Beginning June 1, 2020, we have started using Common Game hands for all of our Virtual Club Games as we have for some time for our in-person games.  A nice by-product of using Common Game hands is their scores information, which is emailed to every participant a short while after the game is completed.

Once Common Game scores are available, we will post a link to that day’s scores page in our calendar so all of our members can view the scores for that day.

There is a lot of information on the Common Game scores pages, so here’s a quick tour of what you see there.

First of all, here is the Common Game page that shows our club’s scores for recent games. You can find this link on our calendar page.

Clicking on a game on this page brings up the game’s scores.

Once you’re looking at the scores page, here is an overview of what’s there.

Overall Master Point Winners and Hand Record Link

The first section shows the pairs who earned master points in the game. Above that, just below “Explanation of report features”, is a “PDF” link. The description is a little obscure, but that is the link to the day’s hand record, which looks very similar to the hand records we used to get at the club. And it’s easily printed if you want.

Rankings by North/South and East/West

Next we see the rankings depending on the direction played.

Board-By-Board Scores

Finally, we see the results for each board played, including what makes according to double dummy. Also in this section is some expert analysis on each board.

BBO Features Included

One advantage of playing online with BBO is that they keep records of the bidding and play of the hand. The Common Game has done a great job of giving us access to a fun tool if you want to drill down into a hand and look at alternate lines of play.

To bring up the BBO tool for a board, go to the table you want to analyze and click on the player names.

Here’s what comes up.

To watch the play of the hand that this table chose, click the “Next” button to see each card played.

If you want to try your own line of play, click the “Play” button, and you can choose what card to play from each hand.

The fun part comes in by clicking the “GIB” button before you play a card with either the “Play” or “Next” button. The cards in the hand about to play are tagged with icons that show, for each card, what is makable if that card is played. The icon is red if the contract will be defeated, or green if the contract makes or gets overtricks. The equal sign (“=”) means the contract makes with no overtricks. A number in the green icon shows how many overtricks are made. A number in the red icon shows how many tricks the contract is defeated by.

This is a great way to see where that contract you thought was makable went wrong.

Other Features

The Common Game scores page really has a lot of information. For example, there’s a colored bar at the top that is reporting “Field Strength”, which appears to measure our group against other groups that played these boards. This is Doug writing this, and I’m not the most experienced player, so anyone who wants to weigh in on this or other things on the page, please let me know, and I’ll put more information on this page.