you are expected to answer them politely, even if you think the answer is obvious. An appropriate answer can be "I have never discussed this with my partner". You do not have to tell the opponents how you intend your bid - only what you have agreed with your partner. It is innapropriate to use chat to explain your bids to your partner unless you get permission from the opponents first.

Courtesies when playing online bridge:

Guidelines for filling out your User Profile

Any player who uses profanities, racist, or sexually explicit remarks in their profile will be expelled from BBO permanently and without any warning.

The "other" section of your user profile can be used to display information about yourself, to write something nice or your preferred bidding methods (among other things). However we recommend filling in a convention card (CC) with your favourite system and marking it as your "favorite". This card will be visible to others when clicking the "Favorite CC" button in your profile. New partners should look at each other's profiles, but you should not assume that your partner can play your favorite system or conventions unless you discuss this with him or her.

There is an area in your user profile where you can enter information about your level of play. It is not important how well you think you play since most bridge players are unable to assess their own skills with any accuracy. What matters is your level of experience and the degree of success that you have had in live competitive clubs and tournaments. Here are some examples of terms that you can use and how they should be interpreted:

If you disagree with another member's assessment of his or her skills, it is completely inappropriate to mention this to them (via chat for example). All members should strive to give an honest approximation of their skill level. This is very much in the best interest of everyone who plays on BBO.

If you would like to join a table to which players of a certain level have been invited, you should follow the above guidelines in order to judge whether or not you would be welcome.

Summary

The guidelines described in this document are designed to ensure that all members of BBO are able to enjoy playing online bridge here. If you feel that you cannot adhere to these guidelines, please find another place to play online bridge.

If you need a quick summary, try this: Be Nice to others. That is the only real rule.

If you accept the responsibility of membership in BBO then we will expect you to follow these guidelines and to report other members who are breaking our rules. We need your help in order to maintain a pleasant atmosphere on this site.

There are several members who have graciously volunteered to help keep the peace on our site. The names of these members appear in yellow and they are referred to as hosts. You can send a chat message to a host or e-mail abuse@bridgebase.com if other members are in violation of the guidelines that are described in this document.

Please keep in mind, however, that some members do not speak the same language as you and that bridge players frequently disagree about what constitutes proper bidding and play (especially those that come from different parts of the world). The vast majority of our members are very nice and decent people. Please try to keep an open mind as a comment or action that offends you may be no more than a misunderstanding or language problem.

Regardless of how many documents we write and warnings we make, there will always be a few lunatics and/or rude people who slip through the cracks. We are trying to keep such people away, but it is not always easy. We thank you for your patience.