BridgeTabs

One club in my area is moving from paper travellers to table top devices. We have experience of some systems but not of Brian or BridgeTabs. Does anyone have experience or views on these?

Comments

  • Yes, we use Bridge Tabs at both Caen and Braunton bridge clubs and have done so for a couple of months.
    The advantages include ... no-one has to decipher all those scribbled entries on the traveller … you don't have to work out the score for 2D dbld plus 2 … the contrast is grand, full colour tablets are easy on the eye and unambiguous.
    After several years at numerous clubs and congresses using BridgeMates, we find Bridge Tabs to be a wonderful step forward. The downsides … can't think of a single one. If there is a downside it may be that they are incompatible with BridgeMates and, therefore, County can't borrow them for congresses.

  • We have used them for a couple of years and there are some big advantages.

    Big easy to see screens for the older members
    Easy to use
    Very cheap (we have used tablets as cheap as £30!), though the best by far for battery life are the Kindle Fires
    Very easy to swap out if batteries fail etc.

    Downsides:
    No option to enter an average
    The company can be difficult to deal with
    You need someone reasonably IT literate to set them up and to resolve issues as they arise

  • Thinking about it, if anyone wants any advice on using these or on setting them up, please just PM me (though I will be away nest week so there may be a delay in getting back to you).
    If you would like to see them in action and get to the club, you are welcome to come along (you would not be the first :) ) We are in the midlands if you are interested in that.

  • We are in Kent so a trip to the Midlands is not practical. We have rejected Arc Tabs because the players can enter Not Played without any director control making it impossible to determine responsibility for slow play. We think it essential that a director call is required if players have not played a board when the move is called. Other questions we had compared to Bridgemates are:
    Changing the movement once the game has started.
    Handling assignments in swiss teams and swiss pairs
    Does it handle team movements?
    Can you enlighten us on these?

  • Changing the movement once the game has started. stop and start afresh
    Handling assignments in swiss teams and swiss pairs never tried, but should be fine
    Does it handle team movements? yes
    Can you enlighten us on these?

    The movements are controlled by the scoring program, for which we use ScoreBridge. So everything that that can do, BridgeTabs can do.

    Users can tap on Skip (which results in a 'not played' rather than Average), so some manual intervention is needed in the scoring program to cover this off.

  • Have used Bridgetabs for a year or two. Need good IT skills . On this forum there is more comment under the heading Bridgemate11 or Tablets back in March 2010

  • Should have typed March 2018 (not 2010)

  • As I understand it the tablet system being commented on in that thread in March was ARC Scorer not BridgeTabs.

    I am surprised that Martin believes that BridgeTabs can handle swiss assignments if it can't handle changing the movement after the first round. Essentially that is what happens in swiss events, a new movement is sent to the devices every round. Perhaps someone who has used them for Swiss events could confirm that they do work in these events.

  • Hi Paul

    It is not so much that BridgeTabs can handle it, it is more that ScoreBridge can and as such BridgeTabs should - as I said, I have never tried.

    I have tried changing the movement after the start and this has never worked well and there have been times where I have had to enter in results manually from the logs in each tablet due to this. I will always now delete the session, recreate and restart the BridgeTabs software on the tablets.

    Next time I'm at the club, I will trial a swiss movement and see what happens. I suspect that ScoreBridge will send movement 1, then send movement 2, but I may be mistaken. I'm not back at the club till 02/07, so will feedback after (assuming that I remember)

  • Hi Paul

    We run pairs , teams and individuals on Bridgetabs

    I have not run Swiss Pairs on Bridgetabs - but in the past run Swiss Pairs on Bridgepads a few times - the movement was controlled by the Scorebridge software rather than the Bridgepads . We don't run Swiss Pairs at our club because of the complications (I.e. needs a reasonable field size plus extra board sets)

    However Bridgetabs are run through BOS. When Bridgetabs are set up part of the process is to set the controlling software . There is a wide choice - including EBUScorer, Scorebridge plus other American , European and from memory Australian scoring system . I therefore believe that like Bridgepads (which was 2008 technology), Bridgetabs would relay the assignments in Swiss Pairs from the scoring system after each round. Bearing in mind that in normal pairs/ teams or individual event Bridgetabs sends a lot of information (depending on the scorers choice of settings) to the table as the event progresses :- running results , running % , hands, current position.

    I seem to recall that one year in the EBU Seniors event Jannersten did a demo trial of their then tablet scoring system which was a forerunner to Bridgetabs - the 3 day event included pairs , Swiss pairs and Swiss teams .

    Like Martin I could offer to do a test run of a Swiss Pairs using Scorebridge / Bridgepads.

    Bridgetabs are more difficult to handle than Bridgemates or Bridgepads because it has more facilities and importantly relies on a connection via a router rather than a wireless connection. Setting up the link between the tablet and the router can be difficult especially when you are in an environment where there are many routers.

    The method we have used is to have a private network with the link to the internet being cut off during an event.

  • Correction in para 5 Should read "test run of a Swiss Pairs using Scorebridge/Bridgetabs"

  • @Paul_Gibbons said:
    because the players can enter Not Played without any director control making it impossible to determine responsibility for slow play.

    Can't you have a regulation that missing scores will be scored as 40%/40%

  • You cant... only option would be Skip... or enter 7NT -13 so that it gets flagged as a possible error, then manually correct at the end.

    However this affects the end of round scoring far more than skipping where the difference is minimal. Just means you have to jot the board down and change Skip to Ave (or whatever you want) in the scoring software later.

    I didnt find the setup tough myself, however at one point we changes from a mobile 3G dongle for broadband internet and it stopped working. It took several emails and they were rude and useless... only at the point of legal threats did they finally sort it out. Even though we were one of the early takers, were quoted on their site etc.

    However the system is reasonable and relatively cost effective
  • edited June 22

    @BarkerBridgeTD said:
    Can't you have a regulation that missing scores will be scored as 40%/40%

    Sorry. What I was trying to suggest was a regulation where you announce to the players that if they enter SKIP then the TD/scorer will investigate any missing results at the end of the session, and if the TD did not know about the not-played board, both pairs would be awarded AVE- in the scoring program.

  • gotcha :) nice idea

  • Thanks for your offers of trial events. Please go ahead if they would also be of interest to you. Also if anyone else has further information please let us know. However we have been told that we can have a 30-day evaluation licence for BridgeTabs so we will be able to conduct trials ourselves.

  • @BarkerBridgeTD said:

    @BarkerBridgeTD said:
    Can't you have a regulation that missing scores will be scored as 40%/40%

    Sorry. What I was trying to suggest was a regulation where you announce to the players that if they enter SKIP then the TD/scorer will investigate any missing results at the end of the session, and if the TD did not know about the not-played board, both pairs would be awarded AVE- in the scoring program.

    This is quite easy to do with EBUScore as it will tell you you have a missing score and show you where it is but Scorebridge just deletes the line from its scoresheets and you have to search through the results to see if one board has fewer lines results than it should have.

  • With Scorebridge it is easier to look at the ranking list to check that no one has a final score that has been factored up unexpectedly. I accept that it's less easy if there has been a sit-out for only some pairs.

    Barrie Partridge - Senior Kibitzer in Bridge Club Live - Pig Trader in IBLF

  • To reduce initial costs you can do a trial with 3 tablets and run a simple Howell test movement on your own. This enables you to get an overall picture and check connectivity and probably give a demo to your committee.

    When we have connectivity problems I just use this test method (3 table movement with 1 board per round) to check the system. Once you are confident you can work the system you can then commit to the rest of the equipment you need. One thing you might miss is to allow the app through your firewall - otherwise the system is blocked and you won't get a connection.

    The user manual is very comprehensive but quite difficult to cross reference - however the info is all there.

    If you want to know my views on support contact me privately.

  • My club has recently migrated from BridgeTabs to ScoreSheet. OK, I'll come clean. I wrote the ScoreSheet Android app but I didn't influence my club to take it on. Advantages are that it's cheaper, plus has some extra useful features such as flashing warnings on the tablet telling players when it's time to arrow switch or skip. ScoreSheet has been thoroughly tested with my own Windows-based scoring program (which, naturally, I recommend) and ScoreBridge. I am currently working on integrating it with EBUscore. I don't anticipate that being too much of a challenge and a version for use with EBUScore should be available in the next few weeks. More details of all my scoring software on my website at scorer.writerman.org.uk.
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