Keep Bridge – and bridge players – safe at your bridge games:

Bridge is a social game with multiple players sitting close to each other face to face and who has points of contacts, players switch tables, cards are shared at the table, and – if the Bridge+More solution is not used – cards are shared between tables. Bidding boxes and tablets with an app or specific registration devices can also require special attention.

Therefore, we recommend that a club, as a responsible organizer, evaluates the COVID-19 risks and implement guidelines for infection control

bridge games

Player:

We especially recommend that each player is aware of all guidelines below and that each player before attending a game do a thorough and precise assessment of their situation to judge whether it is justifiable for them to be present at the game or not.

Individuals that should NOT attend bridge games :

  • No individuals with any infection, or individuals who are in quarantine can attend.
  • None with fever and/or respiratory symptoms (sore throat, cold, cough, wheezing) may attend,
  • No one with abdominal pain or loose stomach (without known cause), lethargy, impaired taste or impaired sense of smell, muscle pain, unusual joint pain can attend,
  • Check your local authority list of additional symptoms.

Individuals that MIGHT NOT attend bridge games before proper assessments:

  • Individuals with other diseases (-s) should not attend without having consulted their medical adviser,
  • Individuals whose age suggests that they might be at risk should not attend without having consulted their medical adviser,
  • Individuals who privately or at work have regular contact with people at risk should be aware that a bridge club could be an arena for infection,
  • Check your local authority list of additional symptoms.

Protection of the bridge players and others present:

  • Consider wearing a face mask – Club might require players to wear face masks to comply with local authority requirements,
  • Rubber cloves could be considered – but a frequent exchange would be required,
  • A face shield is unfortunately not a good idea as the cards in hands can be seen in the shield – but could be considered for staff.

Clubs events (and social events):

Infection control guidelines:

  • Hand washes before entering the premise.
  • No player must touch face without hand wash/disinfection afterward
  • Ensure a disinfectant fluid is available at all the tables
  • Disinfect all surfaces of tables, armrests, door handles before and after use

Guidelines for reducing infection risk (see guidelines for infection tracking below):

  • Players should arrive at different times to avoid the queue at the door or at the wardrobe,
  • Players should consider similar precautions when traveling to the club,
  • No gathering during or after gaming especially in the smoking area),
  • Reduce group to partner and as few opposing pairs as possible and ensure you are not in contact with more the allowed number by your local authority,
  • Carefully read the Infection control guidelines and eventual guidelines for the premises.

Special attention / actions at the bridge club – but not limited to actions listed:

As mentioned above bridge is a social game with multiple players sitting close to each other – face to face – and who can have multiple points of contact, often table switching, cards being shared at the table, and if Bridge+More is not used also between tables. Bidding boxes and tablets with app or specific registration devices can also require special attention. Also, special attention should be taken to the room size, distance between tables and the tables and the chairs used as described below – therefore carefully consider the following:

If you use Bridge+More solutions:

Cards:

  • If you use Bridge+More you play always barometer style and therefore, you only need 2 decks per table – Notice also, that the cards stay at the table and no cards are to be moved to other tables (when you play current hands the dealer deals the next hands (and read the card by card play sequence if not shuffled)
  • The cards B+M use are plastic cards as used in casinos.

If you use Bridge+More solutions:

Cards:

  • If you use Bridge+More you play always barometer style and therefore, you only need 2 decks per table – Notice also, that the cards stay at the table and no cards are to be moved to other tables (when you play current hands the dealer deals the next hands (and read the card by card play sequence if not shuffled)
  • The cards B+M use are plastic cards as used in casinos.

How do we get the cards disinfected when we are demoing?

  • We use a disinfectant fluid – with a high degree of alcohol above 65% and we have tested up to 85% – and tested if the cards were damaged or if the cards codes were damaged by the disinfectant fluid – but we registered no issues after the disinfection as our dealer dealt the disinfected card without any no issues – I also observed the cards tested became very clean. See video at right
  • We have also tested card cleaning methods with a soaking of the card for a longer time in chloride or similar product – no dealing issues with card observed afterward.

The principles we use are:

  • When players arrive at a table the cards are already dealt and are ready to be ejected to the players – the players should take the ejected cards with two fingers and dip their 13 cards in a disinfection fluid (a few millimeters in the bottom of a small box is enough as fluid will be elevated in between the cards) – we have tested both disinfectant gels and normal disinfectant fluid. ASee video at right
  • It seems both types of disinfectant cover the surface of the cards nicely – also between the cards – rapidly. If a gel is used, we move the cards around – We don’t need to shuffle – we just sort as normal to get the correct order then all sides will be covered.
  • When we keep the cards in our hands the fluid vaporize / are gone while we bid due to the high alcohol % (Notice required to above 65% to be a disinfectant). The cards can be dealt as normal when inserted into the dealer after the board
  • We repeat the above disinfection process with the next board as well (board two of the round) (because these cards were also inserted by the previous players)
  • When we do the above process at the start of each round – then both decks of cards will be disinfected at the players and all our players have had their hands disinfected two times
  • You could do the above disinfection when the cards are ejected for every board as an alternative if you consider an eventual contamination risk from player to player after the first two boards.

Tablet with the Bridge+More app installed:

  • Only to be used by one person (North)
  • Please check how to clean / disinfect your tablet / phone:
    • We have tested a number of tablets and have not seen any damage (85%) – we believe a disinfection fluid with 65 – 70% alcohol could be used – but not on tables and phones with non-glass screens screen. Please test carefully and start the test on a very limited area of the screen
    • For information only – from Apple and general advice:
    • Is it OK to use a disinfectant on my iPhone?
      Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the exterior surfaces of your iPhone. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any openings, and don’t submerge your iPhone in any cleaning agents. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207123
    • “Don’t use Lysol or Clorox wipes. Bleach, vinegar, very strong alcohol, and very harsh disinfectant chemicals can clean the sides and back of a phone / tablet, but those chemicals MUST stay far away from the glass front of your phone / tablet (and glass back if you have one), as they will harm the oleophobic coating that your phone / tablet uses to reduce fingerprint smudges.”

Bidding boxes:

  • We are currently developing a bidding box app fully integrated into our solution,
  • In the meantime, we recommend you study the bidding box comments below.

If you do NOT use Bridge+More solutions:

Cards:

  • To avoid any cards to be moved between tables you need to prepare a full set of pre-dealt boards – 10 tables with 24 boards – prepare 240 pre-dealt boards and to ensure no contamination and prepare the board at least a week in advance of the game. Why – to avoid that the person who handles the dealing and touches all cards can transmit the infection from deck to deck,
  • The person that handles the card trays should disinfect hands before touching a tray,
  • Player by player takes their cards out of the tray, dealer starts,
  • The person preparing the trays – and those using pre-dealt cards should take all necessary precautions,
  • Used cards should be quarantined a week before used again,
  • Cards that have been played, should be quarantined a week before used again,
  • The individual who handles the pre-dealt cards should not be at risk as described above in “ Individual that should NOT attend” or not be at risk as described in “Individual that MIGHT NOT attend before proper assessments”,
  • No-one should be pressured to handle pre-dealt cards.

Bidding boxes:

  • No sharing of bidding boxes, everyone to have “their” own bidding box – and keep it for the full game,
  • Used bidding boxes should not be used for a full week before used again.

Registration devices like Bridgemates, Bridgepads:

  • Should not be shared by among players (and tables) – one player to use. The players should disinfect hands before using if cards have been touched.
  • Check if your device can survive a disinfection / clean.

Tables:

  • Screens at the table could be considered. The screen on the video / picture is used at Blakset Bridgecenter in Copenhagen. The screen illustrated have two large pieces of transparent plastic with a mechanism to hold the two parts assembled as shown. The size is 150 times 58 cm. We believe it could be simple to make an “x” of either four parts or two parts (with a cut a slide in a relevant material – transparent or not – and it should be easy to ensure the screen can stand on the table for example,
  • The tables should be as large as possible, and players should avoid leaning forward. Notice, if your tables are squared, table sides must be at least 1.42 meter to achieve a 1-meter distance between e.g. East and North,
  • Keep the distance between each table as requires by your local authority (social distance),
  • Disinfect tables and chairs before use,
  • Notice, bridge tables with felt are not suited.

Premise:

  • Ensure space to keep the required distance between each table as requires by your local authority (social distance)
  • Ensure space to keep the required distance for other areas – entrance, toilets – as requires by your local authority (social distance)
  • Disinfect doors, handles, toiles, elevators, etc. before use.

Any serving of liquid, food, etc. should be stopped in the club:

  • No shared coffee / the / water.
  • Use personal or disposable cups

Therefore, instruct players to bring their own required liquid, food, etc.

bridge games
bridge games

Tournament setup for both clubs, teaching, and social events:

Use tournament / games with few or no table change

Recommended tournament forms – in general:

  • Team match series with or without change at half-time
  • Points series over a period with several small – similar – games

With Bridge+More you have special options to play the same boards at a number different locations / rooms – and can ensure each location has an interesting game as it is possible to play both a reference game and a club tournament at the same time  – actually you can as a third dimension also play certain boards that are played globally at the same time. Mail us to learn more

At Bridge+More we would like to receive a suggestion to special game format as we easily can add those (time to launch would depend of how special the suggested format is)

Infection tracking data:

To maintain infection tracking data please use players registration and please use pre-registration of players at the (Aus/EU/US).Bridgeplusserver.com website. The purpose of Infection tracking data is to be able to show who has played / been in contact with who on what date /time. When using Bridge +More all relevant data are saved and can be provided on request

PS – I am utterly amazed :)

I forgot 2 hands from 2 decks of cards soaked in disinfection fluid. The cards were like glued to each other and I trashed the cards – But just for fun – I found the cards again, separated them (not easy) and did a test on the Bridge+More dealer – and the cards were dealt – if you don’t believe it – see the time-warped video

Others:

If you want a copy of the above text as a file – you can find it here

Information sources:

National federations sites, internet searches, and internal tests.

Disclaimer:

The information provided above is intended for background information only. The views and other information provided are the current views of Bridge Company A/S as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. The information provided is not an exhaustive description of the required guideline, the actions, or the risks, and it should not be relied on as such, nor is it a substitute for the necessary judgments of the recipient.

The information provided is not intended to constitute and does not constitute COVID-19 advice. Relevant and specific advice should always be obtained before making any decision. It is important to note that the above can conflict with your local authority requirements and as mentioned above please ensure to take requirements from local authorities into your thorough consideration.

If the information provided here is reproduced, distributed or published for any purpose please ensure this disclaimer is included in full.