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Merseyside & Cheshire Bridge Association
Bridge in Merseyside & Cheshire
Bridge in Merseyside & Cheshire

This is the official website of Merseyside & Cheshire Bridge Association.  We hope you will find the information you are looking for.  If you don't, please use the "contact us" facility to email us. Click here to send your query/comments.

Learn to play bridge!

Many of the clubs in Merseyside offer beginners' and/or improvers' lessons. There are also easy duplicate sessions for improvers. As these change in availability it is not possible to keep a definitive list on this site. You can access the clubs' websites through the link top left on this site. Depending on where you live, possible clubs to try include Blundellsands BC, Deva, Liverpool BC, and Merseyside Bridge Centre. 

For other suggestions, please click here to go to the EBU (English Bridge Union) education charity's website. 

Merseyside & Cheshire Facebook Page
Merseyside & Cheshire Facebook Page

Are you on Facebook? Why not visit our Facebook page. Click on the logo. If you "like" the page you will get updates on forthcoming events etc. 

Jargon Buster
Bridge terms & computer jargon demystified!
This page is intended to help new bridge players and those new to computers.  It is by no means a definitive list and will be updated on an ongoing basis. If you have any suggestions for additions, please click here to use the contact us facility. Bridge terms are in red and computer terms in blue. General terms are in green.
  • Alerting/announcing - a way of advising your opponents that your partner's bid may not mean what it appears to. This could be because it shows a different suit (eg Stayman, transfers) or that it holds extra information (eg shows two suits or is weak when it would be expected to be strong)*
  • App - a program which can be uploaded to your smartphone or tablet to enable you to do various tasks (eg to open Microsoft Office files)
  • BBC - Blundellsands Bridge Club (Crosby).
  • Black Points - the basic level of Masterpoints awarded at Clubs and some County or even National events. *
  • Blue Points - a new level of Masterpoints part way between Black and Green Points. *
  • Board - a flat box with four slots marked north, south, east and west used to pass the cards from table to table in the same order they were dealt in duplicate bridge or in teams events.
  • Bridgemates - wireless, electronic scoring devices; a box at each table is used to send the score to the computer immediately after the board is played. This means scoring is complete almost the moment the last board is played.
  • Browser - the software which enables you to access the internet. Popular ones are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari
  • Butler Scoring (or Butlers) - a method of scoring pairs games so that they more closely imitate teams scoring. See full definition below.
  • Chicago - similar to rubber bridge but limiting the number of hands per set and with slightly different scoring methods.
  • Convention card - a written description of the bidding system and conventions played by your partnership. At club level many people will not produce much more than a brief note on their scorecard, but if playing a complicated system, the TD may insist that one be used. At county level and above identical convention cards are required for both players in a partnership. The convention card should always be made available to the opponents.
  • Corwen Trophy - national pairs event run annually by the EBU. All entrants are the winners of their local county's pairs competition (in the case of M&CBA the qualifier is the Waterworth Cup). Up to three pairs per county may be entered.
  • Curtain cards - small cards marked north, south, east or west on which the make-up of the hand is written and placed in the appropriate slot in the board. Largely superseded by the introduction of bridgemates and duplimated boards.
  • Deva - Deva Bridge Club (Christleton nr Chester).
  • Download - a computer term meaning to place a copy of an internet item on your own computer.
  • Duplicate - the style of pairs competition most often held at EBU affiliated clubs (as well as many non-affiliated clubs). The pairs move according to a prescribed movement (eg a "Mitchell" or a "Howell") to ensure that pairs do not play the same boards twice.
  • Duplimate - an electronic machine linked to a computer which makes up randomised boards for use in duplicate pairs and teams competitions; the software enables hand records to be printed out for players to "do their homework" after the competition or round.  There are other makes but Duplimate tends to be used as a generic description.
  • EBU - English Bridge Union.
  • Excel - a software program produced by Microsoft for producing spreadsheets, useful when working with figures or other calculated fields (such as league tables)
  • Green Points (GP) - Masterpoints awarded at a higher level and required to reach "expert" grades. *
  • Hardware - various items of computer equipment including desk-top computers, laptops, tablets, printers, scanners etc.
  • Knockout Teams - an event where each losing team drops out of the event until only one team remains (eg the Lady Connell Cup)
  • LBC - Liverpool Bridge Club (Toxteth).
  • LCBA - Lancashire County Bridge Association.
  • M&CBA - Merseyside & Cheshire County Bridge Association (often referred to as Merseyside for speed, but meaning no disrespect to our Cheshire members).
  • Make (or make up) the boards - shuffle and deal four hands and put each into a slot in the board.
  • Masterpoints (see also Black, Blue and Green Points) - members of the EBU or WBU can earn points to improve their ranking. * 
  • MBC - Merseyside Bridge Centre (Birkenhead).
  • MBL - Merseyside Bridge League.
  • MCBA (without the &) - Manchester Contract Bridge Association.
  • Microsoft Excel - a type of Microsoft software used for spreadsheets. May not work on Apple based devices but you should be able to download an App to allow you to read the file.. 
  • Microsoft Word - a type of Microsoft software used for documents, reports, newsletters etc. May not work on Apple based devices... 
  • Minibridge - simplified method of bridge developed largely for teaching children to play bridge. 
  • NBL - Northern Bridge League (formerly Northern Counties Bridge League).
  • NICKO - National Inter-Club Knockout. Teams event open to teams of four where members are all from the same (EBU affiliated) club.
  • NWBA - North Wales Bridge Association.
  • Open (pairs/teams) - events which do not require entrants to be members of the individual club or county running the event OR which do not stipulate any partnership type (eg of gender or ranking)
  • Orange Book - the Handbook of EBU Directives and Permitted Agreements
  • Pachabo - national teams of four event run annually by the EBU. All entrants are the winners of their local county's teams of fours competition (in the case of M&CBA the qualifier is the Lady Connell cup).
  • Pivot teams - an events in which all players in a team of four must partner the other three players in different rounds.
  • Psyche - a bid that is significantly different to that expected by those at the table (eg bidding 1 no trump on 3 high card points). Rarely illegal as a one-off as long as partner is as surprised by the bid as the opponents and does not "field" the bid (ie fail to respond at the appropriate level for the correct meaning of the bid)
  • Ranked Masters - events where players compete against people within the same group of rankings as themselves. *
  • Ranks - all players who belong to an affiliated club have the opportunity to gain promotion through the ranks by earning Masterpoints. *
  • Rubber bridge - a more informal style of pairs play which is not regulated by the EBU and can be played easily with as few as four people, for instance at home. Players usually play for a stake, which can be as high or as low as they wish.
  • QR - Qualifying Round.
  • Scorebridge - one of the more popular computer programs used to score all types of bridge competitions.
  • Seniors - in EBU terms, this means teams or pairs where all players are over the age of 60. *
  • Sim Pairs - a competition where the same boards are played in clubs all round the world and scored together by computer.
  • Simple systems - a restricted system of play used mainly for events for less inexperienced players. *
  • Software - programs, operating systems etc used on computer hardware.
  • Spreadsheet - a software program (eg Microsoft Excel) which enables tabulated and calculated information to be produced and viewed
  • Stratified Sim Pairs - events where players' ranks are used to create a sort of handicap system to give less experienced players a chance to do well nationally. *
  • Swiss (teams or pairs) - a method of organising a competition where after the first round teams or pairs play against a team/pair who have achieved a similar score. 
  • Tab - in a browser window, a new page will open when you click on a link. This will have a tab at the top just like in a cardboard file index. It also refers to the tabs at the bottom of an Excel spreadsheet.
  • TD - Tournament Director.
  • Tangerine Book - a summary of the important elements of the Orange Book. 
  • Tbc - no not
  • a bridge club - just means to be confirmed
  • Traveller - printed sheet of paper which allows all the pairs to enter their scores for that board and which travels with the board. Largely superseded by the introduction of bridgemates, but handy if the computer crashes!
  • Upload - to load information from your computer to, eg a website such as this one
  • URL - a web address, usually beginning with www., which you key into the white bar at the top of your browser (Uniform Resource Locator if you really want to know!)
  • WBU - Welsh Bridge Union.
  • WDBC - Wirral Duplicate Bridge Club (Heswall).
  • Webmaster - the person who tries to keep the website up to date.


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Butler Scoring Explained