Alerting on BBO (includes announcements)

Guidelines for Alerts

All members should understand that, due to the fact that we have members from all over the world as well as members of all levels of ability and experience, not all players will agree on which bids should be alerted and which bids should be considered ‘standard‘.

The management of BBO is not going to get involved with trying to make rules in this area. It is up to our members to try their best to provide their opponents with information that may be helpful to them. Always remember that it is against the laws and spirit of the game of bridge to conceal information about your partnership agreements from your opponents.

The BBO software is designed so that players alert their own bids. This is called self-alerting and it is opposite to the approach that is used in live bridge clubs and tournaments. If you have any doubt as to whether one of your bids should be alerted or not, it is appropriate to alert.

If an opponent asks you for the meaning of one of your bids, you are expected to answer them politely, even if you think the answer is obvious. An appropriate answer can be “I have never discussed this with my partner“. You do not have to tell the opponents how you intend your bid – only what you have agreed with your partner. It is inappropriate to use open table chat to explain your bids to your partner unless you get permission from the opponents first.

From the ABF, as guidelines … on BBO, you self-alert:

  1. ALL artificial bids, not just ABF Alerting Requirements;
  2. ALL artificial doubles;
  3. All cue bids of opponents’ suits;
  4. All bids above 3NT;
  5. Forcing passes;
  6. Announcements.

Some examples

  1. When an opponent has opened and I have 12 points and no 5-card suit, I would double – does this need to be alerted?
    No need to alert here
  2. 2 clubs – 22 points and a 5-card suit, does this need to be alerted?
    An opening 2C bid must be alerted, i.e GF 21+ any shape etc
  3. 2 NT – 21 points and no 5-card suit, does this need to be alerted?
    A natural opening of 2NT does not be alerted, but I have seen players do it.
  4. Partner opens 1NT and I respond 2C looking for a major – does this need to be alerted?
    No, 2C but the openers response probably does …
  5. Partner opens 1NT and I respond 2H looking for a transfer to spades – does this need to be alerted?
    Yes, 2H needs to be alerted i.e. transfer to Spades
  6. If bidding in any suit and we get to the 4 level, does this need to be alerted, as your notes below say any bid higher than 3 NT needs to be alerted.
    Above 3NT, any conventional bid needs to be “alerted” – cue bids etc.
  7. When asking for aces in Gerber or Blackwood, does this need to be alerted?
    Yes, Blackwood or Gerber and their responses need to be alerted.