Conditions of Play
These rules have been developed over time after discussion with participating players.
Setting up the Match
The captains are responsible for scheduling the match, reporting the match results and adjudicating any irregularities.
It is preferred but not required that a third party start the match.
Note that certain conditions are shows in italics. The captains may by mutual agreement alter these conditions,
but it must be explicitly stated and agreed to.
1. The name of the match must begin with the match identifier that appears on “MyPage” and begins with TBZ.
TBZ is the search term used to download hands for security purposes. Failure to use this term will not
invalidate results of a match.
2. No kibitzers are allowed except at the direction of the tournament directors.
This is to rule out non-collusive cheating (self-kibitzing) making security analysis easier.
3. Undos are to be allowed. Undos are allowed for legitimate physical misclicks.
They are not allowed due to change of mind, playing too fast, or inattention.
Players who are prone to misclicks should set the options to “confirm bids” and “confirm plays”.
Law 25 applies to misclicks in the auction - an inadvertent call cannot be corrected after partner has called
4. Barometer should be off.
5. Matches must be the minimum length as posted on the brackets. Matches may be longer (up to 64 boards)
if agreed to by both captains. 4 board continuing playoffs in the event of a tie.
6. Up to 8 players are allowed on a team. They can be added at any time provided that
no player may play on more than one team in the same event. There are no participation requirements,
except that players may not play more than twice the proportion of boards in the semis and finals that
they played in earlier rounds. Teams are on the honor system for participation, but it is not an acceptable
practice to “sandbag” a very strong pair and only use them in the late rounds.
7. Players may consult their own posted convention card on BBO. They may also consult written defenses if,
under ACBL rules, such defenses would be considered part of the opponents’ convention card.
Unlike face-to-face bridge, online bridge is subject to certain uncertainties.
Tempo breaks will generally be ascribed to internet latency or environmental disruptions rather than bridge problems.
Also, a player may be inexperienced with BBO or other platforms that a match is played on.
The general rule is that players need to be flexible, patient and forgiving and not assume nefarious actions.
1. There is no specific penalty for being late to a scheduled match or cancelling a set at the last minute.
However, repeated such actions may be subject to penalties up to and including score penalties,
forfeiture of a match, disqualification from an event, and exclusion from future events. Please do not be rude.
2. Hesitations are to be expected. Long hesitations that are obviously bridge related require hesitator’s
partner to consider UI has been passed and act accordingly. However, shorter hesitations that would pass
UI in face-to-face events are to be ignored as not bridge related.
3. If there is an irregularity, the captains are strongly requested to resolve it between themselves.
If they cannot, the captains should agree on a written submission of the facts which obscures the identities of the
players involved and the BrigeZone staff will adjudicate. We will be as fair as possible,
but our decision will be final.
4. The tournament director may specify the date and time of any match. This will normally be done only for the
finals and in consultation with both teams, or in the event of an intractable dispute over scheduling.
A. General Principles
1. Your opponents are entitled to know whatever your partner knows about your bid.
This includes specific agreement, style, propensities, how certain you are of your agreements,
but not what you actually have in your hand or that you and your partner are having a mix up.
2. You are not required to provide information about style or propensities except when those are something
sufficiently unusual that the opponent wouldn’t expect them, particularly if your specific style/propensity
information is inconsistent with your actual hand.
3. If a bid is alterable, it should be explained. Even if not alterable, explain all bids whose
meaning would not be obvious to a beginning bridge player. Bids which are normally alterable after the auction
should be explained during the auction. All questions and answers should be made in private chat;
public chat at the table may cause unauthorized information and that is extremely naughty.
When possible, give a complete explanation rather than the name of a convention. For example,
if playing Cappalletti and your bid is 2 Hearts, do not say “Cappaletti.” Say “Hearts and minor”.
If you are absolutely certain your opponent knows conventions by name (for example, by playing with you
in other events) you may use the convention name.
B. Specific Rules
1. The alert button is to reveal partnership understanding. The bid may or may not be an alert according to another
organization. Requesting information may be made at any time, at the time the bid is made, when the auction
concludes or any time during the play as long as it is a private chat between one opponent and the bidder.
If asked, all information including negative inferences need to be disclosed. Explaining a bid will be considered
an alert whether or not the alert button is clicked.
2. Whenever you make a bid about which you believe your partner has information that does not come from general
bridge knowledge, you should type a clear, concise explanation of the meaning of your bid in the explain box.
3. Timing – As a rule, you should type your explanation and then make the bid. If the explanation is too long
for the explain box and a delayed explanation is unlikely to prejudice the next opponent to call,
you may make the bid and then explain in private chat to “opponents.”
4. If you want more information about an opponent’s bid, whether or not it was explained, you should send a
private message to the opponent who made the bid asking for clarification.
5. You are not entitled to ask partner of bidder what the bid means.
6. Both vague explanations and extreme levels of inquiry about an opponent’s bid or methods are rude and
should be avoided.
Conventions Cards and SSF
1. Each pair must fill out a BBO/BridgeWinners/ACBL convention card
completely or a convention card from their NBO. All such convention cards must be provided to the
BridgeZone organizers and will be posted on the website on the
System Cards page.
Email to Bridge Zone
with the team name and the player names. Pre-alerts and System Summaries may be provided via the System Cards page.
by clicking on the "P" next to the team name. A sample SSF is provided on the page.
2. If a pair is playing a system that requires advance preparation (such as forcing 1C/1D with relays,
Fantunes or other like system), the opponents get seating rights during the segments that pair is playing.
Otherwise seating will be random in the first segment and in subsequent segments the trailing team will
have seating rights. The named systems are examples and captains should be courteous in not requiring multiple
pairs to undertake extra preparation.
3. Systems allowed by the ACBL Open+ Chart are allowed in BridgeZone games. Defenses to methods that are required
by the ACBL but are not part of the ACBL defense database must be provided to the BridgeZone organizers.
Defenses from the ACBL Defense Database are posted on the Convention Cards page.
4. A pair that does not have a complete convention card may only play Standard American, 2/1, or Precision,
and will be under an obligation to be especially diligent in explaining all their calls.
Any ambiguity resulting from lack of a convention card will be resolved against the non-compliant side.
If you suspect collusive cheating please forward the BBO handles of the pair to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is no need to forward specific hands. Do not expect any information concerning our investigation
because we don’t share that info.
Significant portions of these conditions used with permission of Tom Reynolds.