Running an Event

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

Login process

(changed 20 January 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 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.

Media Verification

  • On the login page, for all persons with camera: a video preview is at bottom right.
  • A sound bar 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.

In the lobby: Director and Deputy Director view

In the yellow band at the top of the screen

  • Person's name appears at top left.
  • 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.
  • Buttons
    • 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.
      • Rebooting session.
      • Destroying session.
    • Scores
      • For Director/Deputy Director, shows scores for completed boards, including the current round.
      • For players in the lobby, shows scores for completed rounds.
      See also section on Scores detail

Under the yellow band—on the right

(changed 21 December 2020)

  • Information on event
  • 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
  • Timer information
  • Session settings button opens 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 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 the 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 chat box 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.
  • Lobby: panel shows list of people in lobby; number in brackets shows how many people are in the lobby. 

Below the yellow band—on the left—tables

(changed 21 December 2020)

  • 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 orange border, and the name of 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 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.
Lobby with sort
Lobby as spreadsheet

Session settings details

(changed 21 January 2021)

  • Choose scoring method, to configure the event. Current list is:
    • Practice (this is for Supervised Play)
    • Teams
    • Matchpoint pairs
    • IMP pairs
    • Board-a-Match
  • Choose movement. Current list is:
    • Mitchell (2 winners)
    • Switched Mitchell (1 winner)
    • Howell
    • Swiss
    • Head-to-Head matches
    • Round robin (With and without an intermission. See Scoring & movement notes)
    Note:
    • 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.
  • Set boards per round and number of rounds. Be careful to get them the right way round.
  • If appropriate, choose a VP scale. This will only be enabled when relevant.
  • 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 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.
  • 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)
  • 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 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.
  • If using deals from an external source, load a PBN file of the deals.
    1. Click Choose file
    2. Select a file
    3. System displays number of deals loaded
    4. 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

(changed 12 February 2021)

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. This warning 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

(changed 21 January 2021)

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.

Session settings


Advanced director actions

(changed 26 February 2021)

  • Club and session parameters.
    • The parameters will be output in the USEBIO file.
  • Advanced session config
    • Import session configuration.
      • Click Choose file
      • Select a file
      • System displays "Successfully loaded file".
      • 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.
    • 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:
    1. Select the player
    2. Click Kick player to lobby
  • 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.

Advanced director actions 

Clubs see minor variations of this screen for regional federation validation/verification.


Director calls

(changed 26 February 2021)

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.

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 sees all four hands.
  • 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

When a director visits a table, they will now be able to have private conversations with players. By clicking the - button, they will exclude a player from the conversation and by clicking the + button, they will be including the 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.

 


Starting a game

Adding tables

Click plus to add a table or tables before the event starts.

For adding tables after the start, see Game in progress.

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 (will change slightly)

Half tables can exist. A half-table can be opened up to convert to a full table. See Game in progress.

Empty tables

(changed 21 December 2020)

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

(changed 21 December 2020)

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.

The Start round 1 button starts the event. After clicking it, click Confirm.  See Moving players for the next round.

If you have an empty table, you will see the message "Can't start pairs event with an empty table".

Start round 1 Confirm


Game in progress

Adding tables during Round 1

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.

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.

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

(changed 8 January 2021)

Looking at a table from the lobby, you can see how far through the round they are:

1.P  Acceptance of players at start of match (at teams and Swiss pairs only)
1.0  Deal 1, bidding stage
1.5  Deal 1, trick 5
1.E  Deal 1 ended, prior to start of Deal 2. (Players are seeing the yellow screen, relevant for rights and director calls)
2.7  Deal 2, trick 7
R1  Round 1 is complete
R2a The first half of round 2 is complete (Only applicable to Round Robin 2x1/2) 

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

See the previous section, Moving players for next round.

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

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.

Claims

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.

Skip deal

(changed 20 January 2021)

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.

End deal

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. Initially the score shows the tricks taken by declarer up to that point. If the play has not started, the result is shown as Passed out.

Normally the Director will modify the result afterward.

Score changes

(changed 21 December 2020)

In the Scores window, for any completed board, or board that has been Ended, the Director can change the contract, declarer and result.  The Director can also give an artificial adjusted score.  See Adjusting scores.

After a change to a score, a star appears next to the amended result for anyone viewing the scores.


Scores detail

(changed 21 December 2020)

  • 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 traveller, 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.

Exporting results, deals and bidding/play record

Click the USEBIO button and three files are generated by the system. These can be saved. (will change slightly)

The files are:

  • USEBIO 1.2 file
  • USEBIO 1.2 file with play (LIN data inside the USEBIO file)
  • PBN file

Windows command to save: right-click

Mac command to save: CTRL and click at the same time

Android: press and hold


Communication

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.


Commonly-occurring requests for help

(changed 21 December 2020)

Situation Advice
I cannot play a card from dummy Check for two taps UI settings.
Never call it double-click.
Advise looking at Settings icon, and reading the description of the two taps mode.
My bidding box is missing Check if it is their turn to bid. A player only gets a bidding box when it is their turn to bid.
I can't lead Check whether the auction is over. When the auction is completed, the contract is displayed in the bottom left, near the trick stacks.
Last trick—cannot see it Check whether the player has already played to the next trick.
Complaint about seeing last trick when partner has played Describe the face-to-face action of not quitting a trick. Seeing last trick is the equivalent to this, as in online play you don't physically turn over your card to finish the trick.
Next deal will not appear Deal has E indicator. A player has prevented the next Deal from appearing by clicking Pause. They must now click OK.
Next Round button is not visible Fewer than 50% of the tables have completed the round.