Video Chat on BBO. Club manager's Guide & FAQ

Last updated: January, 2022


BBO has partnered with a leading video conference company to provide very high-quality video chat in our tournaments, team matches and even at casual tables. It'll make your games even more engaging.

Video Chat is free of charge and granted on demand to clubs and bridge organizations. All club manager accounts already have access to free video.

Try it first, and if it does not work for you contact us at tournaments@bridgebase.com to ask for access to free video chat. Mention your BBO username and how you intend to use it.

Benefits

  • It's very easy to use
  • Great feature to attract new players to your club
  • Helps players new to online bridge feel comfortable faster
  • Players can socialise whilst playing bridge
  • Reduces cheating
  • Easier to communicate with your club members.

Which games have this feature available?

Video Chat can be activated:

  • in all types of tournaments (individual, pairs, swiss teams).
  • in team matches
  • at casual tables

Video Chat is only available on web at the moment (ie, when you access BBO through an internet browser). It is supported on mobile as well, on Google Chrome for Android devices, and on Safari for Apple devices.

How much does it cost?

Video Chat is free of charge and granted on demand to club accounts and select usernames. Try it first, and if it does not work for you contact us at tournaments@bridgebase.com to ask for access to free video chat. Mention your BBO username and how you intend to use it.

How to activate video chat in my games?

Write +video+ in your tournament, team match or table description to activate video.

Activate video chat in your tournament:

Activate video chat in your team match:

Activate video chat at your casual or teaching table*:

*Please note that you need to reserve the seats for your players when using video chat at a casual table.

Does Video Chat work on mobile ?

Yes! Video Chat works on the Google Chrome browser for Android devices and on the Safari browser for Apple devices. Please note, your players will need to access BBO through our website, at https://www.bridgebase.com/v3/

My games do not have a BB$ entry fee. Can I use Video Chat?

Yes, you can use Video Chat even if your game does not have an entry fee. Write +video+ in your tournament description to activate this feature. Please note that you do not have to also tick the checkbox for "Video Chat" in the tournament settings. All club accounts already have access to free video chat. Try it first, and if it does not work for you contact us at tournaments@bridgebase.com to ask for access to free video chat. Mention your BBO username and how you intend to use it.

What quality can we expect from Video Chat?

We've partnered with a leading video conference company to provide a very high-quality video chat for our bridge tournaments. We chose this solution as it's scalable, reliable and offers excellent quality.

My players find video chat too disruptive

Video Chat is completely optional when setting up your games. It is up to the organizer to activate this feature or not, depending on what the players prefer.

The players have the possibility to minimize, or close the video chat widget, as well as Mute all, to block incoming sounds from the other players.

However, during this strange time of forced isolation, 'seeing' others is recommended for the benefit of our mental health. Video Chat brings back some of the live bridge feeling and allows players to socialize more. It also makes it easier for players new to online bridge to give it a try, as it's closer to the real-life experience.

Is there a way to remove the video chat widget from the table?

Yes. There are two ways to do this. Your players can Minimize the video widget, which keeps video and microphone on, so that they can still chat. Or, they can Close the video widget completely, which turns off both video and sound.

The same options are available by clicking the blue button with three grey lines at the table (the "hamburger" menu):

When video chat is minimized, players can click the speaker icon at the bottom of their screen to Mute all. To Restore the video chat widget, click the video icon at the bottom of the screen.

You can also restore the Video Chat widget by clicking the blue button with three grey lines at the table (the "hamburger" menu):

IMPORTANT! Please note that when Video chat is Minimized (and not Closed from the X icon on the video chat widget), players' Camera and Microphone remain in the state they were when they minimized the widget. If their camera or microphone were ON, and they clicked Minimize, their camera and microphone remain active (so that, for example, they can voice chat, or hear what other players say, with the widget minimized).

Is there a way to mute another player?

It's not possible to mute a specific player. Players have the option to Mute all, by minimizing the video chat widget, then clicking the speaker icon to turn off sound. You can also ask other participants in chat to mute themselves when they are not speaking, if they have disturbing background noise. We'll continue to refine and add more helpful settings as we collect feedback from players.

Is there a screenmate mode for video?

Not yet, but we'll continue to refine and add more helpful settings as we collect feedback from players. For now, Video Chat is a social feature, meant to help players keep in touch and see each other face to face.

Can the Tournament Director join the Video Chat and talk to the players?

Yes, the TD can join any table's video chat and also sees the table video if the players have activated their cameras.

Is there a Help file I can give to my players?

Yes! Click here for a Video Chat help file you can share with your players to help them onboard and troubleshoot common issues related to activating camera and microphone. You can also host a casual table with your players, to help them set up their camera and microphone before the actual game.

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