Chepstow U3A Bridge Club
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This page has information and news of interest to the members. For a full list of forthcoming events, see "Calendar" on the menu and for a list of results see "Results".
Important Information
Important Information

Please arrive at least fifteen minutes before the official start time (usually 1.30 on a Thursday and 7.00 on a Monday). You must have a partner. If you need a partner use the facility to ask for one. If you have a problem the convenor will be able to do this for you. Alternatively ask the Director on the day to announce that you need a partner for the following week. If you find that you need a partner at the last minute and there is not a request on Bridgewebs you can phone Colin up to 10.30 on the day of the meeting and he may be able to help you find one.


Last updated : 12th Sep 2021 19:03 BST
Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary

February 1st  2023 will be  Chepstow U3A duplicate bridge group’s sixth anniversary. We started playing on February 1st 2018. Initially our equipment was very basic, even this was only made possible thanks to a grant of £70 from Chepstow U3A and the lone of some equipment from the Friday social rubber bridge group.

At our first meeting Tony and I, as joint convenors, had to learn quickly how to set up and organise the game. This involved a lot of homework. Running a duplicate bridge game is a lot more involved than a rubber bridge game. At the first meeting we played on Formica tables that were too large. We did not have any tablecloths so the playing cards often skidded all over the place. Scoring had to be done manually so, in order to collate the final score, it involved a lot of work on the part of the convenors after everyone else had gone home.

Moving on six years and we now have ten proper card tables and forty eight bidding boxes. We can also record results electronically via handheld Bridgmate computer terminals on each table. Players can see how they are doing in real time and there is very little work to do after the game is over.

At that first meeting we had thirty two participants. Covid and time intervened but fourteen of the originals members still play with us today. We have also picked up new players along the way; many of them were not previously U3A members. They joined us because they wanted to play duplicate bridge in a friendly welcoming environment.

In order to give members a choice we play twice a week, on a Monday evening and a Thursday afternoon. We are always looking for new players.

In order to play with us you do need to know how to play bridge. A lot of the members who have recently joined us learned to play bridge many years ago, often at University, but have not played since. For those people we can run some “refresher” sessions and ease them back into the game and integrate them into our group.

Our table money has not increased over that period and is still only £2 a session. Over the past few years we have also paid the annual U3A subs for regular players. 

Come along and try us out

Colin and Tony


Last updated : 17th Jan 2023 15:28 GMT
Bridge session cancellation

In the winter it may be necessary to cancel a bridge session at short notice. This would be because of adverse weather conditions. If there is significant snow the village hall car park could be dangerous. If we have to cancel, we will send everyone an e mail and put a clear entry onto bridgewebs in either the Monday box or the Thursday box. It will not be possible to contact everyone by phone but please feel free to phone Colin or Tony if you are concerned. We do not see this being a regular occurance but your safety is our number one priority. We only had to cancel once in 2018 and not at all in 2019,

Last updated : 17th Jan 2023 15:29 GMT
Calculating your Handicap

Rolling Handicap  For each month, a handicap is calculated which is the average of all uploaded percentage results for the previous 12 months - This is taken away from 50 to give the handicap for that month. Handicaps are calculated for each player, not a pair. Good players would get a negative handicap, players with a lower average get a positive handicap.

Calculating handicap for a pair  For each result in the competition, the result is taken and the handicap for that month for each player is calculated. The handicap for the pair in an event is calculated by adding their handicaps together and dividing by 2. Note, a different handicap is used for each event, this is as if the handicap is applied at the time that the event took place.

e.g.. (But see below)

  • Player with handicap of 2 and partner with handicap of -5, use -1.5
  • Player with handicap of 2 and partner with handicap of 3, use 2.5
  • Player with handicap of 2 and partner with handicap of -3, use -0.5


  • Non Members handicap set at  -5 (uses player database)
  • New Members start on -5 until they have played 5 games.



Last updated : 17th Jan 2023 15:30 GMT
The Clubs aims objectives and ethos


We play bridge in a friendly convivial environment. The Club is not for beginners, it is for those who can play bridge at a reasonable level but we can accommodate members who have not previously played duplicate. We consider it to be a failure if members leave because they feel intimidated. Our aim is to have respect for all members and abide by the English Bridge Union code of etiquette.  However all members should be aware that slow play also affects everyone. The Director may ask for a table to not play a board if the members at the other tables have all finished and the remaining table is still in the bidding process. In this eventuality then that table will have not played recorded as the score. This will not affect their final percentage score.


Last updated : 18th Jan 2023 10:08 GMT
Table money and U3A subs
Table money and U3A subs

Thanks to your continued support and the increase in the number of players we can now confirm, that until further notice, the 1st Monday and Thursday in each month will be a free event i.e. No table money. This is in addition to us paying the 2023 U3A subs for forty two regular players this year. 

Despite this our table money of £2 has not increased since we started our group in February 2018.

Colin and Tony

Last updated : 12th Feb 2023 18:42 GMT
Group Update March 2023

Recruitment - Over the last two months we have been actively seeking new members via several different methods. Now that we do not have an influx of players from the beginners courses we do need to try to bring in new members who have played bridge in the past, in some cases not for many years. This recruitment campaign has been very successful especially for Thursdays. On that day we are just about at our maximum of ten tables. We have sufficient equipment for that number and we have no plans to exceed it. There is still plenty of space on Monday evenings. 

Finances - Our finances are in good shape and we can confirm that we will carry on with free bridge on the first Monday and Thursday of each month until at least October. 

Partners- If anyone needs a partner you can see who is available on Bridgewebs. Their name will be shown on either the Monday or Thursday entry along with the names of those down to play at the next event. 

Competitions – In 2023 we plan to do things a little differently. There will be two competitions running from January 1st to early December. To qualify for these competitions you will need to play a minimum of twenty times either on a Monday or Thursday or a combination of both. A trophy will be presented at the Christmas party for the player with the best average percentage score unhandicapped and the player with the best average percentage score handicapped so everyone is in with a chance. You can see how the competition is progressing by clicking on the competitions tab in the left hand menu on our Bridgewebs site.                      

  • Sometime over the Easter period we will have a random pairs event. Partners drawn when you arrive. It will be based on duplicate scoring. Wine and chocolate will be provided and there will be a prize for the winning pair. 
  • In July we will have a Chicago bridge event. Details to follow. 
  • In October we will have a pairs competition. Details to follow.

Help – We would like to thank everyone who arrives early to help us set up. Thank you also to Morris, our board monitor!! We are sure that you all appreciate that running a session is not easy especially if one of us is away. The system of letting us know if you plan to play the following week helps us to set up the required number of tables.We do not have to reset if there is an unexpected late arrival. If you need to drop out at the last minute it is not a problem as long as you tell us, even if it is by phone at the last minute. What we do need is at least one, preferably two, people who can either run or help to run the game. You do not have to be a computer expert but you do need to be comfortable using one and not panic if something goes wrong!!! John has offered to help but if anyone else would like to give it a go please let us know. We will continue to provide free tea/coffee and biscuits if and when there are half tables. 

The vast majority of us want to play a competitive game but please remember friendship is more important than winning. This is our main pre-requisite for both current and new members. Our numbers are now just about back to where we were pre pandemic. Thank you all for your continued support. 

Colin and Tony.

Last updated : 8th Mar 2023 18:54 GMT