Bridge 21 & Live Bridge Online
By Alex J. Coyne © Great Bridge Links
We’re not playing bridge in the 90s anymore — and somewhat reflected by this fact is the wealth of new online bridge platforms and resources out there for players of the game.
Live Bridge Online is an online platform for international players and clubs. Associated with its creator, there’s also Bridge 21 that calls itself a system and one of the #1 bridge clubs in Canada.
We sat down with Bill “William” Wheeler for an introduction to the platform, club, and more resources.
About Bridge21 and Live Bridge
Bridge 21 is a “system and a group of clubs,” while Live Bridge Online is the associated platform that allows players, clubs and directors to run their club games.
Wheeler explains that the Live Bridge platform is designed to allow clubs and directors to run games the way they’d really want to. “The app will create and set everything up for you and give you a link. Once you have a bridge link, all players have to do is click it — and they’ll go right to the seating area.”
Some games will be live and players will enter scores, move boards, and move themselves according to information they see on their devices. Overall results and more will also be available. Many players are already familiar with Bridgemate devices – this experience will be similar, but players will use their phones.
And, unique to Live Bridge, some games might be a mix of live and digital. If there are club members that are unable to get to the club, they have the option to play remotely and hold digital cards. At those tables, ipads and phones will be used.
The platform began when Wheeler saw that bridge’s “big guns” were monopolizing the bridge community. “The creation of Live Bridge Online for the community [was] as an alternative to give clubs back the control they had lost.”
“Bridge21 began when the Ottawa area in Canada and RA Center were losing its clubs and communities,” Wheeler explains. He decided it was time to turn the bridge scene around. “Bridge 21 reinvigorated the entire community.”
“Once a club has their link, the same link brings players to the game at the exact same time every week.” A useful feature for anyone who has ever forgotten to attend a game!
The System & the App
Wheeler also created the Bridge 21 Bidding System. “It can make a 50% player into a 60% player, and allows a beginner to be more competitive against the pros after finishing the book or lessons.”
Anyone can join Bridge 21, and the website remains free for players and clubs. Books, classes, and other bridge-related resources are available through the web store — but not necessary for basic membership or play. He assures players and clubs: the app remains free to use. “There are in-store purchases for payment on paid games.” The store sells coins and diamonds which are used for various functions. Diamonds, for example, will be used to pay fees at a regular club game. 100 diamonds equal $1.
More Bridge with Famous Hands
That’s not all creator Bill Wheeler and manager Mark Lacroix have to offer. Famous Hands also provides players a free set of daily hands — and if you love puzzles, watch Famous Hands to see if you can solve some of bridge’s biggest past puzzles.
How things work
- If you are at a face to face club game, the system will be used on your handheld device.
- If you are playing digitally, you’ll use your ipad and digital play area.
- There’s an in-game link to Convention Cards – which will take you to Bridge Winners to fill out a card. Once you’re completed your card, you can navigate back to Live Bridge and paste its URL into their space – and your card will be attached to your person on the platform.
- The game includes Video and Voices and Texting so you’ll feel as though you’re right in the room with your fellow players. During play you will be able to see other people at the table. You can also see a director if he’s at the table, or even a teacher (great platform for online classes).
It all sounds fun, and the interface will make you smile. See you at the table!
• Bridge 21 on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/bridge21.ca)
• Live Bridge Online (Livebridge)
• Bridge 21 https://bridge21.ca
• Live Bridge App