Friday, 18 December 2015

How do I - Enter (Type) Hands into aaBridge

A pdf file is provided so you do not need to re-visit this blog post.

You have a bridge hand on paper or on some format that might as well be paper (like in a .pdf file) and you want to get these hands into aaBridge.

In,brief, you create a .lin file  just a text file with a .lin extension. And type in the suits 

The format of a hand is basicaly as shown below

qx|o1|rh||ah|Board 1|md|1SHDC,SHDC,SHDC|sv|O|sk||pg||

A full explanation is given in the supplied document.  It is all much easier that you might at first expect.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

How do I - Get aaBridge hands up to BBO

A pdf file is provided so you do not need to re-visit this blog post.

The link will either download the pdf file or display it depending on your browser settings.  It is is shown to you can can choose to save it from the inside that viewer app.

The pdf file contains clear images and gives a full account including how to convert a deal on paper into a lin file that can be easily uploaded to BBO.

The ultra short version is
         First login to BBO, go to Hands and Results and create a folder.
My BBO > Hands and Results > (blue button) Create new folder
Click the (blue button) Import LIN file (a dialog will appear)
Click the Select button for the folder you want to fill.
Click the (white) Choose file button and select the .lin where ever it is on your computer. (not shown)

Click import (purple dots)

To add hands that are not in a lin file see the post

         How do I - Enter (Type) Hands into aaBridge

Monday, 2 November 2015

How do I - get a BBO hand into aaBridge

There are three ways to get a hand from BBO to aaBridge   (labeled   A, B, C)

A.   The hand is under "Hand Records"

You recently played a hand on BBO (or watched one being played) and now you want to get that deal and see it in aaBridge.      Go to:

and if needed, login to BBO.
On the next screen select the name of the user who played the hand and select the dates between which it was played.

Here the BBO username entered is that of Bridge Teacher Hondo717.

Click the   Get hands   button  (not shown)

You will now see a table of played hands, like the example below.

Click on the   Lin   link
            for the hand you want.
That lin file will now be downloaded, as your browser normally downloads files.

The left image shows Chrome.

Windows users can click on the file name.
Also Win, MAC and Linux users can all click on the drop down box and then click on Show in folder.

In the now opened folder you can  Drag and Drop  the file you want on to any open aaBridge window.

or  Drag & Drop the  lin link  on to  aaBridge

Also with many Browsers (but not IE) you can Grab the lin link and Drag and Drop it on to any open aaBridge window.

aaBridge will then download that lin file and show it to you.

B.   The hand is still in "My Results"

You are playing or watching on BBO and the hand finishes and you can see the deal in the My Results area (bottom right).

Here is how to get that hand quickly into aaBridge.

1.  click the  Options  button

2.  hover over   Export deal

3.  click on   Handviewer link
Once the  Handviewer link  box is showing (takes a couple of seconds).

Select the full line of the URL text (shown in progress here).

Do   Ctrl-C   or  use your mouse button (menu) to do a  Copy  in the normal way.

Now in the  green baize   near the   Step and Flow   buttons.

Do a  Mouse Right Click.

You can think of this right click as an  aaBridge   Quick  Paste.

That deal will now open.

On some laptops a light   "two finger tap"   gesture will do a "Right Click".

under File there is a Paste option

Note     You can save the link, in a text file, for later use.   Later you can use a more normal Drag & Drop  to drop that text into aaBridge.

C.   You have saved the Hand on BBO

You already have the hand on BBO either by uploading it as lin file  or  by using the BBO hand editor to make it  or  by saving it directly to BBO from "My Results" as in
  Options   >   Export Deal   >   Save deal as ...

Now you want to download that deal into aaBridge.

  My BBO   >   Hands and Results

click the (blue) "Show"  button for the BBO folder that holds the deal you want to get into aaBridge.

Select the actual deal from the deals in that folder and then Click the  Options button.  Now you can follow the instructions given in  section   B.  above.


Thursday, 10 September 2015

Debugging BBO Bridge Dealer Scripts

Way back in the 1990s, Hans van Staveren wrote a small yet very powerful bridge hand dealing program. 

Later it was taken up by BBO and is now incorporated into their teaching and partnership bidding tables.

This means that you can write, in just a few lines, a script that will generate an endless sequence of a particular "difficult to bid" pair of hands.

For example a very strong hand opposite a weak hand with a void.

Getting such scripts to work exactly as you wish can be a little tricky.  Particularly on BBO where all they do is tell you  ERROR...  meaning there is a "problem somewhere".   This is where the original dealer app can be very useful.

I am not going to give details here in this blog post but instead direct you to where you can download a zip file which contains  

The  dealer app  (currently Windows only) and documentation as to how to write scripts and how to debug them.  Also included are a number of completed scripts.

You can find more information and the link to the zip file at


Scroll down until you see  - OCP Dealer Scripts for BBO

Once you have a working script you can copy it to a BBO teaching or partnership bidding tables and use it to generate hands for you and your partner to bid.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Double Dummy Solver added to aaBridge

The free aaBridge (which runs on Windows, Mac's and Linux) is available from
Now includes its own Double Dummy Solver (DDS) courtesy of  Bo Haglund.

How to use the DDS

In aaBridge open any deal, including one of your own if you have it to hand or follow along with this built in example.

On the aaBridge - Welcome Page - (in the left-hand column) click on the entry "1957 Bermuda Bowl".  A table, of four columns, showing the boards played in that session will appear.  Click the entry in the 1st column which has the text "217".
Now, no matter how you loaded the file -  Click on the "Enter the Deal" button.

Avarelli is defending in 4 Spades.

To active the DDS Click where it says "is Off" and the DDS will turn on and show a new buttoned marked "Analyse".

An aside  -  Mouse wheel  -  After clicking the 'single forward arrow' button you do not need to kick it again.  Just use the mouse wheel. This will do (both forward and reverse) of which ever of the three main movement buttons you last clicked.  
-  Step, Flow  or  'single forward arrow'.

As you click the 'single forward arrow' button the play of the cards will be displayed to you as normal.

In addition you will see small numbers against some of the cards in the hand that could be played next.

At the start of trick two, Koytchou has to find the Queen of Spades (trumps).
The two small number 10's, each in a green oval, mark the cards that will kill the Queen.  If  he leads any other spade then he can only make 9 tricks.  The DDS tells you this is by marking the other spades each with the number 9 in an amber oval.

Assuming the perfect play from both sides then the numbers in a green oval show plays that cannot unnecessarily lose a chick.

Of course in real life we don't play bridge double dummy so it often not possible to make perfect plays.  The DDS is there to give you insight at review time into things you might have missed such as squeezes and end plays.

The all Contract Analyser

When you click on the Analyse button the bidding area is replaced by a contract table.

The top line shows the par contract and its score.  

The columns of the table show the level of make-able contract in every denomination for every player.

If you click on any of the entries, including the hyphens, you will be taken to that contract and will be there able to use all the normal aaBridge functions of playing and examining the contract with, for example, with the DDS.

Last Thought

If you're wondering which card Koytchou actually played then all you have to do is to follow the link at the top of this post, install aaBridge and see for yourself.   :)