Most bridge players value a reliable, happy partner above anything else. Working together as a team is important for the success of your partnership. You both want to win, so you can’t gain anything from getting upset when play doesn’t go exactly as planned. It seldom does! Here, you find some tips on keeping your partner happy.
Even if you don’t know your partner well, treating her with respect improves her play. Treat your partner like your best friend, and you’ll be repaid in “spades.” (And if you’re a pleasant, courteous opponent, you’ll win everyone’s “hearts.”)
Don’t keep harping on your partner’s errors; just forgive and try to forget (at least until after the game). After all, do you want to be reminded of all the mistakes you’ve made? (Everybody makes mistakes, including you.) If you have constructive criticism, save it for after the session, when you’ll both be calmer. Expect (demand) that your partner show you the same respect.
Never make any facial or body movements or use mannerisms that indicate whether you’re pleased or displeased with a bid or play. You’ll lose the table’s respect. Facial expressions and body gestures can be construed as illegal signals.
A truly good partnership handles the inevitable disaster with a touch of humor. If your partner doesn’t have to worry that you’ll have an apoplectic fit whenever something goes wrong, he’ll play better.
Don’t force your partner to play your favorite conventions (such as artificial bids). A partner worried about a convention inevitably makes more errors in the bidding, play, and defense, not to mention screwing up the convention if it comes up.
The better player in a partnership should make the weaker player feel at ease. Make your bids, leads, and signals as simple and clear as possible, and don’t give an inexperienced partner tough contracts to play. When you judge that partner is going to play the hand, bid somewhat conservatively.
Avoid the human tendency to lay your own errors at your partner’s doorstep. A weaker partner will feel good to know that you, the stronger player, make errors as well — and are a big enough person to admit them.
Give your partner a few words of support after the hand is over, particularly if she doesn’t make her contract. “Tough luck” and “Nice try” go over better than “My great-grandmother could’ve made that hand in her sleep.”
When the session is over, win or lose, tell your partner how much you enjoyed playing with him (no matter how you feel). Kind words mean the world to a player who knows he hasn’t played well. It also shows class.
When all is said and done, you play bridge to have fun, and so does your partner. You’ve done your job if your partner leaves the table happy.
An oxymoron, the dictionary says, is a combination of contradictory or incongruous words. A true oxymoron is something that is surprisingly true, such as a smart dummy.
In bridge, the dummy is the hand of declarer's partner and after opponents have tabled their opening lead, dummy is placed face up on the table for all to see. The declarer calls for the card he needs from the board and his partner plays it from the dummy. Laughingly, we often call the declarer's partner the dummy, but the declarer's partner is the overseer of the dummy. It is easy as dummy's overseer to just sit and follow orders, but the player in charge of dummy must pay attention and be alert.
The dummy must follow the proper form of card arrangement and the hand must be sorted into suits, in rank order, with the lowest suit, on the left and trump on the right, with the cards arranged in columns pointing lengthwise toward the declarer. There are rules and regulations that govern the dummies behavior, so you have to be a smart dummy!
Dummy has some general limitations and rights and many players misunderstand the role of dummy. Dummy has the right to see every card played to the trick and can request to see the last cards played before play resumes. Wells stated that all players should fully face their cards as they play to avoid misunderstandings.
Dummy has the right to ask partner when he doesn't follow suit, if he has no cards of that suit. Dummy can notify a partner if the lead is from his hand or from the board. Dummy must score the won or lost tricks in the right direction and can only correct partner's card direction if he does so immediately. Dummy cannot correct the opponent's card direction. Dummy must play the cards as declarer's agent and cannot suggest a card or play a card from the board that has not been asked for specifically. Dummy must be watchful as he can take a limited part in the action, but if dummy violates any of these rules he is liable to a penalty and opponents can call the director.
Dummy cannot call attention to an irregularity during play, but before the hand is scored he may speak up by calling the director and have the error corrected. That's the hand, not the trick! Dummy must not participate in the play or make any comment or ask any questions concerning the bidding or play. Dummy must not exchange hands with declarer or leave his seat to watch declarers play and may not on his own incentive look at the face of a card in the hand of either defender.
There is no automatic penalty for an infraction by dummy but the director will consider an adjustment whenever dummy's action may have aided declarer's play.
When using a bidding box, decide what your bid is going to be before reaching for or touching cards in the bidding box. An extreme example of this impropriety is when you touch a 2H card and then pull out a pass card. The opponets may then call for the Director and a score can be adjusted if the opponents have been damaged by deliberation/hesitation while touching the bidding box cards.
Most bridge players value a reliable, happy partner above any ..........
Anybody bothering to read this column probably has at least a passing interest in Bridge. You may have played only with your family or socially, wine glass in hand. Or perhaps all your recent experience in the time of Covid has been with robots, courtesy of BBO or some other online service. Have you been left looking for more, though? The answer, without doubt (in my mind, at least), is to try Duplicate Bridge!
Please don’t be put off by the name. The term ‘Duplicate’ simply refers to a method of scoring that attempts to minimize the element of luck. Have you ever experienced one of those frustrating evenings playing Rubber Bridge with friends where they seem to have had all the good hands (or perhaps marked the cards in some sneaky way)? There is no guarantee that you will always get good cards when playing Duplicate Bridge, but your final score depends only on how well you and your partner bid and play the cards.
Of course, getting a good score and even perhaps winning a session is great, but more than that, Duplicate can provide a sure route to improvement. As a club, we do, in addition to providing a friendly atmosphere with a diverse membership (and free coffee!), offer exciting (?) teaching sessions (to be arranged as soon as I finish this article!) and recommendations for further study.
If you do not have an equally keen Bridge playing friend or acquaintance to partner you, don’t worry! We can help there too (albeit with no guarantees, warranties or liability on our part, etc. - most of our Duplicate players are perfectly normal people, but in any group there are, of course, outliers…).
Anybody bothering to read this column probably has at least a passing interest in Bridge. You may have played only with your family or socially, wine glass in hand. Or perhaps all your rec ..........
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