The Long and short of BBO tournaments

Play on the go…

Morning, afternoon or evening

The Long of it…


MAKE SURE you have sufficient BBO dollars ahead of your game because the BBO dollars are taken at the start of the game.

TO BUY DOLLARS you will need to have your debit or credit card to hand. Click on the following link  BBO ( dollars) and follow the instructions. NB. It is our experience that using your Apple or Google pre-settings will result in a higher exchange conversion rate to USD than if you use the above link to pay directly using BBO’s portal who seem operate through STRIPE at your bank’s rate.

FYI: BBO dollars are not refundable and few transfers are permitted, so pay wisely.

But be assured our experience is that if you have any problems BBO are very happy to help. In the first instance please do use the contact form and we will help if we can first.

Pairs Tournament

To join the tournament:  


You will see a list of all pending tournaments in the order they start (soonest first).

Scroll down the list, or type your tournament name in the search box top right corner of the list to filter down.

Click on the event name and a REGISTER box will appear in which you type your partners name, you can also opt to pay for your partner if you wish, and press INVITE

Your partner will need to be signed in too and should accept the invitation to play, if they are not online you will have to try again.

Swiss Teams Tournament

BBO have made it super easy to play teams on BBO as a group!

Here’s how:

  1. All Players login to BBO at the same time.
  2. Pair A registers as usual to the tournament title: eg PLAY SWISS TEAMS Registration will look just like any pairs tournament.
  3. Each partnership must register – first as pair, then as a team. DO this by clicking the tab SELECT TEAMMATES. Locate your teammates in the list and click INVITE. When your teammates accept you are done (the player who invited from pair 1 should get the invite to accept).Close the window and click the event title and you should see your four players as a team.When you have successfully registered online as a team, you can all log-off. 

    4. Thereafter please login again as usual by 15 minutes to game time. BBO has one quirk – it can re-assign teammates if any pairs are offline – so make sure you are ONLINE and in the competitive area at game time.

    Good luck and play well.

    PS If you don’t have a partner, or teammates – register as a pair or at the partnership desk and we will take care of things for you!


You can check that your registration has been successful by clicking on the entries tab where you will find a full list of registered players.

Once you are registered you will be seated automatically when the tournament starts as long as you are still online and in the  COMPETITIVE area (avoid the Casual area as it is now on a different game server).

Registration opens 2 hours before the event starts so please register in good time, don’t leave it until the last minute. If you do not register 15 minutes before you may miss out.

If you have any problems registering please message the ibex_1 host via BBO chat.

TIP: Add your partner to your friends list via the People tab and Add Friend box at the bottom. This will make it simple to message them and to know when they are online.


There are normally two reasons you might wish to do this. 

1. You registered to the wrong game, or with the wrong partner

2. You registered with a robot by mistake.

Only you (or your partner) can cancel a registration to a game (ie NOT the TD). To do this you simply click on REGISTER tab again, locate the CANCEL button and click it. This is a two step process to be sure you really do want to cancel.

Playing with a ROBOT partner

If you do not have a partner you can purchase a BBO ROBOT to play with you (unless it is a no robot game which you will know because the option to buy one is greyed out).

Here is a link to the robot’s system and some notes about defending with a robot partner

AVOID registering with a robot if you intend to play with a real partner because if you are still with the robot when the game starts you will be stuck with it!

Partnership Desk

For some games you can show up with a partner or without. If you are without please click on the PARTNERSHIP DESK TAB and add your name.

If you are willing to play with a random sub if no other community player is looking  for a partner this game, then please message the tournament host of your game and say them you are happy to play with a random sub. Sometimes the TD will be available and willing to play with you, or we will do our best to find a friendly partner for you – please do bear in mind that when we choose a random partner from the world we have no control over their playing standard, but we will throw out rude subs.

The partnership desk is a great way to play when your partner is not available, or you are starting out in tournament games and looking to meet new partners.

Playing – useful things to know

Please click here  for details about orienting yourself around the table as a player.

Or here for some very nice videos illustrating more than you might ever .

Help! We’re BLOCKED

For some games, and certainly any game where you have pre-entered and paid in your own currency – you will only be able to register to the BBO tournament if we have the correct BBO usernames for both players in your partnership.

Understandably we rely on you to give us the correct details when you enter. But mistakes do happen. If you have prepaid* and you are blocked  please urgently send a message saying the usernames of both players in the partnership to the BBO host username of your tournament. Wait for a reply and try again. 

Sometimes it takes the BBO systems some time to refresh, so it is always best to register early to avoid delaying the start of a Congress game while we sort it out for you.

Training Videos

Thank you to our friend client Adam Wiseberg who has made a great series of videos to help players get familiar with playing competitive bridge on BBO.

Here is the link to his videos.

and the short of it…

If you have played a BBO tournament before then you do exactly the same thing. 

MAKE SURE you have sufficient BBO dollars (if it is a pay on the day in BBO dollars game).

SEARCH to filter down to your game and register. 

REGISTER by inviting your partner within 2 hours of game time.

SWISS TEAMS ONLY: YOU MUST select & INVITE teammates as well as register with your partner.

REMEMBER: For all games you MUST MUST be online at game time or you will not play. 

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