"All players are equal, but some players are more equal than others."

Human beings are a competitive breed. This is certainly true at the bridge table. We talk of opponents and defenders. We talk of winning and being defeated. We keep score and total up points made. We engage in a competition that tries to eliminate luck (the cards dealt) and places emphasis upon the result gathered by skill. Further, we rate how well we do, taking into account the importance and skill level of the session. We call these "masterpoints." And note the not so subtle emphasis upon the word "master." Could they not have been called "game points?"

The ACBL's masterpoint plan appeals to members because it permits members to know their approximate overall ranking relative to that of every other member. The winners of ACBL-sanctioned events receive masterpoints (MPs) in amounts consistent with the importance and size of the events. Members who achieve rankings lower than first place, both overall and within their designated comparison group (stratification), receive proportionately fewer masterpoints. So it is a reasonable assumption that the more masterpoints a member has, the more experienced and skilled the player is.

Members whose skill levels far exceed their MPs do exist.
They are inexperienced at ACBL-events, not at playing bridge itself!

The ACBL has formulas to compute MP awards which take into account a number of variables: the class of the event, the size of the field, the number of sessions and the level of competition, thus yielding maximum uniformity throughout ACBL in determining masterpoint awards. Additionally, masterpoints are "pigmented" to reflect the level of competition.

UNPIGMENTED POINTS -- colorless, awarded in online play

BLACK POINTS -- awarded for winning in ACBL-sanctioned club games and Unit games. Some special events (usually conducted at clubs) award points where part will be in black points and the remainder in another color.

SILVER POINTS -- Sectional tournaments. Progressive Sectionals and Sectional Tournaments at Clubs (STaCs) also award silver points.

RED POINTS -- won at Regional tournaments or regional events at NABCS, except for overall and section tops (see Gold Points below). Grand National Teams (GNT) events, North American Pairs (NAP) events, and other special games afford players the opportunity to earn red points at their local clubs.

GOLD POINTS -- awarded for overall placings and section tops in regional and NABC events of at least two sessions. The upper masterpoint limit must be at least 750 masterpoints and applies only to the top two stratifications of stratified or stratiflighted events. In Open Bracketed events (such as a bracketed knockout team) each bracket will award some percentage of the overall award as Gold irrespective of the masterpoint holding of the teams in that bracket). Gold points may be awarded for special games, such as the ACBL-wide Instant Matchpoint Game.

PLATINUM POINTS -- Platinum points are awarded for NABC+ events (which are National-rated events with no upper masterpoint limit) and include the national-rated Senior and Women's events.

The ACBL awards honor titles to members as they acquire masterpoints, starting with Rookie and climbing upwards to the highest honor ACBL awards, the title and rank of Life Master. But... humans are a competitive breed. There are also levels of Life Master!


The maximum number of unpigmented (colorless) points that can be applied to achieve any title is 1/3 of the total masterpoints required for that level.

Rookie 0 - 4.99 MPs
Junior Master 5 - 19.99 MPs
Club Master 20 - 49.99 MPs
Sectional Master 50 - 99.99 MPs, including at least 5 silver.
Regional Master 100 - 199.99 MPs, including 15 silver and 5 red or gold
NABC Master 200 -299.99 MPs, of which at least 50 must be pigmented, with at least 5 gold, 15 red or gold, and 25 silver
Advanced NABC Master 300 (at least 50 black, 50 silver, 25 red or gold/platinum, 25 gold/platinum, no more than 100 from online play)
Life Master 300 or more, with 50 silver, 25 gold, and 25 red or gold. A member who held no red masterpoints or fraction thereof prior to January 1, 1969, is required to possess at least 50 red and gold masterpoints, of which at least 25 must be gold. Any new member or player in an inactive status for six months or more after January 1, 1999 will be required to earn 50 black points to become a Life Master.
Golden Age Master a member who is age 70 or older with at least 300 masterpoints of any color recorded by ACBL, or a member who is at least 80 years old and has at least 100 masterpoints of any color recorded by ACBL.
Life Master
a Life Master with 500+ MPs
Life Master
a Life Master with 1000+ MPs
Ruby Life Master a Life Master with 1500+ MPs
Life Master
a Life Master with 2500+ MPs
Sapphire Life Master a Life Master with 3500+ MPs
Life Master
a Life Master with 5000+ MPs
Life Master
a Life Master with 7500+ MPs
Life Master
a Life Master with 10,000+ MPs who has not won a NABC event
Grand Life Master a Life Master who has at least 10,000 MPs and has won a North American Bridge Championship with no upper masterpoint restriction, or an Open Team Trials or its equivalent, or a Women's Team Trials or its equivalent, or any of the following WBF events: Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup, Rosenblum Cup, McConnell Cup, Open Pairs, Women's Pairs, Olympiad, Women's Team Olympiad, Mixed Pairs prior to 1990 or Mixed Teams prior to 1990.

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