RealBridge Config Files

What is a config file?

(Updated 09/07/2021)

A config file (short for "configuration file") is a text file in a specific format. It contains information used by RealBridge about a session. Some of this is information that is available via the RealBridge application; some of it can only be viewed via the config file.

The main purpose is to allow you to run events over multiple sessions. However, the same config-file mechanism can also be used to create more sophisticated or custom configurations that can't be achieved using the RealBridge front-end directly, or to obtain additional information about the format of the event.

Main uses of a config file

Multi-session events

In a multi-session event, a config file is used by RealBridge to carry forward data from one session to the next session:

  • The config file tells the second and subsequent sessions the names of the contestants, where they should sit, and the current scores.
  • In a Round Robin event, the draw is set at the start of the first session. The config file gives each subsequent session the assignments for the remaining rounds.
  • In a Swiss event, the config file tells each subsequent session which contestants have already played each other.
  • In a Howell or Mitchell that is split across sessions, the config file tells each subsequent session where to restart the movement.

If you are simply using a config file as part of a multi-session event, for the transition from one session to the next, you do not need to understand the details of the config file. You can just use the config file, and it will work. For details, see:

Initial configuration

For single-session events (or the first session of a multi-session event), you can use the config file to:

  • Restrict the event to particular players.
  • Pre-assign the starting positions or team numbers.
  • Set the names of teams in advance (but this can also be done, more easily, via the RealBridge application).
  • Specify the draw in a Round Robin.
  • Specify the first-round assignments in a Swiss.

This approach is useful for developers who wish to integrate RealBridge with their own front-end.

If you are creating config files manually, RealBridge recommends that you use this method only when necessary. Creating the config file manually is time-consuming, and it is easy to make a mistake in the configuration

Viewing future assignments

In a Round Robin teams, if you want to know what the future assignments will be, you can generate a config file and view the assignments for the entire event.

Loading and exporting a config file

Config files are loaded and exported from the Advanced menu.

If you are loading a config file, you should do this before you open the session for the players.

In a multi-session event, at the end of each session you must export the config file, before the session is destroyed.  At the beginning of the next session you load the config file. For more details, see:

Before the start of a round robin, you can export a config file so as to find out what the assignments will be.


If you have loaded a config file, or if you have saved the config file before the start of a Round Robin, do not subsequently change the number of tables. If you do this by mistake, reboot the session and then reload the config file.

Config file examples

(Updates 9/6/2021)

The config file is in JSON format. The following examples demonstrate the use the file. A full list of allowed attributes and values is given later in this document. All components of the config file are case-sensitive.

Example 1: Single round-robin teams

The file will be ready to download in the chatbox in the lobby:

            [ 2, 1, 5, 4, 3],
            [ 3, 4, 1, 2, 5],
            [ 5, 2, 4, 3, 1],
            [ 1, 3, 2, 5, 4],
            [ 4, 5, 3, 1, 2]

Download config file here

Most of the elements are self-explanatory.

scoring_method:17 means round-robin IMP teams.

team_names lists the teams in order of table number, so Barcelona is at Table 1, Madrid is at Table 2, etc.

The match_assignments element works like this:

  • Each row is a round. The first row is round 1, the second row is round 2, etc.
  • Each column is the opponents for a given team. The first column is Team 1’s opponents. The second column is team 2’s opponents, etc.
  • If a team is shown as drawn against themselves, that means that they have a bye.

Hence this should be read as:

  • Round 1: 1 plays 2, 2 plays 1, 3 plays 5, 4 plays 4, 3 plays 5.
    That is: 1 v 2, 3 v 5, 4 has a bye
  • Round 2: 1 plays 3, 2 plays 4, 3 plays 1, 4 plays 2, 5 plays 5.
    That is: 1 v 3, 2 v 4, 5 has a bye
  • etc

For an explanation of the other elements in the config file, see later in this document.

This config file can be used in two ways:

  • Usually you will leave RealBridge to create the assignments. You may want to see what the assignments will be. To do this, immediately before starting the event, export the config file.  The match_assignments will contain the assignments for the entire round robin.
  • If you want to set the assignments yourself, you create a file like this before the event starts, and load it into RealBridge before the start of the first session. Then RealBridge uses your match_assignments data to determine the assignments.

Example 1a: After the first round is over

If you save the config from Example 1 at the end of Round 1, you will see several differences:

  1. The assignments element will have been split:

                [ 3, 4, 1, 2, 5],
                [ 5, 2, 4, 3, 1],
                [ 1, 3, 2, 5, 4],
                [ 4, 5, 3, 1, 2]
                [ 2, 1, 5, 4, 3]

    previous_match_assignments shows the round that has already been played.

    match_assignments shows the rounds that have not yet been played.

    After the second round, the next row from match_assignments would be moved into previous_match_assignments.

  2. The pairs that have played for each team will be listed:


How to create a config file

You can, if you like, create a config file entirely outside RealBridge.

However, for round-robin events, it is often easier to do some of the work in the RealBridge front-end. The suggested procedure is:


We recommend using Visual Studio Community Edition (Free) to edit config files as there are many features that make it easier to edit. When you install (or modify your current version of Visual Studios) you will need to install the ".NET Desktop Development" package. See how to install Visual Studios and some other useful tips in our video tutorial.

When editing the config file, it is OK to add spaces and line-endings between the elements, to make the file easier to read and edit.

For both loading and exporting, it is always best to start with a clean environment. Therefore:

List of editable config keys

Key name Type Description/comments
Integer Number of tables.
In a multisession event, this must be the same for every session.
You should always include num_tables in the config file.
Integer Boards per round. Usually this will be the same in every session, but it can change if required.
Integer The number of rounds that will be played in this session (not the total rounds in the event).
Integer The board number to start from. Defaults to 1 for every session.
Avoid having board numbers that go above 99.
Integer Defines the scoring method of the session, for value list, see below.
Boolean In round-robin matches, whether there is a break at half-time. This is equivalent to selecting the "Round-robin 2X½" movement.

For teams events where the match is played in two halves, whether one team switches seats at half-time.
1 = Switch
0 = Don't switch

String The session name, which appears in the yellow band at the top of the lobby window.
Array of integer arrays In a round-robin or Swiss teams event, the assignments for upcoming rounds.
Array of integer arrays In a round-robin, Swiss teams or Swiss pairs event, the assignments for rounds that have already been played.
Array of strings In a teams event, the names of the teams, in order (so the first name is team 1, the second name is team 2, etc.
String Club name (Advanced screen).
String Club id (Advanced screen).
Integer EBU charge code (Advanced screen).
Integer EBU masterpoint scale (Advanced screen).
0 = None.
1 = Club scale.
Integer Time per round in seconds.
Integer How to show the remaining time.
0 = minutes only.
1 = MM:SS.

VP scale for round-robin and Swiss events.
0 = none.
1 = 20-0 discrete.
2 = 20.00-0.00 continuous.
3 = ABF.

Boolean If set to true, use self-alerts and written explanations.
Boolean If set to true, use screens mode.
Array of objects See example 1a above.
Boolean If set to true, prevents logins by usernames without a seat.
Array of objects

See examples 4 and 5 above.

Array of 3 doubles Imposing delays for 1: opening lead, 2: dummy, and 3: third hand. The maximum value is 30 seconds. 
Array of 3 doubles Imposing delays for 1: dealers bid, 2: following three bids in the first round, 3: all subsequent bids. The default is [2,0,0]. The minimum for the dealer is 2 seconds.
Boolean Sets up the session for a VuGraph. Automatically converts seats without seat_assignments to generic seat names, for example, 1N, 3E, etc.
Integer For teams-of-8 or more, the number of players in a team. Must be a multiple of 4. See Notes about scoring & movements
Integer For teams-of-8 or more, the separation between subteams in a big team. See Notes about scoring & movements

One of "ximps", "imps", "agg". See Notes about scoring & movements

Scoring methods

The scoring_method key specifies both the movement and the scoring method. The list of values is:

0 Practice tables (or RealBridge Lounge)
1 Head-to-head IMP teams
2 Matchpoint Mitchell
3 IMP pair Mitchell
4 Matchpoint switched Mitchell
5 IMP pair switched Mitchell
6 Matchpoint Howell
7 IMP pair Howell
14 Head-to-head BAM
17 Round-robin IMP teams
30 Round-robin BAM
33 Swiss IMP teams
34 Matchpoint Swiss pairs
35 IMP Swiss pairs
46 Swiss BAM

Non-editable config keys

Config files that you exported from RealBridge may contain other keys. Do not edit or remove these.