The internet now offers a world of opportunity to play bridge at home, whether with your usual partner on a night when you can't play at your club, with someone new, or on your own to improve your game.
The EBU runs its own competitions through Funbridge - see below.
Below is information on some of the options which are available. This is by no means exhaustive, but gives you some ideas to get you started.
Play in EBU competitions
Starting on 2nd September you will be able to play in EBU competitions on Funbridge.
In these competitions you will partner one of Funbridge's 'robots', and play against two other robots. You therefore don't need a 'human partner' to take part, and you can play whenever you wish as you don't need human opponents online at the same time. The competitions consist of 20 boards, and you can play them at any time during the competition period, stopping and restarting as often as you wish. The games will take place on Saturdays and Sunday, between midnight and 10pm (i.e. you have 22 hours to play your boards).
Acol is one of the bidding systems available for you to choose (which isn't always the case with some online platforms), and you can set which conventions and carding methods you and your robotic partner play.
The games cost €2 (by charging you in Euros we can charge less than £2), and Master Points can be won. The competitions are open to everyone.
We hope you will take part. Please see the FAQ for more details on the competitions and for information on how to take part.
Watch the World Championship and Crockfords Cup live on Funbridge
Not only does Funbridge offer ways to take part in competitions, and to play practice hands to develop your game, but they will also be showing live coverage of matches.
They are official partners of the World Bridge Championships in Lyon, and will be broadcasting live coverages of matches from the event from 12th - 26th August.
The EBU will also be using Funbridge to show coverage of the finals of the Crockfords Cup on 2nd & 3rd September. More details on the coverage will be available in due course, but as it coincides with the start of our online competitions we hope you will combine watching with taking part in those (stopping and restarting the competition as required during breaks in play).
Bridge Club Live
An Online Affiliated Club
Bridge Club Live (BCL) is affiliated with the EBU and can therefore issue Master Points for their sessions which meet the necessary requirements for points to be awarded. These are full value ‘local points’, and count towards all EBU Master Point rankings, and can be earned in most BCL competitions – their movement tourneys and leagues, and the ‘Dido Tourney’, are all included.
Bridge Club Live offers all bridge players:
- Fast, fun and friendly bridge in a format that suits you
- Drop-in Drop-out Match Point Pairs and Social Room
- Individual, Improvers Pairs and IMP Pairs Tourneys and Leagues; Teams Competitions and Leagues
- A full range of special competitions, some of which are unique in the world of bridge
- An environment that is virtually free of quitters, rudeness and cheating because of our unique policing policy
- An Incident Reporting system instantly available from the Table
- 20 years professional experience of dealing with all issues whether technical, bridge or behavioural
- Full bidding and play records of every card and deal played
- Simple System Disclosure cards for all partnerships
- EBU Local Master Points monthly to EBU Members
- Discussion forums on bridge and other matters
- Members reunions annually
It is hoped that the Online Affiliated Club category benefits EBU members who play some of their bridge online. This is additional to the EBU Competitions which are run through Funbridge each weekend (see above), the Online Knockout Teams competition, aand the change that permits some matches in other knockout competitions to be played online. These changes will enable players who have difficulty playing ‘face-to-face’ with their regular partner, and those in more remote parts of the country, to become more involved in ‘affiliated’ competitions organised by the EBU or by affiliated clubs.
Please note that the ‘members benefits’ of playing at an Online Affiliated Club relates only to the issuing of Master Points. Participation in a competition run by an Online Affiliated Club does not afford the player some of the benefits which would come from participation at a ‘face-to-face’ club – the player does not become a member of the EBU through Universal Membership; magazine points cannot be earned through these competitions; the results will not be included in the National Grading Scheme.
A special offer for EBU Members - try BCL for free
Any EBU Members, not already a member of BCL, can enjoy a free trial of BCL for 50 days. Simply complete this form on the BCL website to submit a few details and you can give it a try on the days you're not at your local club.
Help using Bridge Club Live
For help using Bridge Club Live please contact them directly. Their details are available here.
Bridge Base Online
Play or watch VuGraph online
Bridge Base Online (BBO) is a popular website for those wanting to play bridge, but also the method by which the majority of major events are 'broadcast'. Major international and domestic events can be watched, with accompanying expert audio and/or text commentary - there is rarely a time when a high-level match is not being shown from one corner of the globe or another.
And once you are inspired for the professionals you can play too in the BBO competitions or social rooms. Registration is free, though there are charges for some of their competitions. BBO is also the default option for playing EBU knockout matches online - the Online Knockout itself, and early rounds of some of the other competitions.
You can also use BBO to practice, as you can set certain parameters - for example dealer always has a balanced hand with 12-14 points - and practice bidding with your regular partner.
BBO is not affiliated with the EBU.
Help using Bridge Base Online
For help using Bridge Base Online please contact them directly. Their details are available here.
A great resource for students and teachers
Vu-Bridge is an internet-based software programme which allows bridge students to play set hands designed in such a way as to improve their bidding and play.
In collaboration with Paul Bowyer, Vu-Bridge has created three series of 24 lessons (each with 20 interactive deals and a quiz consisting of 10 bidding questions) known as V-Blue. V-Blue is designed to help teach beginner level students of bridge. The bidding system employed is Bridge for All Acol (with strong two’s, four card majors and a 12-14 weak no trump).
V-Blue provides material covering a three year curriculum corresponding to the three initial years of bridge learning for players who have already have a basic understanding of the game: i.e. the rules of contract bridge and the playing of Minibridge. Note that the Vu-Bridge Minibridge course of ten lessons is available free on the web at: www.vubridge.com/minibridge.
The totality of the V-Blue on-line system will consist of 1440 interactive set deals (of which 480 will become available during 2016) plus 720 bidding questions in the form of interactive quizzes.
Free for EBTA (formerly EBUTA) members and a reduced price for their students
An agreement has been reached between Vu-Bridge and English Bridge Education and Development to offer access to V-Blue free to EBTA teachers and at a discounted rate to EBU students. EBTA teachers should check the Teacher's Zone of the EBED website for further details.
EBTA Teachers who sign up have full access to V-Blue to assist with their lesson preparation, including pbn files which are available to download from the Teachers’ Zone. Hand narratives are available from the V-Blue site for all the hands. Students who sign up will be able to play many more hands than they would be able to complete during lesson contact time - with expert guidance on bidding and play issues, all arranged by topic with the added benefit of quizzes to test their knowledge. Full guidance on how to use V-Blue is provided on the Vu-Bridge site.
Help using Bridge Base Online
For help using VuBridge please contact them directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Numerous apps are available for you to play bridge on your phone or tablet.
Some of these were reviewed in the December 2015 issue of English Bridge magazine.
If you are looking for software to install on your computer so you can play against three computer-operated opponents, or so you can practice certain scenarios, then there are a few options. Some of these were reviewed in the October 2015 issue of English Bridge magazine.
EBU Online Knockout Teams
The EBU's Online Knockout Teams competition runs from January each year, and offers a chance for those who play online to compete in a knockout teams competition. See the event webpage for more details.