How to Join Bridge Base Online (BBO) and

Play in ACBL Club Games



A lot of what is covered below is included in the 38 minute training video.  It is well worth the time for players new to BBO

Joining BBO:

1.  Go to on your browser

2.  Click on the button that says “Play Bridge Now” in the center of the page.  This will take you to the login page.

3.  Click on “Become a Member (Free)”.  This will bring up a membership application.  Most fields are required.  You don’t have to enter your real name if you don’t want.  You only have to enter your ACBL number if you want credit for any points you win in ACBL sanctioned online games or if you want to participate in limited games, such as 499er games.  The computer needs the ACBL number to check masterpoint eligibility for limited games.

4.  Log in if the program doesn’t automatically log you in after you have completed the registration process.

Adding BBO dollars:

1.  It is strongly suggested that, even if you plan on playing using an IPad or similar device that you use a computer to purchase BBO dollars.  There is a substantial transaction fee charged by ApplePay and similar services.

2.  If you want information on the various payment options, click on “About BBO$”, otherwise click “Purchase BB$”.

3.  If paying by credit card, you will need to enter the necessary information.  To be safe, enter the information and choose to save without purchasing.  Sometimes purchases don’t seem to go through properly if you don’t do this. Probably user error but easily avoided by doing this step first.

4.  Now purchase your BBO$.  They are equivalent to US dollars.  You can set up auto pay so that they will refill when they reach a set lower limit.

Finding the club game you want to register for:

1.  Registration opens approximately two hours before the game is scheduled to start.  Both you and your partner need to be online at the same time to register, but once registered, you can leave BBO until 5 or 10 minutes before game time.  Plan on being back early in case you have difficulty logging in.  The site is very busy these days.  Also, if you are logged in but inactive, you may be logged off automatically.

2.  From the Home page, click on Virtual Clubs in the Featured area, then click on ACBL- North America

3.  Pending club games are listed by start time, with the ones starting the soonest at the top of the list.

4.  To find our game, scroll down until you see Pittsburgh Bridge.  Click on the words “Pittsburgh Bridge” to start the process.

5.  When the new window appears, you will be on the registration page.  Enter your partner’s BBO ID on the appropriate line and choose your payment options.  Finally, press Invite for the invitation to go out to your partner.  They should be ready to accept it.  Once they have, registration is complete.  Your BBO accounts won’t be debited until the game starts and you have begun.

6.  At the top of the window, you will see other menus, Details, Entries and Partnership Desk.  Details will give you more information about the tournament, including contact info for the director if you are experiencing problems in registering.  Entries will show the pairs who have successfully registered.  Hopefully, you and your partner will be listed there.  The Partnership Desk allows players to sign up if they area looking for a partner.  The director will try to keep an eye on this page and assist if able.

7.  Be logged in to BBO but not actively participating in another event at game time.  The program will automatically seat you when the tournament starts.

Becoming a substitute in a game:

1.  At the bottom of the lists of pending or running tournaments there is a button that says Substitutes.  If you click on it, you can sign up to be a substitute in any tournament.

2.  If you want to substitute only in a specific tournament, find that tournament under Running Tournaments and click on it.  When the list of tables loads, click on Substitute at the bottom of the window and you will be able to sign up as a sub for that tournament only.

Playing bridge on BBO:

1.  The video at the top will be your best introduction, where you can actually see some hands being played.

2.  It is advisable to play some solitaire on BBO or start a table with friends to practice things such as self-alerting before your first competitive game online.


If you have questions or need help with anything, please contact Alex Bealles at or (724)256-0057.