COULD YOU PLEASE RETURN THE MONTHLY TROPHIES ON THE FIRST MONDAY OR FRIDAY OF EACH MONTH.
CLICK HERE to go to Bridge Tuition - "Ann's Bridge Classes" item (11) for an excellent article on "The Role of the Declarer" and item (9) Calling the Director.
It was to good to see Diana at the Hol;iday Inn. How thoughtful of Mary to bring her along to our 'Away Days.'
Contact Ann (01263 733889)
Follow the link "Bridge Tuition", then "Ann's Bridge Classes", then "Declarer Play Hands" for ways of making extra tricks. Or just click on this bulletin to take you directly there.
Do you know where Val and Keith are? I wonder if they played Bridge or just held good hands!
Click this link to go direct to "Hand of the week" Please give me any other interesting hands you would like included.
Congratulations to Jill Cadley and Marion Lawrence for winning the Barbara Dick-Cleland Trophy.
Tuesday Lessons in Aylsham
(Acol Bidding. Play & Defence.)
9.30 am - 12.30pm
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Workshops on various topics.
Home Tuition by Arrangement.
Below is a summary of areas covered each week so that if you are unable to attend the class you can read the appropriate pages in the Course Book.
Introduction: - Bridge is played with a pack or 52 cards.
There are four suits, Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts & Spades.
Clubs & Diamonds are the ‘Minor Suits’ they only score 20 for each trick. Hearts & Spades are the 'Major Suits' they score 30 for each trick. (More on Scoring later)
Aces = 4 points, Kings = 3 points, Queens = 2 points & Jacks = 1 point. (Forty points in the pack) Our fair share is therefore 10.
Bridge is a circular game. The bidding & the play go round the table in a clockwise direction.
Bridge is a Partnership game. The seats are called N, S, E & W, (North & South are partners and East & West are partners.)
Demonstrate a game of ‘Mini Bridge’ and then play several hands. Dummy is placed on the table and the highest card wins. There are no trumps. Players place there cards in front of themselves either vertically (won) or horizontally (lost). The winning side is the one which wins the most tricks.
Give everyone a “ Beginner's Bridge Notes” booklet to read at home if wished.
Demonstrate simple "play of the cards", keeping Aces to kill Kings not to collect small cards, making extra tricks in long suits, the finesse etc. (Described in "Beginner's Bridge Notes" booklet.) Detailed 'Play of the cards' covered later.
Play Mini Bridge with trumps. (Eight cards for the fit.). The need for 25/26/27 points for a “Game” (9/10/11 tricks).
Give out Course Book “Beginning Bridge”. Complete Quiz 1 & 3 together.
Suggested Reading p 5 – 14 "Getting Started with Bridge". Complete Quizzes 2,4,5 & 6 if you wish.(Answers on the following pages.)
Introducing the Bidding.
‘Balanced’ and ‘Unbalanced’ hands. More need for trumps when unbalanced so you can trump short suits. Demonstrate balanced hands (Twiggy) and unbalanced (Marilyn Monroe).
Bidding is telling each other what you have got in your hand (Points and Suits and Shape). Looking for a Major Fit (8 cards to be trumps) To open the bidding you need more than your fair share of the points. (12 or more)
How to use a ‘Bidding Box’ – The mechanics!......(Pinch, Lift, Turn, Drop)
The Bidding Ladder. The meaning of a Bid......... "One Spade" says I will try to make 7 tricks (one more than 6) with Spades as Trumps).......Game bids are 3NT (nine tricks), 4H/S (10 Tricks), 5C/D (eleven tricks). They score bonus points. (More later)
Make up a 1NT Opening hand (Balanced with 12 – 14 points) with cards (3/3/3/4 or 3/4/2/4 or 3/3/2/5) but no 5 card major. Not two (losing) doubletons.
Flip Chart Look at the way hands are written down.
Bid hands 1 – 4 on flip chart together. (1NT – 3NT…….1NT – 4H…….1NT – Pass……..1NT – 2S.) Use logic…. Have we got enough points for game?...... Would it be better to have some trumps?
Crib Sheet with the 1NT Responses highlighted (Balanced responses pink, unbalanced responses Yellow.)
Demonstrate how to bid one of the prepared hands 1 – 4 .
When bidding the hands, (for teaching purposes only) two hands must be exposed on the table for all to see. In reality the only hand exposed is the Dummy.
Students bid the four hands on their own, there will not be time to play them this week but next week we will play them all ! Check sheet in wallet to see correct bidding sequence.
Suggested Reading: - Course Book –Pages 32 – 33 "An Introduction to Bidding".
Flip Chart: - Recap Opening 1NT (Balanced hand, Limit Bid 12 – 14 points) & Responses to 1NT.
Recap mechanics of using Bidding Boxes.
Play first four prepared hands in groups of four. Two hands on the table for all to see and bid together– remember to Pass if you cannot take part in the Auction. (In these teaching hands only two people will bid in any auction so the other two hands are not needed for the bidding. They just Pass throughout the Auction) Three Passes to end the Auction.
Course Book:- Look at Pages 32 – 37 together and highlight ‘Key Words’
Play additional prepared hands on topic.
Suggested Reading - Course Book Pages 34 - 37 "Opening 1NT and Responses."
Highlight key points on Page 38 of Course Book. ‘What I have learned about Bidding’ – Read together and explain any points not understood.
‘Exercises on Beginning Bidding’ (Quiz 7 & 8) Pages 39 & 41 Introduce them..... to be completed at home………..Answers on following pages.
Play more prepared hands on "Opening 1NT & Responses."
Note:- there are examples of these hands with explanations on pages 43 – 45. Make them up at home and try to bid them.
Suggested Reading - Course Book page 38 "What have I learned about Bidding?". Complete Quizzes 7 & 8 started in lesson.
Revision of weeks 1 – 5 "Opening 1NT and Responses".
Practice Bidding at home: - Make up a 1NT opening hand and lay it on the table as Dummy. Deal the remaining cards into three piles and practice responding to 1NT with each hand in turn.
Suggested Reading - Course Book pages (32 - 39)
Go to "1NT Opening" in LHS Menu to practice your bidding.
"Opening One of a Suit & Responses"
1) Bidding Revision Cards (Opening Bids - 10 Purple Cards.) Briefly introduce Strong Opening Bids & Pre-empts - more later.
2) Declarers Play - Course Book page 75 (Declarers Task)
3) Prepared Hands. (1) Cashing winners in cold contracts (2) Avoiding blocking in "cold" contracts. (3) Using "entries" when a suit is blocked.
1) Bidding Revision Cards (Responding to 1NT-10 Green Cards.)
2) Course Book pages 76-77 (Making Winners)
3) Prepared hands (4) "Driving out" opponents top cards. (5) "Exhausting" your opponents cards in a suit. Or "Deal & Play"
1) Bidding Revision Cards (Responding to One of a Suit - Additional 10 Green Cards.)
2) Course Book pages 78 - 79 We live in hope - the Finesse!
3) Prepared Hands. (6) Maintaining communication by "ducking". (7) Leading towards honours.or "Deal & Play"
1) Bidding Revision Cards (Responding to One of a Suit - 20 Blue Cards)
2) Course Book Pages 80-81 avoiding danger - hold-up play & drawing trumps.
3) Prepared Hands. (8) Simple hold-up play by declarer. (9) Scoring extra tricks with trumps.
WEEK FIVE 1) Bidding Revision Cards. (Openers Re-bids - 20 Orange Cards.)
2) Course Book page 82-83 When to delay drawing trumps..
3) Prepared Hands. (10) Establishing a suit by ruffing. "Deal, Bid and Play!"
1) Bidding Revision Cards (Revision of complete set of 70 cards.)
2) Revision of the ten "Declarer play" techniques covered.
3) Course Book page 84. What I have learnt about Declarer Play.
4) Course Book. Exercises pages 85 - 92 (A bit tricky!.prefer the exercises we have used.)
5) Prepared hands or "Deal, Bid & Play"
Next Term "OVERCALLS" The Competitive Auction.
Click here for direct link to "Declarer Play" hands.
1) Cashing Winners in “cold” no trump contracts.
This is a very simple set of hands where there are nine top tricks in 3NT (or twelve in 6NT) available but you need to take them “off the top” otherwise the opposition will get in and make their tricks and the contract will go down. I suggest only beginners play this set.
2) Avoiding blocking in “cold” contracts.
This time you again have nine top tricks in 3NT contracts (or eight in 2NT) but you have to take care how you play the cards otherwise you will “block” the suit. You need to play the “big cards” in the short hand first so that you have a “helicopter” to get to the remaining cards in that suit. This is explained clearly in the handout.
3) Using “entries” when a suit is blocked.
This time you have no “helicopter” to get to the remaining tricks in dummy so you must “unblock” the suit first by playing the big cards in your hand and then use a big “entry” card in a side suit to get to the remaining tricks in dummy. It is about TIMING, which suits you play first, and which card you take the trick with if you have a choice. If you have a choice it is often best to take the trick in the hand which has the most picture cards as you may need to PRESERVE an ENTRY card in the other hand. See notes (hand 3/3) in the handout.
4) “Driving out” opponents top cards.
Count your top tricks - how many more do you need? Where are they? Sometimes you need to give away a trick so that you can make your tricks. You need to ESTABLISH TRICKS by driving out your opponents top cards. See notes in the handout. Take care in 4/4 at trick one to preserve your entry in dummy.
5) Exhausting the opponents cards in a suit.
Remember the extra tricks are often in your long suits, but you may have to lose a trick or tricks to gain some. The importance of tackling the suits in the right order is seen in 5/4 so that entry cards are preserved.
6) Maintaining communication by “Ducking”.
Sometimes you need to refuse to take a trick that you could win. Give away one trick to make lots more.
7) Leading towards honours.
Sometimes you do not have a ‘long’ suit to establish extra tricks so you have to ‘Finesse’. This only has a 50% chance of success – see handout.
8) Simple hold up play by Declarer.
This is probably the most difficult set of hands, which need a lot of thought. Holding up or refusing to take a trick or tricks you can win can be ‘Avoidance Play’. This is when you want to ‘Avoid’ letting one particular hand (the danger hand) from getting the lead because of the damage they can do. Use previous play techniques plus the RULE OF SEVEN and then finesse into the SAFE HAND – see handout.
9) Scoring extra tricks with trumps.
This is an easier set of hands. In suit contracts it is often best to draw trumps as soon as possible, but sometimes extra tricks can be made with the small trumps in dummy before drawing the opponents trumps. You need to recognise these situations.
10) Establishing a suit by ruffing.
‘Ruffing Out’ a suit is a relatively easy technique. If you keep ruffing a suit, there is a good chance the opponents will run out of cards in that suit leaving your remaining cards as winners. You do need to COUNT and keep an ENTRY card.
There are other play techniques,but the above 10 are the most frequently used.
The Competitive Auction (Overcalls)
1) Simple Overcall
2) Jump Overcall
3) 1NT Overcall
4) Prepared Hands………..Deal & Play
1) Responding to Overcalls
2) When not to Overcall
3) Strong Cue Bids
4) Prepared Hands………..Deal & Play
1) The Take-out Double
2) The Penalty Double
3) Prepared Hands………..Deal & Play
1) Revision of Overcalls
2) Exercises from Course Book
3) Flashcards - Set Two
1) Revision of Overcalls
4) Pre-emptive Bids
5) Prepared Hands………..Deal & Play
Term 5 Beginner Lessons
1) Strong Two Opening Bids & Responses - Quantitive Raises - Slam Bidding
2) Pre-emptive bids - Responding & Countering
3) Conventions - Stayman, Blackwood, Gerber
4) Defence - Opening Leads, Signalling etc.
5) Revision of previous topics and areas not covered.
STUDENTS SHOULD START TO PLAY IN "NO FEAR" BRIDGE CIRCLE.
WEEKLY REVISION SESSIONS
1) 1NT Opening Bids & Responses, including ‘Stayman’.
2) Opening 1 of a Suit & Responses, Limit Bids, Openers Rebids.
3) Strong Two Opening Bids & Responses, Slam Bidding - ‘Blackwood’ and ‘Gerber’.
4) Pre-emptive Bids, Responding and Countering.
5) Overcalls, Take-Out and Penalty Doubles.
6) Declarer Play (N/T & Trump Contracts)
7) Defence, Opening Leads, Signalling etc.
8) 1NT Opening Bids & Responses, including ‘Stayman’.
9) Opening 1 of a Suit & Responses, Limit Bids. Openers Rebids.
10) Strong Two Opening Bids & Responses........Slam Bidding - ‘Blackwood’ and ‘Gerber’.
11) Pre-emptive Bids, Responding and Countering.
12) Overcalls, Take-Out and Penalty Doubles.
13) Declarer Play (N/T & Trump Contracts)
14) Defence, Opening Leads, Signalling etc.
Revision Sessions are a summary of a topic followed by either a quiz, prepared hands or free play session….…Each session is repeated but if you are unable to attend either session I will always try to repeat it again for you at a convenient time………You will all need many “repeats” before it becomes second nature!!……..Now you all need to “play, play, play” so please come along either Monday morning or Thursday morning to Aylsham Lodge Hotel (10.00am - 1.15pm) to practice playing the cards.
YOU SHOULD ALL NOW BE ABLE TO PLAY A SIMPLE GAME OF BRIDGE!
BRIDGE: THE BASICS
Bridge is the most popular of all card games. It is also the most difficult of games to play well. Fortunately, it is not difficult to learn how to play bridge. If you slowly work your way through this programme, consulting the downloadable documents when appropriate, then you will soon get a sound idea about how to play the game and it should not take you long to be a good player, whether your preferences for playing bridge are on the computer, at home with friends, or competitively in a local bridge club.
As you work through the programme, the various concepts that are introduced will start to stick in your memory and you will start to feel comfortable in the bidding of contracts, declarer play and defence. Of course, the more you play bridge, the more confident and competent you will become, your results will improve, and then the bridge that you play will become even more enjoyable.
In terms of equipment, preferably, you need a card table (although any flat surface may do), 4 chairs, at least one pack of cards with the jokers removed, and a pen/pencil and paper or bridge score sheet. At a later date, when you have been playing bridge for a while, you may also have additional equipment available, eg. a card table cover, bidding boxes or a bidding disk, an electronic bridge scorer, a card shuffling machine, etc. If you stay with playing bridge only on the computer, then you will never need any equipment.
You play bridge in partnerships. There needs to be 4 players sat at the table as two pairs and they are designated as the four points on a compass. East plays with West and they play in opposition to North who plays with South.
When playing bridge at a bridge table, the cards are shuffled and cut. Then, the dealer deals out the cards starting with the player on his left, giving one card in turn to each player in a clockwise movement until all 52 cards are dealt and each player has a pile of 13 cards in front of him. While playing bridge using this bridge program, this process will automatically be done for you by the software.
Each player then picks up his pile of 13 cards and then sorts the cards in his hand, firstly into 4 separate suits, and then sorting each suit into descending or ascending order, as is his preference, with the ace being the top card and the 2 being the lowest card in each suit. Again, this process is completed automatically for you by the bridge program.
When each player has sorted his cards, it is time for the auction. The first person to call is always the dealer, then the player on his left and so on around the table. The auction ends when a call of pass is made by 3 consecutive players in the auction. The pair who makes the final bid is the declaring pair and the other pair at the table is the defenders. Out of the declaring side, the player who first mentioned the denomination of the final contract within the auction is the declarer and his partner is the dummy.
Point Count Valuation of Hands
The easiest way to value your hand is to use the Milton point count system where the values of individual honor cards are:
· An ace is worth 4 points
· A king is worth 3 points
· A queen is worth 2 points
· A jack is worth 1 point
You simply add up the total value of the honor cards held in your hand. To this total you can add distributional points for long suits – for every suit that is longer than 4 cards, you can add extra points, ie. One each for the 5th, 6th and 7th etc cards held in the suit. Normally, a simple opening bid at the one level is made on a hand that is worth 12 or more points.
In addition, during the bidding, if you find a suit fit with your partner (you hold at least 8 cards in that suit between the two of you), you can add even more distributional points for shortages in side suits:
· 3 points for a void (no cards held in that suit)
· 2 points for a singleton (one card held in that suit)
· 1 points for a doubleton (two cards held in that suit)
The bidding is a way of exchanging information with your partner so that you can reach the best final contract at the end of the auction. The final contract is a prediction of the number of tricks that you think your partnership can make with the cards that you hold in your two hands. It should be stressed here that bridge is a partnership game and you will only get good results and enjoy your bridge when you work with your partner, rather than against him. The auction is just as it sounds; everyone at the table can bid, but only the highest bidder wins the auction and allows his side to declare the contract.
The denomination of bids is in a strict hierarchy with clubs at the bottom and no trumps at the top, as seen in the table below:
Table Showing Part Scores, Games and Slams for Different Contracts
You should note that to make game (and score the game bonus), you must successfully complete a contract of at least 3NT, 4 of a major suit (♥/♠) or 5 of a minor suit (♣/♦).
The number of tricks mentioned in a bid is not the actual number of tricks that you are expected to win if your bid ended up being the final contract. The first six tricks in any contract are referred to as the book. A bid indicates how many tricks you think that you can make in that denomination over the book. Thus, a bid of 1♣ indicates that, with ♣s as trumps, you think that you can make 7 out of the 13 tricks available. A bid of 6♦ indicates that you expect to win 12 out of the available 13 tricks if ♦s are trumps.
The first call in the auction is always made by the declarer. He can pass if he has a poor hand, or make an opening bid if he has a hand that is strong enough and/or distributional enough to make a bid. After the opening bid has been made, each player at the table, in turn in a clockwise motion, gets the chance to make a bid. After each bid, a subsequent bid may be made at the same level, as long as it is in a denomination that is higher, or else the bid has to be made at a higher level in any denomination. For example, if declarer opened 1♦, then the next player could bid 1♥, 1♠ or 1NT because, in the table above, they are above ♦s in the hierarchy. Any 2-level or higher bid in any denomination would also be acceptable, but a bid of 1♣ would be unacceptable because ♣s are lower than ♦s in the suit hierarchy and, therefore, if the person next bid wanted to bid ♣s, then he would have to bid them at the 2 level or higher.
Please see the downloadable document entitled Simple Standard American Bidding System to be used within the Programme for details of the requirements for making individual bids in this program.
Bridge is a game where the aim is, generally, to make the highest score that you can from the cards that you hold. There are several different ways to score bridge from international match points (imps) to victory points and simple aggregate scoring for auction bridge – the table below highlights duplicate bridge scoring for successful contracts on the following basis:
· For each minor suit trick (♣ or ♦) bid and made (including overtricks), you score 20 points.
· For each major suit trick (♥ or ♠) bid and made (including overtricks), you score 30 points.
· For each no trump trick bid and made (including overtricks), you score 40 points for the first one and 30 points for each of the others.
· A part-score bonus is worth 50 points.
· A game bonus is worth 300 points (non-vulnerable) and 500 points (vulnerable).
· A small slam bonus is worth 500 points (non-vulnerable) and 750 points (vulnerable) on top of the game bonus.
· A grand slam bonus is worth 1000 points (non-vulnerable) and 1500 points (vulnerable) on top of the game bonus.
Whilst learning to play bridge, it is suggested that you do not get too flustered by trying to calculate the scores for individual contracts. The emphasis should really be on learning how to play the game – you will learn how to calculate the scores as you gain experience at playing the game.
Table Showing the Scores for Successful Contracts
When the opponents do not think that a contract is going to make, they double the final contract. This affects the scoring in the following way:
The penalties for not making your doubled contract are, non-vulnerable – 100 points for the 1st undertrick, 200 points for the 2nd and 3rd undertricks and 300 points for any additional undertricks. When you are vulnerable, the penalty is 200 points for the 1st undertrick and 300 points for any additional undertricks.
· The additional scores you make for being successful in a doubled contract are: the trick score is doubled, eg. you get 60, rather than 30 points, for each spade trick made within your contract. You also get a bonus of 50 points for making your doubled contract and for overtricks, you get 100 for each one when you are non-vulnerable and 200 points for each one when you are vulnerable. It is also possible to double someone into game, but not slam. For example, making 2♠ (doubled) earns you the game bonus.
Occasionally, when the opponents double your contract, thinking that it will not make, you will disagree with them and re-double to state that you think that it will make. The penalties for not making a re-doubled contract are exactly twice those of a doubled contract. The additional scores that you achieve for making a re-doubled contract are twice those of a doubled contract except that the re-double bonus is 100 points, rather than the 50 points that you get for a doubled contract.
There was an excellent article by Andrew Kambites in the January edition of "Club Focus" of which we should all, perhaps, take note
"I feel it is necessary to revisit a subject that disappointingly keeps rearing its ugly head. Consider these scenarios:
1) You make an insufficient bid.. Your opponents say: 'You must make it good'. They are wrong!
2) Your partner hesitates. Your opponent says to you: 'You must not bid after your partner's hesitation'. Your opponent is wrong!
3) You take a stop card from the box and put it back again. Your opponent says: 'You must make a stop bid'. Your opponent is wrong!
In each case they are not only wrong; they may well be driving inexperienced players away from the game by intimidating them. In each case, not only are they technically wrong*, but far more importantly, it is not up to them to interpret the laws at the table. If there is a problem, it is the role of the director to sort it out, not a fellow player who cannot possibly be regarded as an unbiased source. You should work on the basis that no player ever has the right to tell another player at the table what he/she must or cannot do. There is bound to be a conflict of interest. If there is a problem, you should gently and politely inform your opponents that you wish to call the director and then call him in a restrained and calm manner. The director is there to help and ensure fairness according to the Laws when something goes wrong.. There should be no stigma attached to having the dircetor called to the table.
Another similar scenario is the following:
4) You make a poor bid but luckily get a top. Your opponent says: 'You must not bid like that'. Your opponent is wrong! If I called the director every time I thought an opponent had made a bad bid, the director could set up permanent residence at my table. Too many players have their own ideas of what constitutes good and bad bridge, and then in their own minds this seems to become part of the laws. Wrong. It is not the job of the director to impose your idea, or his own idea, of good bridge. For example, West opens 3S, North bids 4H, East and South pass. West tries again with 4S. Yes it is bad bridge: West should probably have bid 4S in the first place. However, in the absence of any unauthorised information from East, West is free to bid as he pleases.
*In all of these situations, there are other options which the director can explain to you."