The online bridge community is huge, and it increases in number every time someone logs in to play a bridge game on their chosen device. If you want to spot the difference yourself, watch the Bridge Base home page active table count (and how it’s going up almost every day).
With great popularity, comes great responsibility: An increase in players could also mean an increase in behaviours to report to the administrators of bridge sites. Even within bridge, it’s safe to say that not everyone chooses to play by the rules.
Should you report bad online bridge behaviours when you see them?
Filing a report can stop bad behaviours at the bridge table in their tracks. If you see something, you should say something. That should be the golden rule for happier and friendlier bridge for everyone.
Without adequate flagging, dodgy bridge behaviour can easily slip through the cracks where they might continue (or even become a danger to other players).
Here’s a look at 4 online bridge behaviours to report (& why),
1. False Profile Information
Have you discovered that an online bridge player is pretending to be someone they are not?
False information is dangerous in a world where people can fake an entire identity. Catfishing, identity theft, and stalking are just some of the behaviours that could begin with false information on someone’s online profile.
Make sure that your own bridge profiles contain actual, accurate information about you as a player.
2. Table deserting
Have you spotted a player who makes a habit out of leaving online bridge tables in the middle of the game?
Everyone loses connection from time to time, and everyone can have an emergency that forces them to abandon an online game. But if this becomes a habit for players and destroys the game for everyone else at the table, it has turned into a nasty bridge behaviour.
3. Partnership abuse
Have you seen a fellow bridge player lash out at or harass their bridge partner?
Abuse isn’t allowed in any form at online bridge. It includes the chat window, the instant messaging function, and forum posts – but also aren’t limited to these, but could occur outside the scope of bridge websites.
If another player appears to need assistance or resources away from online bridge, it’s your responsibility to help.
Have you found out that a single bridge player has five accounts on the same website?
That’s something called “sockpuppeting”, and means multiple user accounts for the same person. In some instances, it can be used to log in with a secondary account in order to view your own, active games with a full illegal hand.
If you have lost access to your password or username, account recovery is easy – and you can just contact an administrator for help. Most often, it isn’t necessary for players to create an entirely new account! Sockpuppeting, truly, has no need for the ethical bridge player.
Have you reported any bad bridge behaviours lately?