This is a guide for directors, teachers and club owners, explaining in detail how to run an event using the RealBridge web app.
Revised 21 December 2020
Session Login Screen
(changed 9 March 2021)
There are three different links for the three different roles of Player, Deputy Director, and Director. Each person should use the correct link. Deputy Director and Director can also play. A session can have multiple Deputy Directors and Directors.
In the top left-hand corner of the login page, you can choose the language to be used. This changes the language throughout the RealBridge application. Each user has their own language-setting. For example, one player can have it set to French and another can have it set to English. Currently, RealBridge can be used in English, French, Greek, Swedish, Danish, German, Spanish Portuguese, and Italian.
Enter the full name. Two players with the same name can log in to the same session, as long as they both enter an ID Number (and the IDs are different).
ID Number: whatever you like.
Typically: federation ID, Club ID, or email.
This data is included in the USEBIO field.
Can be left blank.
Session key is embedded in the link.
High contrast UI: tick for people who are colour blind.
Those who have more than one camera and microphone can choose from drop-down menus.
If a player is logged in and happens to log in elsewhere, with the same name (or the same combination of name and id), the earlier instance of their login will close. The latest login becomes the only login. The reason we have done this is that some people were logging in multiple times unnecessarily.
On the login page, for all persons with a camera: a video preview is at the bottom right.
A soundbar shows whether the microphone is working (horizontal, green, running from left to right).
The best way to test prior to playing, and self-diagnose issues and resolution, is to visit the camera test page.
Players do not have to have video and sound, though it makes the user experience better. We recommend that Director and Deputy Director do have both.
Roles and Permissions
Directors are able to do all actions
Deputy directors have similar actions available but are unable to access:
Session Settings (Setting movement, number of rounds, etc.)
Advanced Director actions (Setting federation details, kicking players to lobby, etc.)
Session name is where you name the event. This forms part of the file names for output files. It also appears on the scorecard and leaderboard. As a Director you can edit the name directly in place. You must do this before the start of Round 1.
USEBIO outputs 3 files (USEBIO without LIN, USEBIO with LIN, PBN). Can be output at any time. The USEBIO version is 1.2
Advanced currently has functionality for:
Inputs for USEBIO (currently Club and session parameters).
Import/export session configuration.
Kicking players from seat to lobby.
For Director/Deputy Director, shows scores for completed boards, including the current round.
For players in the lobby, shows scores for completed rounds.
Buttons to add and remove tables (will change slightly)
Add tables (including half tables) when you like, up to the end of Round 1.
Remove tables when you like, up to the end of Round 1 (only empty tables, or half tables). Removing a table also tidies up and condenses. See Game in progress for more about this.
Current round number
Session settings button opens a window.
Open session button. Allows players to join the session. Until you have clicked this, players cannot log in. Only Directors and Deputy Directors can log in. If a player tries to log in, they will see a message saying: "Director has not opened the session yet". The idea is to allow the director to fill in the session name, enter session settings, and add tables before the players arrive. All of this can also be done after opening the session.
Start round button. This appears after you have clicked Open session. It changes its name based on the round. At the start of each round it disappears, then it reappears when enough tables have finished for you to start the next round. See Moving players for the next round for details. To reduce the risk of accidentally starting an event early, for Round 1 only you have to click twice. After the first click, the button changes to Confirm. If you don’t press Confirm, after five seconds the button reverts to saying Start round 1.
Under the yellow band, lower down on the right—chat
Chat text (colour and name indicate who typed it). The chatbox is taller for players compared to Directors, because players have more room at the top. Requests for the Director are bracketed by diamond symbols and identify the player and table.
Send chat button to send chat to lobby (anyone can use this).
ANNOUNCE button is visible only for Director/Deputy Director. Announcements go to all tables and the lobby. Announcements are centered and delimited by spade symbols. Note: To do a video broadcast, see the Broadcast section under Communications.
Lobby: panel shows a list of people in the lobby; the number in brackets shows how many people are in the lobby.
Under the yellow band—on the left—tables
Switch view button. You can view the list of tables either as a diagram or in a grid. This switches between the two views.
Sort dropdown. Changes the order in which the tables are displayed. By default, it shows them in order of table number. The available options are
Table number, ascending order
Table number, descending order
Tables with empty seats first
Slow tables first
Fast tables first
Highest scores first
Filter lets you search for a player by name. Enter any part of the player's name, and the list of tables will just show tables that match.
In diagram view, a table with four seats. In grid view, a table where the rows are tables and the columns are compass positions.
Click seat (eg Sit E) to sit (anyone can do this). The seat is now shown as occupied.
Click on the table number to visit the table to give rulings or help (only a Director or Deputy Director can do this). For someone else viewing from the lobby, the table now has an orange border, and the name of the person in attendance is displayed. At the table, you appear in the top-left corner.
After the Director or Deputy Director has left, the table reverts to a black border.
If the table has called for a director but a director has not yet gone to the table, the table has a red border. See Director Calls.
If the event is Teams or Practice tables, under the table number is a box for the team name or table name. Click this to edit it. For Practice tables, you might want to label your tables for particular categories of players, like "Novices" or "Players without partners".
When a table has completed the round, the colour changes from green to a grey-brown colour.
For Head-to-Head the number of tables must be even.
For Swiss and Round robin, if you have an odd number of tables there will be a sit-out. In a Swiss, the team with the lowest score that has not already had a sit-out will sit out.
For Head-to-Head matches, if you want to change opponents or change your lineup, you must change seats at your home table between rounds. See Advice for directors for more details and advice.
VP Scale - If appropriate, choose a VP scale. This will only be enabled when relevant.
Boards Per Round - Set boards per round and number of rounds. Be careful to get them the right way round.
Number of Rounds - Set the number of rounds in a session. You do not have to complete all the rounds to export a results file. You cannot add more once you have started.
Timer - Set the timer, if required. The timer is for information only. It appears on every table, under the board, and also in the lobby. You can specify whole minutes or minutes & seconds.
First Board - The first board allows you to start at a board other than 1 if playing a single event in multiple sessions, eg 1-24 morning, 25-48 afternoon.
Self Alerts - If required, choose self-alerts and explanations. If this is not ticked (and screens are not in use), alerts will be by the partner of the bidder. (will change slightly)
Screens - If required, use choose screens.
The screen is lowered when cards are accepted. (slightly different for teams - match "acceptance" causes the screen to be lowered)
The screen is raised at claim or trick 13.
With screens and normal alerts: this part of the system will change shortly.
First trick delays - These impose a delay for play in trick 1 for the first three cards. The delay occurs from when a player is able to play a card to when the card becomes visible to other players. The timer starts from the moment the player is able to play, not from when the card is played. This delay can be set separately for the lead, card played from dummy and the card played from the third hand. The maximum limit is 30 seconds.
Bidding-box delays - When the director sets up the session, they can specify a delay of a few seconds before the bidding box is displayed. There are three settings: for dealer's first bid, for the next three bids on the first round, and for all subsequent bids. A setting of zero means that there is no delay. The default is 2 / 0 / 0. The delay for dealer must be at least 2 seconds.
Load PBN File - If using deals from an external source, load a PBN file of the deals.
Click Choose file
Select a file
System displays number of deals loaded
A confirmation message showing the name of the file is displayed in yellow text
If the file contains fewer deals than specified for the event, the system adds extra deals, making sure that the new deals have the correct board numbers. Eg, for a 24-board event starting at Board 1, if PBN has deals 9 to 14, then the system will create 1 to 8, and 15 to 24.(will change slightly)
Validation and warnings
PBN files are validated before uploading. If your upload is not successful, check the file for any errors.
When you start a session, your settings are checked to ensure that you have set them to reasonable values.
The error message below is because you have omitted the session name.
Please enter a session name
However, the others are warnings, you can continue without changing anything.
Total boards < 8 or > 48
Opponents will repeat
No timer set
Time-per-board is < 5 minutes or > 10 minutes
More than one sit-out pair
Reserved spaces will NOT be a sit-out
Number of rounds < boards per round
Notes on movements
Mitchell movement: verified by Ian McKinnon (author of Duplicate Bridge Schedules).
Howell movement: verified by Ian McKinnon. Variation of Flower. The fastest pair should be seated at 1 E/W to minimize bottlenecks. See Limbo tables.
A confirmation message showing the name of the file is displayed in yellow text.
In the lobby view, the players are assigned to their correct seats.
Config file behaviour: When you load a config file, it will erase any session settings that you have already created manually. Hence you should load the config file first, then make any other session settings. If you load two config files in succession, the settings from the first config file are totally removed. This means that if you load a config file, change it, then load it again, there is no risk of retaining unwanted settings from the first version of the file. Exception: if one config file only contains table announcements, and the other file contains only session settings, then you can load both files, and the content of both files will be retained. It is also possible to have a single file containing both table announcements and session settings. That is, if you want to import session settings and a table note, you can use either:
One file of session settings, and another file with the table note, or
One file containing both.
Export session configuration. This exports the current state of the session, for use in the next session of a multi-session event.
Click Export config
A download link appears in the chat window
From the lobby, right-click on the link (CTRL-click on a Mac) to save the file
For more information about importing and exporting session configuration, please contact the RealBridge support team.
Remove a player To remove a player from a table and move them to the lobby:
Select the player
Click Kick player to lobby
Remove Player from Lobby
From the Advanced Director Actions menu, it is possible to remove a player from a table, as well as remove a player from the lobby entirely. Once a player name is selected, you must click "Kick player out" and they will be removed from the session. Note that at present the player could rejoin the session.
Reboot session To erase and restart the session entirely, click Reboot session twice. This:
Removes all the players.
Deletes all scores and hands played so far.
Removes all the tables.
Resets the session parameters to the defaults.
After this, you may rejoin the session and set the session parameters. Your players will be able to log in again. This option should only be used after a serious error when you need to start again from scratch.
Destroy session To destroy a session permanently, click Destroy session twice. This:
Removes all the players.
Ends the event permanently.
Stores the scores, hands, bidding, and play on the RealBridge results server. Players can view all of this information using the same link as they used to join the session.
Deletes the session from the Club Admin screen. (If you already have the Club Admin screen open, a refresh will be required to see this.)
After this, you can not use this session again for playing. The link stays active forever, but it is now a link to the records on the results server. This option is to be used after the session is over and you have saved all required results, hands, and configuration.
Edit Player Here you can edit the name and ID number of a player if they are sitting at a table. It is encouraged to make these changes early in the session, ideally before the session commences.
Destroy Pair - (Only available in pairs events) is used to remove pairs from the movement and scoring. Note: all scores are removed, which will remove the score for all pairs they played against. Also note: You cannot destroy a pair and compress two half tables into one whole table.
Only one person can be at the table as director at any time. A playing director can also be present, but only if sitting in a seat.
The player clicks the Director button. Now:
All directors get a notification (yellow text in chat, bracketed by a red book emoji).
Players at the table get a notification.
Viewed from the lobby, the table border changes to red.
All directors get an audible doorbell sound.
A Director (or Deputy Director) goes to the table by clicking in the middle of the table. Now:
The director appears at the table, in the top left-hand corner.
The director has a toggle to view/hide all player's cards
From the lobby, the table border changes to orange, and the director's name is displayed next to the table. When the director leaves the table the table border returns to normal.
Private conversations by video
When a director visits a table, they can have private conversations with players. Clicking the user + button will exclude a player from the conversation and clicking the user - button will include a player. Excluded players will still be able to talk to other excluded players. Please see the page called Advice on how this works with screens. This function will be useful for directors talking to players to make a ruling, as well as supervised sessions with teachers talking privately to students.
Private conversations by text (between director and players)
The Director or Deputy Director can conduct a private chat with one or more players whilst at the table. Only the Director and Deputy Director can initiate a conversation. This is done by clicking “Private chat”. The chat is visible to those players with the User + symbol. Players who have the User – symbol cannot see the chat. The director chatbox has a red border and covers the table chat.
You might use this when:
You want to conduct chat by text rather than by voice with selected players - perhaps to make it easier to communicate, or because the player(s) do not have speakers.
You are using Google Translate to copy and paste your communication to selected players.
The event is using screens, and you want only one side of the screen to see your text, and you want them to respond to you by text.
For all teams events, the Director can input the team name in the box under the team number (directly typing on the table). This team name is displayed in all places that show results and information about the team.
Combining and removing tables
At any time before the event starts, click Minus to remove empty tables, or to combine half-full tables.
Eg: N/S at table 1, missing opponents, and E/W at table 7, missing opponents: they get "married" to make a whole table.
Entirely empty tables are removed.
Half tables and sit-outs
Half tables can exist. A half-table can be opened up to convert to a full table. See Game in progress.
RealBridge will not allow you to start a pairs or teams event with a completely empty table. If you need to add tables during Round 1, you will still be able to do it after starting the event.
Practice sessions can be started with some open tables set out. As people join, they can sit and start. So you can start on time (or even a bit early) and easily accommodate latecomers.
Starting the first round of the event
Do not start a pairs event with two half tables. If you do that, and then the holes do not get filled in, you will be stuck with two sit-outs. Before you start the event, click minus to shuffle up any gaps.
In a pairs event, tables can be added in round 1 only, not later. That is before the move for Round 2 has been made.
In a teams event, you cannot add a team after the start.
Opening and closing seats during Round 1
In a pairs event, if you started Round 1 with a half-table, or if you have added a table after starting, the empty seats will have the words "Open the NS seats" or "Open the EW seats". To allow players to sit, click this. It is not possible to open late tables in Swiss pairs.
Starting play with a late-arriving pair
Once a table has been filled up if you want to allow them to play the first round, go to the table and click Play round. If you don't do this, the players will start with Round 2.
Removing empty tables
If you have added a table during Round 1 but you don't need it, remove it by clicking the -Late table button. This method will not combine two half-tables.
In a Mitchell or Howell, if a pair leaves during a session, you are now able to remove them from the results. The pair becomes a sit-out.
To do this, go to the second page of the Advanced Director Actions. Select the pair that you wish to remove and click Destroy. This action removes all scores for the pair, and also the scores that other pairs got when they played this pair. Note that you can not undo this action.
After Round 1
The buttons for adding and removing late tables do not exist after the move for Round 2.
Meaning of numbers on the tables
Looking at a table from the lobby, you can see how far through the round they are:
Acceptance of players at the start of a match (at teams and Swiss pairs only)
Deal 1, bidding stage
Deal 1, trick 5
Deal 1 ended, prior to the start of Deal 2. (Players are seeing the yellow screen, relevant for rights and director calls)
Deal 2, trick 7
Round 1 is complete
The first half of round 2 is complete (Only applicable to Round Robin 2x1/2)
It is within a player's rights to pause the round after a board has been finished for the purpose of calling the director. By pressing the pause button all players at the table will wait for the player to click OK before the next board is presented. The primary use for this feature is during a tournament, but also can be used in practice tables to help with teaching.
When a player clicks the pause button, the player's name badge turns pale red, visible to all players at the table and from the lobby. This is useful for a director to see if play is being stopped and can use it as a prompt to visit the table.
Moving players for the next round
When more than half the tables have completed the round, the Move button is displayed and enabled for the Director. The name of the button shows which round it relates to.
It is nice to make an announcement prior to moving, allowing people to finish their conversations. (will change soon)
When the Move button is clicked:
Pairs that have completed the round, and can move, do so
Moving pairs who have finished but have nowhere to go (when the destination table is still playing), go to a virtual table, called a limbo table. See Limbo tables. They get a notification, a yellow Post-it message in the middle of the table.
Pairs awaiting opponents get a notification, a yellow Post-it message in the middle of the table.
Pairs who are still playing continue to do so, but the moment they are finished, they are instantly moved.
If necessary, the Director can END a board. See End deal.
Limbo tables have the same table number as the table that the pair are waiting to go to.
At the limbo table, they get a notification in the middle of the table explaining why they are waiting.
From the lobby, the appearance is similar to a grey overlay on the table. It is a good idea to compare this to a half table and a table that is waiting for opponents. The key is to look at the table adjacent to a late table. See Scoring & movement notes for details of movements.
Claims and Undos
Depending on the mode of play, these can range from liberal (allowed to undo all the way from Trick 13 to the beginning of the auction), to entirely disallowed. The current implementation only allows liberal undos. (will change)
After an undo request, the undo must be resolved before play continues. Possible resolutions are:
Both opponents accept (or, if the undo request was by a defender during the play, declarer accepts)
An opponent refuses. Play continues.
A player leaves the table. The undo is canceled.
Declarer or a defender can claim. A claim can be made any time after the opening lead.
After declarer has claimed, both defenders are prompted to accept or reject the claim.
After a defender has claimed, declarer and the other defender are both prompted to accept the claim. (This is because a defender is allowed under Law 68B2 to object to his partner's claim.)
After a claim, the claim must be resolved. Possible resolutions are:
Both players accept.
One player rejects the claim. The players should call the Director to adjudicate. Alternatively, play continues, with the non-claiming side seeing all four hands. Note that the appearance and layout change for the non-claiming side.
A Player leaves the table. The claim is canceled.
Director utilities while sitting at a table
(changed 20 September 2021)
This view is seen by a director when they join a table by clicking the middle of a table. (This is not visible to a playing director - sitting in a playing seat). Note - this is the view when cards are shown.
Show/Hide cards and bidding
This button shows or hides the cards and bidding. This is useful for a playing director who does not want to see the cards/play/bidding of a board they are also playing.
This can only be done by a Director at the table as director, and only after the cards have been displayed to the players. Skipping awards 50/50 as the default (artificial) score and discards the auction and play that has happened so far.
This can only be done by a Director at the table as director, and only after the cards have been displayed to the players. Play ends at that point. When selected, if bidding had not yet been completed, the board will be passed out. If the bidding was completed, the director will be asked how many more tricks the declarer will make.
The Director can modify the result afterward from the scores window. See Adjusting scores.
A Board Report shows all bids made and cards played, with the time taken for each bid or card. The director creates the report by clicking the button shown below. This button is available at the table for a board currently being played, or in the replay for a past board. Only a director has this functionality.
When the button is clicked, the report is copied into the clipboard. Then to view the report, open Notepad or any other text editor (or Excel or Word), and paste the report there. An example report is shown below on the right.
Note that undos remove previous bids but still accrue time. For example, if a player bids, requests an undo, has the undo accepted, and selects a new bid, the new bid is the only one in the report. The reported time is the time from when the player's turn to bid started until the final bid is made.
Directors are able to apply undos to the table. The types of undos available are to undo a single action, undo to the beginning of the play, or undo to the beginning of the bidding. The director should select a type of undo in the drop-down menu and then click the "undo" button. This is mainly for quick undos for teaching. Note the undo is applied immediately and that the players are not able to refuse the undo.
Show/Hide Played Cards
As a director, and as a player viewing past boards in the Results window, you can view the cards that have already been played. When it is selected, cards that have already been played appear greyed out.
Directors are able to bid and play for all players at the table as well as changing historical bids.
Making a bid
By default, the bidding box is hidden. Click the Show/Hide Bidding Box icon to show the bidding box on the right side of the table. A bid/call can be made in the same way as when playing. (This may be Single-click, Two Tap, or Double Click, depending on what you have set in the User Settings.) The bid is made for the player [whose name is] highlighted in yellow. Subsequent bids/calls can be made until the auction ends.
Directors can change bids/calls and explanations from earlier in the auction. It is also possible to change an explanation if using self-alerts. To do this:
Double-click a call in the auction box to edit it. The bidding box will pop up. From here, click the correct bid (or click on the original bid to cancel). When a call is highlighted, the bidding box applies to that call.
Single click a highlighted call to cancel the edit.
Alerts and explanations can be removed or added.
Note that director-edited explanations do not add; they replace what is there.
When editing a call, the bid/call can be changed by selecting a new one from the box. Pressing ENTER in the explanation box will just update the explanation (keeping call the same).
Note: If the auction has been completed but the contract is not correct, you must undo "1 action" from the end of the auction to get back into the auction. That is, you undo the last pass, change the last bid, and pass it out again.
From the director seat, during the play, hover the cursor over a player's cards. Playable cards will turn red. Click the card once and it will be played.
During a round, a Director or Deputy Director (who is not seated at a table) sees the results of all completed boards.
A player (including a playing Director/Deputy Director) can only see results and comparison from completed rounds, plus completed boards from the current round.
After a table has completed all the boards for the round, the players can see the results and comparisons from other tables.
For example, playing 3 board rounds:
After finishing Board 1, the players can see the diagram for Board 1, their own bidding and play, and any alerts or self-explanations.
After finishing Board 2, the players can see this information for Boards 1-2.
After finishing Board 3, the players can see complete information for Boards 1-3 at every table that has finished the board, together with the IMPs or matchpoints. This information updates as other tables complete each board.
We advise using the word "Review" to describe the ability to review the auction, play, written explanations, and alerts. This is the action of clicking the result (wherever that exists, eg traveler, personal scorecard, etc).
When a score has been adjusted by the Director, the Director sees it immediately. The players will see it at the end of the round, or earlier.
As a Director/Assistant Director, the chat window shows what you have seen during the entire session. If you join a table, you do not see chat that was typed before you arrived. If you leave RealBridge and rejoin the chat window is empty it is as though you have never been there before.
The Director can make audio/video announcements to all the players simultaneously. To make a video broadcast to everyone logged into a session, go to Advanced and navigate to the second page. From here, there are options to broadcast to all players (both at tables and in the lobby), or only those in the lobby. During this time, all video and audio between players stop, and card play is paused. As a broadcaster, it is important to wait until the Please Wait message disappears before speaking, otherwise some players will not receive your full message.