Maybe you have been playing online for ages, or only started since lock down. And you might be enjoying it, but it isn’t the same as a session in the club is it?
How can we make the online experience more like playing at the Bridge Club?
Whether you are playing a high-level teams match, a sociable Saturday evening game with friends, or supporting inexperienced players, Zoom is the answer.
On Zoom you can chat to the other players, ask about systems, see what they are drinking. You can even mute partner when they won’t stop going on and on!
To get started set up your event on BBO and as soon as players start to register you can post the link to your Zoom meeting on BBO for them to join in. I would open the meeting half an hour before the bridge starts so your players can socialise while they are waiting. I also email the link to a few people who have problems opening from BBO.
For a social game with one table that is all you need to do but if you are playing a teams match you can put the players into 2 separate breakout rooms where they can chat away without being overheard by players at the other table.
The system really comes into its own for teaching and supported play sessions.
I run a weekly session for my Improvers Group.
I set up my movement with 3 board rounds so there isn’t too much moving around to do. 12 boards is about right for a gentle session.
I launch my Zoom meeting and post the link in Tournament chat. When the game starts, I set up the same number of breakout rooms as tables and move the players into the ones that correspond to their table numbers. Players can chat to each other and call me (the host) for help during the game and I can drop in to the rooms (tables) to chat to them.
At the end of the round I just move the players to their new rooms and off we go again. A Michell movement makes for less moving. At the end of the session I can close the breakout rooms and bring everyone back together again for a roundup of the lesson or just a natter.