Ashtead Bridge College
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Phone - 01372 815162 - or email John Cumming ( for details of the upcoming term.

The Night of the Stars

The auction for the Night of the Stars took place at Richmond Bridge Club in November and early next year the big event is again at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in February.  John Cumming will be playing with Thor Eric Hoftaniska.  Fantastic!!

For Fun
For Your Amusement


A man is stranded on a deserted island for 10 years. One day he notices a speck on the horizon, and he watches intently as it draws near. “It can’t be a boat,” he thinks. “It can’t be a fish.” Suddenly, a beautiful woman emerges from the sea wearing scuba gear and a wet suit.

“Hi there!” she says.

The man is amazed. “But… but… how did you get here?”

“Never mind,” says the woman as she unzips the left pocket of her wet suit and hands the man a cigarette.

“Wow, this is terrific! I haven’t had a smoke in 10 years!”

“Enjoy!” says the woman as she unzips the right pocket of her wet suit and gives the man a flask of whiskey.

“I can’t believe it! This tastes so good!”

Next the woman starts to unzip the long zipper that runs down the front of her wet suit. “Now I’ve got something you must really want bad.”

“What!” he says, “Don’t tell me you’ve got a pack of cards in there too!”

A Matter of Priority

A man has a severe heart attack and is rushed to the hospital emergency room. The admitting nurse says, “I’m sorry, you’ll have to wait in line.”

“But I might be dying!” says the man.

“Sorry, a doctor will see you when one is available.”

Then an ambulance races up with its siren blaring, and a woman is carried in on a stretcher. A paramedic explains, “She was in a terrible accident and has just stopped breathing.”

“I’m sorry,” says the nurse, “she’ll have to wait in line.”

Next a guy walks in without assistance, whispers something to the nurse and is taken immediately to the examination room, surrounded by doctors.

“What’s this?” says the first man. “How come he goes right in?”

“Oh,” explains the nurse, “he’s a bridge player and his partner just passed him in a cue-bid.”

Did You Know?

43.6 percent of all slam contracts fail.

62.7 percent of all bridge players are women.

97.8 percent of all bridge statistics, including these, are made up.

Marital Bliss

On their wedding night a couple arrive at their hotel room and the phone rings. The husband answers and talks with his friend about a bridge hand. The conversation continues for hours as the friend tells how he went down in six spades.

When it finally ends, the distraught wife is in tears and says, “How can he be so inconsiderate? That was terrible!

“You’re right, honey. All he had to do was take a finesse.”

One Wish

A bridge duffer was polishing a lamp and… poof! Out popped a genie who said, “I will grant you one wish.”

The duffer unfolded a map of the world and said, “Let all of these countries live in peace and harmony.”

“You’ve got to be kidding! I’m only a genie.”

The duffer thought for a while and then suggested, “OK, then make me a winning bridge player.”

“Hmm… ” the genie pondered. “Let me see that map again.”

Survival Options

During World War II a U.S. Air Force plane was forced to ditch in the ocean, and four survivors managed to reach a small deserted island.

“Let’s send up a signal flare,” said the first aviator.

“Won’t work!” said the second. “Let’s build a fire so they’ll see the smoke.”

“No!” said the third. “We’ll need all the wood to build a shelter.”

“Whoa!” said the last, an avid bridge player. “Let’s just shoot down another plane so we can have a team game.”

Medical Problem

Jim: Did you hear that Bob won’t be going to any more bridge tournaments because of his arthritis?

Joe: Has he seen a doctor?

Jim: Yes, he’s been to many doctors.

Joe: Can’t they eliminate the pain?

Jim: Oh, sure. But they also eliminated all his money.

Did You Hear…

…………… about the man who wanted to learn bridge in one day? He ordered 35 copies of Five Weeks To Winning Bridge.

……………. about the lady who always went down one in 3 NT? When asked about this she said she was just following her teacher’s advice: “Eight ever, Nine never.”

……………. about the Elvis Presley coup? It’s when your left-hand opponent leads from A-Q around to your K-x: the King is no longer dead!

Professional Opinion

Bill: My cardiologist says I can’t play bridge.

Tom: Why not? Do you have some kind of heart problem?

Bill: No. He’s just played with me enough to know I’m hopeless.


Bath Coup — getting to use the tub before your roommate.

Doubleton — 4,440 pounds.

Dummy — (see below).

Partner — (see above).

Free Bid — all of them, once you pay your entry fee.

Jack Denies — headlines about Marilyn Monroe’s relationship with J.F.K.

Key-Card Blackwood — an ingenious convention that allows you to get to a grand slam missing the ace of trumps.

Negative Double — the one that gets wrapped around your neck.

Reverse Bid — an opening like “Club One.”

Roman Discards — Caesar’s trash.

Short Club — a private organization for midgets.

Splinter Bid — the only known way to become declarer with a singleton trump in each hand.

Texas Transfer — relocation to a branch office in Dallas.

Trump Coup — triumph of Ivana’s attorneys in securing a huge alimony.

Quotable Quotes

Why is it that experts avoid the use of Blackwood, and novices use Blackwood with a void?

My partner is a well-balanced player. He makes up for his inadequacy in the bidding with his ineptitude in the play.

Joe knows absolutely nothing about the game; his wife plays twice as well.

Too bad, partner, that was an unlucky grand slam — the ace of trumps was offside.

There are three kinds of bridge players: (1) Those who can count, and (2) those who can’t.

I would’ve led my singleton, partner, but I couldn’t find it — it was so small.

Never accept a free finesse. If you can’t afford to pay, just charge it.

We had a 75-percent game tonight! Three out of four opponents thought we were idiots.

Be an expert! Never take a finesse to make your contract when you can go down on a squeeze play.

My partner makes random signals on every hand. The good news is that he falsecards so much they all appear normal.

Bridge Songs?

Bridge Over Troubled Water — Travel-with-Goren ----- a cruise that stops in Havana, Tripoli and Basra.

It’s Not Unusual — partner’s scream after you misinterpret his 2 NT bid.

Monday, Monday — what you wish for after single-handedly blowing the Swiss Teams on Sunday.

The Second Time Around — the usual occasion when your aces get trumped.

Somethin’ Stupid — whichever line of play you decide to take.

‘Til the End of Time — normal duration before admitting your bridge mistakes.

Bridge Movies?

Double Indemnity — removing all the redouble cards from your opponents’ bidding boxes.

West Side Story — what the appeals committee would not buy as they ruled for North-South.

Lebanese Limerick

There once was a player from Beirut
Who thought he would try to be cute.
      He overcalled a spade
      And died as he played.
The postmortem: a four-card suit.

No Guess for Bess

There once was a lady named Bess,
Who found a new way to finesse.
      She made up excuses
      To lead up to deuces,
And loses without having to guess!

Fourth Best

Jan: Why did you lead the nine from K-9-7-5-2?

Sue: I play fourth best.

Jan: Then why not the five?

Sue: Darn! I always forget which end to count from.

Important Rules

Rule of Eleven — the inevitable trick total whenever you bid a slam.

Eight Ever, Nine Never — the status quo whenever you raise 2 NT to 3 NT.

Second Hand Low — the easiest way to lose your aces on defence.

Leading Through Strength — a sure-fire way to make your queens disappear.

What “Richard Says” — tips that work on lesson deals, but never in real life.

Bedtime Story

A bumbling bridge player explained to his regular partner how he planned to improve his game: “Every night when I go to bed I think about the mistakes I made that day at the bridge table.”

“Gee,” his partner said, “how do you get any sleep?”

Zero Tolerance

After declarer goes down in a makeable contract because of inspired but faulty defence, this exchange takes place:

Declarer to Right Hand Opponent (RHO): You’re an idiot!


[Tournament Director arrives]

TD: What seems to be the problem?

RHO: This man called me an idiot.

TD [to Declarer]: Are you aware of our Zero Tolerance policy?

Declarer: Of course. And I have zero tolerance for idiots!

Clear As Mud

Sue: Do you play M-U-D?

Sally: No, never heard of it.

Sue: Then what do you lead from three-small?

Sally: Fourth best, I guess.


Incompitance! Who needs it! We got to do something about the ever-increasing incompitance in the bridge world, especially among it’s writers. If we don’t stop it now, it’s hardly never going to quit by isself.

The Invoke

Know your Laws! An “invoke” is the irregularity of following suit when you are unable to do so. Unlike its counterpart, the revoke, there are as yet no prescribed penalties.

A well-timed invoke is most effective against declarers who count the cards. Imagine their frustration as the 14th or 15th spade appears!

Therefore, until the authorities wise up, keep this tactic in mind. The next time you are out of a suit, consider following instead. It works!

Major Obsession

Years ago I tried a bidding system called “Three-Card Majors.” Alas, I ran afoul with the EBU because I would often fudge. Like the 10-12 no-trumpers who usually had 9, I started to open strong doubletons; then I became obsessed and ignored the “strong” part. The EBU insisted I write “Two-Card Majors” on my convention card, but I knew that wouldn’t last with my crazed obsession. Therefore, to keep everyone satisfied I now call it “Splinters at the one level.”

Cell Phone Ban

Judy, Trudy and Meg would like to play in the Mixed Pairs, so they go to the partnership desk well before game time. The hostess cordially greets them but warns, “We have one rule here: No cell phones!”

Sure enough, before another word could be spoken, Judy’s cell phone rings, and the hostess says, “Sorry, Judy. For that I must pair you with Joe, the worst male bridge player of all time.”

A few minutes later Trudy’s cell phone chimes, and the hostess says, “Too bad, Trudy. Your partner will be Sam, who is about as hopeless as they come.”

Meanwhile, Meg waits patiently for almost an hour with her cell phone carefully turned off. Finally, the hostess walks over with Bob Hamman and says, “Congratulations, Meg! Your partner will be the world’s #1 player.”

Meg is awestruck as she turns to Mr. Hamman, “I can’t believe it! What could I have done to deserve a partner as great as you?”

“I don’t know what happened to you,” grumbled Bob, “but my damn cell phone went off!”

Bidding Infractions

Tonight we continue our discussion of bidding infractions, and our first speaker will be Emily Litella:

“Thank you, Richard. I have always felt that with a borderline opening, I should be able to say ‘one-half club,’ or with an extremely weak opener, ‘one-third heart.’ If I want to try for slam without getting too high, I should be able to bid ‘four and one-half spades’; then if partner rejects, he can just take away the half…”

Whoa, Emily. “Infractions” is one word.

“Oh. Never mind.”

The Rest Are Mine

John Crawford achieved considerable notoriety as a shrewd card player. According to legend, he was once in a hopeless four-spade contract. About midway through the play this exchange takes place:

Crawford: The rest are mine. Making five.

Opponent: What do you mean! I still have a trump trick.

Crawford: Oh, you’re absolutely right. Great defense, too, to hold me to four.

Opponent: Thank you.