BBO Rules of the Site
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
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
Online Bridge Guidelines
Bridge is a game and the majority of our members play it for
entertainment. Bridge is the greatest game ever invented, but it is
still a game. If you do not like how your partner bids or plays, finish
the current hand (or tournament), send a polite thanks on chat, and
There are only 3 possible excuses for a player to leave a
bridge table in the middle of a hand:
- Other players at the table are breaking the guidelines set
down in this document
- You get disconnected or have good reason to believe that
there is a software problem
- You have some kind of personal emergency
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:
- Exchanging information with your partner during the game using
phone, text, chat or other
- Intentionally getting ridiculous results - this is not fair
to our other members
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$ 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.
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 barrier. 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:
- The use of profanities as well as racist or sexually
- Insulting your partners, opponents, or any other member of
- Kibitzers chatting with players about the contents of
- Spamming other members with
repeated messages, invitations or requests
- Give unsolicited bridge lessons or criticize the
bidding/play of other players
- Use public chat for private conversations
- Chat excessively at a bridge table where people are trying
to play seriously
- Gloat when you get a good result or complain when you get
a bad result
- Use public chat during live vugraph broadcasts, mentoring
sessions, and lectures
- Use BBO as a soapbox for non bridge related rants - if you get
annoying or offensive enough we will take action.
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
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
- If a player at a duplicate table has seen the current deal
before (impossible in theory)
- If a player has left the table in the middle of a hand
- If there appears to be a software problem involving the
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
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:
- If you are taking a long time to make a bid or play, send a
chat to let the other players know that you are not having connection
problems. Playing slowly is not an offense. If the pace of your table
is too slow for you, finish the current hand, send a polite chat
message, and leave.
- If you have to stop playing temporarily (to answer the door
for example), send a "be right back" chat to let the other players know
that you are not having connection problems.
- If you think your partner or opponents deserve a compliment
for their bidding or play, please give them one! If you think that such
a comment from another player was not deserved, please keep this
information to yourself.
- Remember that players should never leave a table without
informing the other players first (through chat). If you know in
advance that you will be able to play only one or two more hands, it is
a courtesy to let the other players know this.
- It is considered a courtesy to ask the other players at a
table if it is ok for you to sit down before you take a seat. If, after
sitting down without asking, you are asked to leave the table you
should do so immediately without making any rude comments.
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
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.
- Novice - Someone who recently learned to play bridge
- Beginner - Someone who has played bridge for less than one year
- Intermediate - Someone who is comparable in skill to most other
- Advanced - Someone who has been consistently successful in clubs
- Expert - Someone who has enjoyed success in major national
- World Class - Someone who has represented their country in World
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.
Guidelines for fan content (eg videos)
We are honored by the interest shown by bridge fans towards BBO games
and our company, and we love that you want to create articles, videos
and other stuff based on our brands and software. At the same time,
we spend a lot of time, thought, and money creating our intellectual
property and we need to protect it. Please click here to read more
about how you may use our intellectual property in your materials (such
as videos or live streams).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 very 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.