Bridge Solver
What is Bridge Solver ?

Bridge Solver is a free interactive bridge hand analyser utilising Bo Haglund's well known double dummy solver module. It is implemented in four different versions:

1. Bridge Solver for Android Phones/Tablets, and selected Chromebooks*:

Get it on Google Play

*Google is rolling out play store support on chromebooks during 2016/2017. For more details see this link and for a list of currently supported chromebook models see here.

2. Bridge Solver for Windows:

3. *** NEW *** Bridge Solver extension for Chrome Browser on PC, Mac, and Chromebook:

Download and install google chrome from the google website if necessary. This extension can then be installed from the chrome web store (navigate to the web store and search for an extension called Bridge Solver).

4. Bridge Solver Online:

Bridge Solver Online (BSOL) is a free web based implementation of Bridge Solver, designed for easy integration with bridge club websites. The double dummy solver library is integrated into an executable CGI module hosted on a web server. The user interface is browser based and can run on any desktop, tablet, or mobile device that supports a modern browser. BSOL provides the same makeable contract and optimum contract calculation, and interactive double dummy play, that is available in the android app and Windows desktop versions.

If you have a .PBN , .DLM , or bridge base online .LIN file, or if you want to input a deal manually, you can use Bridge Solver Online by clicking on the button below. Alternatively, try it out on one of the sites listed below that already utilise BSOL.

BSOL has initially been integrated into BridgeWebs, which hosts websites for more than 1700 bridge clubs worldwide. It was introduced in BridgeWebs release 2.19i, which was released in May 2015. Bridge Solver Online (BSOL) is invoked by clicking on a button underneath the hand diagram on a BridgeWebs results page. For an example, see the Bridge Solver Online demo site at http://www.bridgewebs.com/bridgesolver . Click on the Results menu, select an event from the calendar, and click on a pair of names in the ranking list. Underneath the hand diagram on the right above the traveller is a "Play it Again" button. Click on this and then click on the "BS Online" button in the popup window.

Gwynne Hughes (author and owner of BridgeWebs) has generously agreed that non-BridgeWebs sites may access BSOL on the BridgeWebs server free of charge, subject to approval. It is therefore a straightforward matter to integrate a hand replay function into results pages on other bridge club sites. This requires only the insertion of a link to a BSOL html page on the BridgeWebs server, together with a number of parameters defining the hand to be played, the dealer, vulnerability etc. For example, the English Bridge Union (EBU) integrated BSOL access into their simultaneous pairs results pages in less than a day (e.g. see this page and look for the link labelled "View DD Analysis and Replay Hand" below the commentary and just above the frequency table). Currently, the following third party websites access BSOL on BridgeWebs:

- English Bridge Union (EBU) for Sim Pairs

- The US based website bridgeresults.net which hosts results for a substantial number of clubs and regional events

- The New Zealand based website bridgenz.co.nz which hosts results for around 60 clubs

- The Welsh Bridge Union has started integrating BSOL into the results section of club websites, currently Knighton, Rhayader, and Llandrindod Wells clubs.

- The Bridge Quiz website, run by Cardiff Bridge Tutors, which uses BSOL to provide a "play" facility for example hands as a learning tool.

- ACBL Unit 132 in the US

- The Belgian website Bridge à L'Académie

- Bridge Center of Buffalo in the US

- Leiderdorp bridge Club in the Netherlands

- Rochester Duplicate Bridge Club in the US, uses BSOL for Swiss Teams events

- Eastern Contract Bridge Center, in Australia

- Brno bridge club, in the Czech Republic

- Heraklion Bridge Club, in Crete, Greece

- Pula Bridge Club, in Croatia

- Hart House Bridge Club, in Canada

If you are a webmaster for a club website, or a provider of hosting software for bridge club websites, and are potentialy interested in integrating Bridge Solver Online into your site(s), please contact me at

What can you do with Bridge Solver ?

All Versions:

Open the double dummy solver with a pre-dealt hand or input a hand via the on screen editing facility. Calculate makeable contracts and par contracts for the bridge hand.

Select a contract and play the hand interactively to investigate various lines of play. On the opening lead the maximum number of tricks that can be made by the defenders for each possible lead is shown, assuming optimum subsequent play by the declarer and defenders. After each card is played the same information is shown for the next position, the optimum cards being highlighted in green at each stage.

Android App and Windows Desktop Versions:

Enhance the experience of browsing session results on bridge websites. Bridge Solver can browse and bookmark websites, and grab hands directly from hand diagrams on web pages hosted on ACBL (several diagram formats, including ACBLmerge, ACBL Live), BridgeWebs, Pianola, Bridge Base Online (movie links), EBU Sims, ECatsBridge Sims, Vugraph.com, www.bridge-club.org, and altosoft.com.au. Analyse the hands through double dummy analysis or interactive card play.

Tap on a link to a .PBN, .DLM, or bridge base online .LIN file in Bridge Solver's browser to download and import deals. Play the recorded contract(s) from a .LIN file with full double dummy analysis at each step, highlighting where the recorded line of play is non optimal. Follow the recorded line of play or investigate alternatives by choosing a different playable card at any point in the play.

Alternatively, analyse deals input manually or import deals from a .PBN, .DLM, or bridge base online .LIN file on local storage.

Export deals to a PBN file on local storage.

Bridge Solver for Windows can also extract hands from PDF hand record files, either by clicking on a download link in Bridge Solver's browser, or by opening a file on the local machine or local network - this feature is not currently available in the android version. Once the hands have been extracted all the above functionality is available. The hands can also be saved to a PBN file, if required.

Chrome Extension Version

The functionality is similar to the android version of Bridge Solver, i.e. hands can be acquired directly from various formats of results pages, or from .PBN, .DLM, or bridge base online .LIN files (stored locally, or accessed by clicking on a download link). A built in hand editor allows hands to be input directly. Hands can be analysed for makeable contracts or played interactively in double dummy mode. This version of Bridge Solver always needs an internet connection, even for working on locally stored PBN files, because it links to Bridge Solver Online to carry out double dummy calculations.

Online Version

Load a whole set of boards at a time from a .PBN, .DLM, or bridge base online .LIN file located on your club's webserver host (subject to the appropriate access control settings on the webserver).

For BridgeWebs hosted results pages the online version includes a detailed "Results Analysis" feature.This gives you a detailed breakdown, with graphical displays, of how you performed in a session, at a number of levels:

  • overall, compared to all other pairs who played in that session, including a bar chart indication of the number of boards on which your partnership, and all other competing pairs, met or exceeded the double dummy targets for the contracts played and defended.

  • personal scorecard for your partnership, or any other competing partnership, showing performance on each board played by role, including the "Extra Trick Factor" (ETF), which is the number of tricks made relative to the double dummy target for the contract played or defended on each board.

  • a board level display, showing overall performance and ETF for each pair who played that board, also indicating whether the opening lead made at each table might have conceded additional tricks to declarer (according to the double dummy solver).

The "Results Analysis" feature is available in Bridge Solver Online in BridgeWebs 2.19j onwards, which was released in February 2016. It is only available from results pages hosted on BridgeWebs because it utilises BridgeWebs internal APIs to access session results. Much more detailed information on the Results Analysis feature is available on this help page.

Summary of features in each version:

Feature Android Version Windows Version Chrome Extension Online Version

"Play" a hand interactively in double dummy mode, with card by card guidance at each step showing maximum number of tricks makeable by declarer or defenders assuming optimum play from the current position onwards.

Yes Yes Yes Yes
Calculate Makeable Contracts and Optimum Contracts/Score Yes Yes Yes Yes
Edit the current hand, or input a new hand interactively Yes Yes Yes Yes
Get hand directly from a club results page Yes (from supported page formats) Yes (from supported page formats) Yes (from supported page formats) Only from sites which have implemented integrated access to Bridge Solver Online
Load hand(s) from PBN, DLM, or bbo LIN file, either from local storage or by direct download into the app Yes Yes Yes Implemented for .PBN, .DLM, or bbo .LIN files located on a web server.The directory containing the files must explicitly permit cross-origin resource sharing.
Load hand(s) from various common formats of PDF file No Yes No No
Save currently loaded hand(s) to a PBN file on local storage Yes Yes Yes No
Results Analysis No No No Yes (for BridgeWebs hosted results pages, from BridgeWebs release 2.19j onwards)
Run on any PC, tablet, or smartphone Android smartphones and tablets, or Chromebooks that support the Google Play Store Windows PCs or tablets (desktop mode only)

Install in Chrome Browser on PC, Mac, or Chromebook (supports Chrome v38.0 or later)

Any PC, Mac, android phone or tablet, iPhone, iPad, or other device with a modern browser and javascript support
Free of charge Yes Yes Yes Yes

Bridge Solver Evolution

Towards the end of 2013 my wife Mirna and I redeveloped the web site of our local bridge club - www.chislehurstbc.co.uk. I rewrote the results part of the site making extensive use of javascript to improve the presentation of the results. N.B Now that Bridge Solver Online is hosted on BridgeWebs we have migrated the Chislehurst club website onto BridgeWebs, but have retained the results presentation from the original website, which is available as well as the BridgeWebs results presentation.

In common with many bridge clubs we use a dealing machine to generate the boards for club sessions. Results are uploaded after a session together with hand diagrams and makeable contracts for the boards played. I thought it would be interesting to go a step further and provide a facility to analyse the hands interactively with the aid of a double dummy analyser, to see which lines of play allow a makeable contract to succeed.

Of course, there are several programs in existence which can do this, but they are standalone programs specific to a PC or Mac, and are not integrated with the bridge club website.

I therefore started searching the internet for any free double dummy analyser source code that could be incorporated into our website and discovered Bo Haglund's double dummy solver. I incorporated this into a server application on our bridge club website together with a javascript based front end to handle interaction with the user, presentation of the board being 'played', and communication with the server. By clicking on a play button underneath the hand diagram on a results page the hand can be played interactively.

This approach has the benefit that it does not require installation of a separate program and can run on any PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone that supports a modern web browser and javascript. Thus it can be accessed from anywhere. It also provides a much more convenient and seamless experience because the user does not have to download a PBN file and fire up a separate program just to analyse a particular hand.

The web-based approach works very well, but at the time was only implemented on the Chislehurst website, over which we have direct control. I thought it would be interesting to try and provide similar facilities for bridge club websites in general, without being dependent on implementation of these features by the website developers. This led to the development of the Bridge Solver app for android, and subsequently the Bridge Solver for Windows desktop application. Both of these implementations incorporate web browsing functionality inside the app. The user can search for, browse to, and bookmark club websites, and the app has the ability to detect hand diagrams on various common formats of club results pages.

When a hand diagram is detected a 'play' button turns green. If the user taps on the play button the app will read the hand directly from the web page and display it in full screen inside Bridge Solver. The app can calculate makeable contracts and optimum contract(s)/score and allows the user to play a particular contract interactively with makeable tricks information shown for each card playable at each point in the play. In fact, the 'play' interface is very similar to the one originally incorporated in the chislehurst bridge club website, the main difference being that Bo Haglund's double dummy solver runs locally within the app rather than remotely on a web server.

Bridge Solver Online is the latest version, essentially bringing the development full circle. It is based on the web implementation originally developed for Chislehurst, incorporating some additional features from the app, and packaged in a way which makes it easy to integrate with bridge club websites. It does not have all the features implemented in the app but it has the advantage that it does not require download and installation of an application. As well as removing a possible barrier to use, this makes it possible to access the functionality on devices for which the app is not available, in particular Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

By: John Goacher
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