Spade Heart Mansfield School of Bridge Diamond Club
Mansfield School of Bridge
20th February
Develop Your Defence - Third hand play


Recent Updates
Home Page
14th Feb 2018 10:10 GMT
20th February
14th Feb 2018 10:07 GMT
From Whist to Bridge Course
14th Dec 2017 11:05 GMT
0 0 0 0 0 0
Pages viewed in 2018

Short, two-session courses on: transfers, strong 2 openings and responses, slam bidding.


This is a play session where the hands are prepared for you to practise a particular bit of bidding.  For example, strong NT openings and responses, responding with a major suit fit, stayman, opener's reverse, responder's second bid, etc.  Let me know if this appeals to you.

From Whist to Bridge Course
Weekend Away

Do you want to come away with me for the weekend to play bridge?  2 - 4 March, at Marston near Grantham (45 minutes drive) £199 including accommodation and all meals from Friday dinner to Sunday lunch, inclusive.

Mr Bridge organises and runs holidays and weekend breaks in the UK, abroad and on Cruise ships.  You can find out more at

Some of the breaks include lectures, sometimes by Bernard Magee, but they also have "Just Duplicate" events when, as the name suggests, there are no lectures and you just play, play and play (when you are not eating or at the bar!).  This March weekend is a "Just Duplicate" weekend.  There are six friendly duplicate competitions: Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Saturday night and Sunday morning and afternoon.  You don't have to play them all if you don't want to.  You can take a morning or afternoon off to do your own thing - perhaps visit the shops or use the hotel pool and gym, or just rest in your room or the bar (!).  Some people leave for home after lunch on the Sunday and don't play in the afternoon competition.

Liz and I are definitely going and have already booked.  I hope that you will join us. 

You will have spotted that the course will have finished by then and I'm sure you will be "up to standard" and able to cope.  In my experience the standard of playing is good and the players friendly in the main.  The Mr Bridge competition organisers are kind and friendly.  You do not need to go with a bridge partner - a partner will always be found for you - and you don't have to play with the same person for the whole weekend.

Please book direct with Mr Bridge 01483 489961.  There is no single supplement but single rooms are limited.  There will be plenty of twin and double rooms at that time of year, I should think.

I hope it appeals to you.

Gillian 10/12/17


Last updated : 14th Dec 2017 11:05 GMT
Bernard Magee DVDs

The DVDs I would recommend you watch at this stage in your learning are all to do with play techniques.  Their titles are:

Ruffing for extra tricks

Making the most of high cards

Making a plan as declarer


You can borrow them from me and from Mansfield Mechanics bridge club (see Fraser/me) or you can buy them from Mr Bridge

Gillian 18/10/2017


Last updated : 18th Oct 2017 10:57 BST
Reviews from previous Novices' Classes

"Loved it - teaching, environment, participants - great !"

"Motivating, extremely well taught"                       "Thoroughly enjoyed every session"

"Excellent.  Well paced.  Well planned.  Pro-active/lots of learner involvement.  Theory and practise balanced correctly."

"The handouts are easy to understand.  Better than any bridge book I've read."

Last updated : 18th May 2016 16:29 BST
From Whist to Bridge Course Overview 2017/18: Tuesdays 7.15pm-9.30pm
From Whist to Bridge Course Overview 2017/18: Tuesdays 7.15pm-9.30pm

Number of students: 8-16      Course Length: 20 weeks    

September 2017 - January 2018

Price: 2 terms of 10 lessons.  Price £50 per term.

The first session gives an introduction to the many aspects of bridge.

Course Description: A fun, active approach to learning bridge in a social setting with lots of practise sessions and the opportunity to make new friends.

Learning activities include: formal instruction, group work, quizzes, practise play, discussion, practical demonstration, practical tasks, puzzles and competitions.

Homework: About 30 - 60 minutes each week reviewing the last lesson and completing quizzes and practical exercises. You are encouraged to play once a week in addition to the classes.

Monday evenings at the Club 7pm-10pm (£2.50 non-members, £2 for members) and/or Thursday mornings 10am – 12.30pm for £1.50 are your practise sessions – please come whenever you can!

Course aims: To provide you with a solid foundation of the standard English Acol playing techniques and bidding system in a supportive and relaxed atmosphere.

Last updated : 26th Oct 2017 10:09 BST
Come with or without a partner

If you are relatively new to the game, or maybe you've played for a while but would like to learn properly, you may be interested in our next"from whist to bridge"class which starts  29th August 2017.  An overview of the course is given above.  We will be covering all aspects of the game at what the EBU calls "foundation" level.  As with any skill, building a strong foundation will lead to many enjoyable hours at the bridge table.

We will be covering the skills of bidding, of playing the cards as "declarer" and introducing the skills and techniques of working as a defence partnership. 

Bridge is very much a partnership game - from learning what your partner's bids mean and responding to them with your own bids in a clear and informative way, to deciding what is the best "contract" for the partnership to play in, or whether this time it would be better for the opposition to play.  Bridge is about earning the best score for your side which may be related to the number of tricks you make or the number of tricks you take from the opposition.  Very early in the course we cover scoring and strategy and from the very first hour you will have playing cards in your hands.

People are often surprised by how much is involved in defence play - how much you can tell your partner about the cards in your hand through the cards you play.  We call this special type of card play: opening leads, attitude signals, discard signals and suit preference signals.  In addition, there is strategy behind the card you play whether you are the second person to play to a trick or the "third hand".  All this will be covered on the course.

Perhaps having read this you are wondering whether you will be able to cope?  Well, you will have an advantage if you have played cards before, and if you've played a trick taking game such as whist it will be very helpful to you.  But plenty of people come to the game never having played before.  If you fall into this category free "absolute beginners" sessions will be available during August.  Just get in touch with me.  These sessions will get you comfortable with handling the cards and with the organisation of the game and what is expected of you at the playing table. 

To join in with the "from whist to bridge" course you need to understand what is meant by "winning a trick" and also how to use a "trump" suit.  Whatever your level of experience you will be welcomed, encouraged, supported and challenged on the course.  The course is very "hands-on" and from a participant's perspective feels much more like training than being at school.  (Some reviews from previous participants are given above.)  Having said that, there are some things that you simply have to learn off by heart and you will need to do a bit of "swotting" at home - which is, after all,  good for your brain!

So what is the financial commitment?  To complete the whole course of 20 lessons you will pay a total of £100.  You do not have to pay anything until the end of the first lesson.  You can come along to the first lesson on 29th August (you have to book your place!) to dip your toe in the water and see if it's right for you.  If at the end of the first lesson you don't want to continue, that's fine.  If you do want to carry on then you will be asked to pay £50 to cover the first set of 10 lessons.  You pay the next £50 mid - November for the next 10 lessons.  The fee covers all the course materials and handouts and includes the course workbooks and tea/coffee.  You will only need to bring a pen and scrap paper.

What is the time commitment?  In addition to the Tuesday night sessions you will be given "homework" which may be something to read, or something to learn, or a puzzle or quiz to complete.  This will take around 45 minutes to do.  It makes sense to support your learning by also playing bridge at the club once a week if you can do so.  I'd love to see you joining in the Monday night competitions come the new year!

If you have any questions, do get in touch.




Last updated : 26th Aug 2017 18:30 BST
Beginners Course held at Mansfield Bridge and Snooker Club
Beginners Course held at Mansfield Bridge and Snooker Club

Mansfield Mechanics Bridge Club have agreed that we can continue to use their facilities on a Tuesday evening.  Our beginners will therefore have all the advantages of learning in a proper bridge room.  The bridge room is on the ground floor and the Club has it's own car park - it couldn't be easier!  Their web address is

This is probably a good place to mention that there is a novice players session on Thursday mornings from 10am to 12.30pm.  It costs just £1.50 per person and is a gentle sociable way to get some playing practise outside a formal competition.  If you fancy it, just turn up 5 minutes or so before the start time or if you prefer, telephone me first so we know to expect you.

Gillian                             01623 635725


Last updated : 10th Oct 2014 15:34 BST

Mansfield School of Bridge is owned and run by Gillian Rand.  Gillian and her husband Michael have been playing bridge at the Mechanics Club for the last eight years and hope to introduce more people to a fun and absorbing pass-time.   Assessed by the EBU as "outstanding", Gillian is a professional member of EBUTA - the English Bridge Union Teacher's Association.



Last updated : 11th Nov 2017 17:36 GMT