We are an ACBL-sanctioned bridge club, located in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, serving the northern and western suburbs of Philadelphia. Owners Dave LeGrow and Rob Maier welcome both new and seasoned bridge players in the Greater Philadelphia area to the Club.
Home page last updated: 01 April 2020
HEADLINES (Click any item for more details, if available):
VFBC is Going On-Line…!
April 2, 2020
The Valley Forge Bridge Club is going ON-LINE, starting Friday, April 3. We will begin offering fully-sanctioned duplicate games through BBO (Bridge Base Online).
In order to play in these games, you will need to sign on to BBO (www.bridgebase.com) and register with a Username and select a password (registration is FREE).
Once on-line, you will be able to participate in many types of events, including sanctioned ACBL games. Check out ‘Competitive’ under the listing of ‘Play or Watch Bridge’ to see current and imminent events for which you can register. Our Club games will only be open to players that have played at the physical club during the past year (you won’t be playing against players from China, Turkey, or Italy, unless they’ve been in the Club). So the field should consist of people with whom you normally associate. That should restore some semblance of community to the on-line experience.
When you look for games under “Competitive”, click on “ACBL Virtual Clubs”… our games will be shown with Host: VACB272922, and our pair events will be clearly noted as VFBC.
These games will appear online and will be open for pre-registration beginning two hours before game time…
Initially, we will be running games on:
Friday, April 3 at 12:15 PM
Saturday, April 4 at 12:15 PM
We are aiming to have a minimum of 6 tables (12 pairs) for each game. If we do not attract a reasonable turnout, the event will be cancelled. We hope that this does not happen, and that this can be a reasonable alternative to the Club experience in the period while we are shuttered.
If these events are popular, we will be adding more sessions as soon as possible.
If you want chicken salad, you must procure your own, and consume it at your computer!
In the event that you have any questions, please e-mail us at: email@example.com
Thanks for your support and STAY SAFE…!
Dave and Rob
FAQs About On-Line Play at VFBC
Who can play in the VFBC Virtual Club games?
The game has been created through BBO to serve the ‘regular’ patrons of local clubs. The ACBL has a list of who has been playing at which clubs, and the roster of eligible players begins with the list of our recent masterpoint winners. If you’ve been away for a while (or didn’t win points at the Club in the last year), you can request us to place you on the roster, but the intent is to re-create the normal Club experience on-line, not to recruit outside players.
For the time being, all Virtual Club games are Open games (no masterpoint restrictions).
Must the players be ACBL members?
Yes. Each player in the virtual game must be an ACBL member; if you have not entered your ACBL number with BBO, you must do so before registering for the virtual Club game. (To do this, log on, click on “ACBL World”, and locate the blue tab that indicates “Update Your ACBL Number”.)
There are several reasons why players need to be ACBL members. BBO needs to identify you in some other way than through your screen name. You cannot receive masterpoints from ACBL without that link. Additionally, the ACBL needs to affirm that you are a patron of the VFBC. And finally, stratification in these games is based upon your current masterpoint holding.
Do I get assigned a partner, or can I bring my regular partner?
You should bring your regular partner (or a new partner) to the game, assuming they are also ACBL members and have registered with BBO for on-line play. There is a ‘Partnership Desk’ on-line for each event, but reliance upon that with less than 2 hours to go before the event is probably fruitless. If your regular partner isn’t registered with BBO, please recruit them to join you.
Are robots used in the Club play?
No. That is an option that clubs can enable, but for consistency of play and in order to approximate the Club experience, we have chosen to decline that option.
Can I earn regular ACBL masterpoints for playing at the Virtual Club?
Absolutely! Open pairs games at the Virtual Club award ACBL black points at the same rate as play at the physical Club location, as long as a minimum of 18 boards are scheduled for play. The games are stratified according to the Masterpoint holdings of the registered pairs. Awards are (as at the Club) by stratification.
Okay, how many boards will we play?
A regular scheduled session will consist of 18-20 boards, depending upon the number of tables registered for the game.
What’s the pace of the game? How long is a session?
Initially, the game will be conducted at a pace of 7 minutes per board. You can expect to finish an 18-20 board session in approximately 2 hours, 6 minutes to a maximum of 2 hours, 20 minutes. As players get more comfortable with on-line play, we may reduce this to 6 minutes per board…
What happens if I can’t keep up?
The computer is keeping track of the time, and if the time runs out in a round, you will be taken directly to the next round (even in the middle of a hand). If that occurs, the computer will determine what would have occurred, and will assign a score. In the event the outcome is not determined, the computer will ask the presiding Director for a ruling, just as at the Club. But play will not be delayed if a table does not keep up a proper pace.
So, there is a Director?
Yes. Your on-line game Director will be one of the regular Directors at the Club. This means that you will probably know the Director. The bad news? They will also know you. So, much like the physical Club, please treat your game Director with some respect…
How much does a session cost to play?
A virtual session at the VFBC costs $5. 80% of revenues collected by BBO are returned to the local club(s) to help keep the clubs in business until the CoronaVirus has retreated. Your support is truly appreciated.
… and how do I pay?
Payment on BBO is made at registration time when you invite your partner and they accept your invitation. Payment is through the use of BridgeBase dollars (BB$).
What are BridgeBase dollars (BB$), and how do I get them?
BB$ are simply credits that a player may purchase (through the BBO site). There several methods by which one can purchase BB$ (credit card, PayPal, etc). Information can be found on the BBO site by clicking on the BB$ tab at the top right of your screen (next to your name) after logging on.
What else is different about playing on-line?
There are several things that you should be aware of when playing on-line. The pace of play is a bit ‘brisker’ than at the club. While there remains a social aspect, it usually occurs after the hands in the current round are concluded. And we expect that if you can claim (or concede) the rest of the tricks, you will do so promptly to keep the game moving. There is a “Claim” button on the screen when you are playing or defending a hand.
Additionally, players ‘self-Alert’ their artificial bids. Unlike the Club, where you Alert your partner’s bids, on-line we Alert our own bids and calls. You do this by entering the meaning of Alertable bids on the line provided when it is your turn to call; then hit the Alert button before actually entering the call you are making (bid, pass, double, or redouble). YOUR PARTNER WILL NOT SEE YOUR ALERTS. When you receive an Alert from an opponent, they are NOT CHEATING… remember, their partner cannot see their information to you.
Chatting at the table is permitted (there is a message button available at the bottom of your screen), but anything you say to the Table is public information and can be seen by all parties. You are able to communicate privately with either or both opponents, but not privately to your partner.
And (fortunately for the game Director) there is no Bridgemate upon which you can enter or approve wrong results. All results are recorded automatically, so you don’t have to worry with checking the accuracy of the final results.
When should I expect to find games on-line?
We are starting with games at 12:15 PM on Friday, April 3 and at 12:15 PM on Saturday, April 4. If these games are successful, we will quickly expand to conduct Open games every day at 12:15. If feedback supports it, we may add evening games as well.
Remember that the scheduled games will not show up on the BBO website until 2 hours before the start of the game. Registration will be available at that time.
And where, exactly, do I pre-register for a game?
Log in to www. Bridgebase.com. Find the section for “Play or Watch Bridge” (blue stripe). Click on “Competitive”. Under “Tournaments” (green stripe), click on “ACBL Virtual Clubs”. Look for games identified as VFBC. Click on the game to see details about the game or to send an Invitation to your partner for play in the event. Hint: Unless you plan to pay for your partner, your registration will be pending until your partner also logs on and accepts your invitation to play. Please stay on-line until this occurs and you receive a confirmation that your entry has been completed. Once the registration is complete, you do NOT need to stay on-line. Please log back on a bit prior to the game start time to make certain you have no connection issues.
The Valley Forge Bridge Club is CLOSED for duplicate play.
Timing to Re-open is Undetermined…
The situation nationwide, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and in Montgomery County in particular, remains very fluid. We have NO SPECIFIC date circled for resuming operations. We will send out a blanket e-mail to all that are on our mailing list several days prior to restarting. (Click here to begin receiving e-mail updates from the Club) Please keep monitoring this website for updated information…!
When we resume playing, we WILL modify operations as described below:
Resumption of games will include Monday-Thursday afternoons and Friday mornings.
Wednesday night and Sunday afternoon games will resume shortly after day games are started.
As usual, the Club will be professionally cleaned each night after games conclude.
The boards will be placed in a cycle so that no set is played any more frequently than once per week.
The bidding boxes will be disinfected after each session
Moving pairs (normally E-W) will take their bidding boxes with them each round.
The Club will have hand soap available in the playing area.
The Club will have hand sanitizer (when available) available in the playing area.
In order to restrict the size of groups, games will be restricted to a maximum of 10 tables.
Tables in use will be staggered to provide more space between players.
We will require pre-registration to determine if games are viable.
When registering for games, you must leave a working contact number (in case there is a cancellation).
Any games that do not have at least 6 tables pre-registered are subject to cancellation.
Decision to conduct or cancel will be made at least 12 hours before scheduled game time.
Game status will be posted on the Club website (www.vfbridge.com).
Any cancellations will be noted on the Club telephone answering machine (610-804-8394).
Refreshments will not include items that are open to the air.
Please - no celebratory cakes or sharable food items while restrictions remain in place.
We will continue to respond to e-mails and phone calls during our closure.
e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone at: 610-804-8394
Club (Phone): (610)-804-8394 x(NEW NUMBER)x
E-mail the Club at: email@example.com
Limited Game (0-750) on Wednesday evenings.
Limited Game (0-300) on Saturday mornings.
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