Adjusting Scores

This guide is for those who have already seen Running an event. After you have looked here, at this chapter, we recommend that you look at these chapters:

changed 30 May 2023

Score adjustments, corrections and penalties

You can assign any single result to a board, either as an assigned score or an artificial score.

You can also apply changes to a contestant's overall score.

Assigned adjusted scores

To assign an adjusted score, navigate to the bidding and play record for the board at the given table. For example, go to the pair's scorecard, then click on the contract currently shown.

In the top right-hand corner are controls for adjusting the score.

To assign a real score, use the five boxes to specify the level, contract, whether it was doubled or redoubled, declarer, and number of tricks. Then click Save adjustment.

Artificial adjusted scores

To give an artificial adjusted score, use the same controls as above.

It is possible to assign fixed and variable artificial scores. Scores with symbols (+, =, -) are variable and numbers (40, 50, 60) are fixed. For example, if a pair is given Avg+, they get 60% or their own score, whichever is higher.  If a pair is given 60, they get 60% always.  Similarly for Avg- and 40%.

When adjusting the score, the first box contains +/-, +/=, etc.  The second box controls which type of adjustment is made:
~ means that the score is Avg+/Avg-
= means that the score is fixed 60%/40%

The adjustments are in the order NS/EW, so +/= means Avg+ for NS, Avg= for EW.


The image on the left shows Avg + for North/South and Avg - for East/West. Notice the ~ symbol which indicates that the scores change based on the session score for the pair.

When should this option be used?

  • In Mitchell and Howell using raw matchpoints or IMPs: to determine the pair’s own average the entire set of boards is used. In this case the standard Avg+/Avg- options should be used.
  • In Swiss Pairs, to determine the pair’s own average, only the set of boards in the current match or round are used.
  • In a Howell scored using VPs, to determine the pair’s own average, only the set of boards in the current match or round are used.
  • In a Swiss event with short rounds (up to 4 boards), the NBO may advise using the 60/40 adjustment.

USEBIO export and external scoring systems

In the USEBIO file, the matchpoints are calculated according to the adjustment you have specified. However, the SCORE will show the same text, eg “A6040”, for both types of adjustment. This is because the USEBIO format does not support both types of adjusted score. Many scoring systems do not have this feature. If you choose to import the USEBIO file into a scoring application and rescore it, it may rescore a 60/40 as an Avg+/Avg-.

What do the adjustments look like on RealBridge screens?


The subject of “multiple adjustments for one pair” is handled differently by some score systems. The method we have used is consistent with the wording of the laws, and verified by a WBF committee member. We compute scores like this:

  1. Compute "raw percentage" for boards played.
  2. Apply all Avg= adjustments.
    If your raw percentage is > 40%, apply all Avg- adjustments.
    If your raw percentage is < 60%, apply all Avg+ adjustments.
  3. Recompute the session percentage, and apply any final adjustments.
    This is when the Avg+ >60% or Avg- <40% happens. 

IMPs: teams and X-IMPs

For teams, the minus infractions Avg- results in minus three IMPs (-3). The adjustment is only applied to one side.
For X-IMPs, the minus infractions, Avg- results in minus two IMPs (-2). The Avg+ is plus two (+2).

If the adjustment "balances" then it goes in the normal IMP score columns.  That is:

  • =/= is just 0
  • +/- is +3 to the first team
  • -/+ is +3 to the second team

If the adjustment doesn't balance then the IMP score for the board is 0 and the adjustments go in the (invisible) separate column - so the total scores / VPs will be correct.

For head-to-head matches, ONLY =/=, +/- and -/+ are selectable.

For more about this topic please refer to EBU White Book

When are adjustments seen?

  • When the Director makes an adjustment, the Director sees it immediately.
  • Under most circumstances players will see adjustments for a previous round as soon as the adjustment is made. If they disconnect and reconnect, they will see the score adjustments at the end of the round. 
  • A player in the lobby will only see the refreshed scores at the end of the round.

The simplified rule is this:

  • At the end of the round, all scores shown reflect the adjustments.
  • The Director always sees the refreshed scores immediately.

Clarification on Skipped boards

If a pair doesn't play a board that they are scheduled to play, Law 12 requires the director to award an adjusted score (eg. average, average plus, average minus).

Half Tables

Started with a genuine half table

  • A half table is not a table with lots of skipped boards.
  • The system manages the score correctly - a sitting-out pair is awarded their average for the session for every board they do not play.
  • It does not give them 50% for every board they do not play.
  • As a director, please do nothing.

Started with full tables, but a pair left

A pair left the event. No substitute can be found, some rounds need to be skipped.

  • The correct approach depends on the rules of your national bridge organisation.
  • The options are:
    • Destroy the missing pair, so that all their results are erased and they become a sitout. To do this, use the destroy pair functionality in Advanced. (See Game in Progress)
    • Keep the pair, skip the boards that they are due to play, and assign an artificial score. To do this, sit at the table in the director's seat, click Skip Deal and Accept. The system will set the score to =/=. You can then change this as necessary to =/+ , -/+ or -/= See Artificial adjusted scores above.
      If you accidentally click End Deal, you should still change the score for that board to an artificial score. Do not leave it as Passed Out.

In the English Bridge Union: the EBU Whitebook (2.4.4) states: If a contestant withdraws before half of the session is completed, all scores obtained against that contestant are cancelled. If a contestant withdraws after completing half of the session, all scores obtained against the withdrawn contestant stand. Any contestant required to ‘sit out’ as a result of the withdrawal receives AVE+. In RealBridge this means:

  • If they played fewer than 50% of the boards, the pair should be destroyed.
  • If they played 50% or more of the boards, at each table where they were due to play after that you should skip the boards. To do this, sit at the table in the director's seat, click Skip Deal and Accept. Then change the score to -/+ (average minus for the missing pair, average plus for their opponents). If you accidentally click End Deal, you should still change the score to -/+ for that board.

Outside the English Bridge Union: follow the guidance of your national bridge organisation.

Started with a genuine half table, but the seats still appear open

  • The likely cause here is a person sat in one of the seats by accident and the director clicked Start Round 1. Alternatively, the session started with a half-table, then the director accidentally clicked Open the EW seats or Open the NS seats.
  • They are now “part of the movement”.
  • You will need to remove this spurious partnership from the records. To do this, you must use the destroy pair functionality in Advanced. (See Game in Progress).

Genuine skipped board, because of lateness, or bridge reason

  • A board needs to be skipped.
  • This now means you need to SKIP to make the skip happen.
  • You can allow the system to give =/= (default action)
  • You can choose to adjust the score, via =/+ or -/+  etc later, if one pair is at fault.

Adjustments to overall scores

You can apply adjustments to a contestant’s overall score. This is used for applying handicaps, corrections to carryovers,  artificial match scores (eg 12-0 in VPs for a forfeited match), procedural penalties, and weighted adjusted scores.

The image below shows the Scores screen, with the Adj column containing adjustments.

The Director always sees the Adj column, even if it is empty.

Players see the Adj column only if there is at least one adjustment.

To apply an adjustment, the director simply clicks in the Adj column for the relevant contestant (pair or team, depending on the type of session) and types in the adjustment. The adjustment should be entered in units of:

  • VPs, for a session that uses VPs.
  • IMPs, for a session that uses total IMPs
  • Matchpoints, for a matchpoint session that doesn’t use VPs
  • BAM points (full board = 2, half board = 1) for BAM

An adjustment can be negative or positive, and can be a decimal number.

Before adjustment to pair 5:

After adjustment to pair 5:

Notice that the matchpoints column does not change. The matchpoints column contains the matchpoints before this adjustment. The percentage shown does change, as this represents their score after applying the adjustment.

In this example, after subtracting 3 matchpoints their percentage is (53-3)/84 = 59.52%


If a contestant receives multiple adjustments, the Adj column contains the total of all their adjustments. For example, if they already have an adjustment of -3, and you want to apply a further adjustment of -6, change the Adj column to -9.

This functionality is intended only for adjusting the overall score of a contestant. To adjust the score on a single board, go to the result in the Scores window and adjust the score there, as described above.

USEBIO exports

An overall score adjustment appears in a USEBIO file as an ADJUSTMENT node for the contestant.