Bridge, Out Ahead website
How to load your own deals into Bridgebase.com
The Bridge, Out Ahead website user guide makes big talky-talk about how it is a great tool for generating bridge deals, but to actually play those deals (short of dealing out a physical deck of cards) you must load the resulting deals into other software. Some of you may already know how to load files into bridge software, but it might be a new concept to others. In this post I will show you how to load deals into a popular bridge website: Bridgebase.com.
First, you must generate a bridge deal. The user guide for my website explains how to do that, so let’s pick up right after you have generated a deal:
We will load this deal into Bridgebase.com first. Bridgebase uses the LIN format, so click on the LIN button to get this:
You can click on “Open with” and then choose a program (most likely a text editor) to view the file, but let’s just click on “Save File”. Some browsers might show you another dialog somewhere in this process, where you can specify the folder to which the file should be saved. My browser defaults to my Downloads folder, so after I click OK the dialog simply goes away. Going over to my Finder (aka Explorer or file system viewer on other systems) I can see the same file name as above sitting in my Downloads folder:
Deal generated…check. File saved…check-a-roonie. We’re halfway there.
Now log into your Bridgebase.com account, and click on the “Account” tab. On my system that tab shows up on the far right edge of the page. After you click on that tab you should see an area with this at the top:
Click on “Deal archive” and you will get something like this (note that you won’t have all of the folder names shown here—these are folders that I set up):
If you don’t already have a folder where you like to load custom deal files, let’s create one now. Click on the “+” sign on the right side of the line that says “SELECT FOLDER”. The “+” lets you add a folder. When you click it you will see an “Untitled folder” appear somewhere among your list of folders:
Let’s give the folder a name. Click on the pencil symbol to the left of the trash can symbol, and type in a name:
See how the pencil symbol turned into a check mark? You must click on the check mark to save your new folder name. Your new folder may shift location after you save it, because these folder are shown in alphanumeric order. Click on your new folder (not on the edit or trash can symbol—just on the folder name) and it should be highlighted:
Now click on the “Import LIN file” button at the bottom of the page. This dialog will pop up somewhere on your screen, probably off to the left:
Click the “Choose File” button and you will see this (or something like it, depending on your system). On my Mac, it brings up the Finder and from there I can navigate to my Downloads folder, where we see the new deal file that we just generated:
Double-click the file and you should now see this back on Bridgebase:
Make sure you see at least part of your selected file name off to the right of the “Choose File” button. We have only selected the file. To complete the import, press the “Import” button to get this:
Bridgebase does not let you load malformed LIN files. If you don’t get a message saying your file was successfully uploaded, then something went wrong in my deal generator, or else something went wrong while you were trying to upload the file. I upload and verify every set of 32 deals that I generate for daily blog entries, so my LIN files should almost always load successfully into Bridgebase. If your file won’t load, contact me through this blog and be ready to send me your generated deal file.
Click the “X” on the upper right of the “Import LIN file” dialog to dismiss the dialog.
Back over to the right, in the Account/Deal Archive area, you may or may not see the uploaded deal. If you don’t see it, either refresh the page or else simply click on another folder in the list and then click on your new folder again. It should now show your deal, identified here as “Board 1”:
Huzzah! There it is. Click on “Board 1” and you should get a pop-up hand viewer, like this:
Hey! It’s our old pal, the deal you generated on my website, all spiffy and ready to play. Now you can go over and set up a bidding table or a teaching table, and you can make your new deal folder the “deal source” for your session, and you and some friends or you and some Bridgebase robots can play out the hand.
I have shown you how to generate and load one deal. You can actually do this on a grander scale by first generating multiple deal files from my program, then loading all of them into Bridgebase. If you do that, remember to save the LIN file after each new deal. My system will give each one a unique filename, but it only saves the file if you click the LIN button for each new deal.
While this process is a lot of steps when I write it out, I think you will find that with practice you can generate a good set of deals and get them all loaded up within just a few minutes.
If you hit insurmountable problems or if I have misstated something or left out a step, drop me a line through this blog and I’ll try to help you.