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Bulletin - the Future of Bridge

Site under construction - 30 July 2022

This is your opportunity to have your say about the future of Bridge

Click on this link

SmartBridge

The u3a are supporting the English Bridge Union (EBU/EBED) in providing a unique Bridge Beginner's course

for individual students as well as for u3a Bridge Group Leaders and their club members.

The course will start in 1Q 2023 when we have sufficient numbers and places will be allocated strictly on a first-come first-served basis.

Please Click Here to sign-up to the course.

 

F. A. Q.s

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Is the course for beginners?

Yes. Before you start you will find it helpful to view the tutorials at MiniBridge and try a few practice exercises.

This is a free website which teaches “minibridge” - a great way to understand how the game is played, before you start the SmartBridge course.

The minibridge hands (deals) on this site were created for EBU and are freely available from EBED.

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What is included in the 12-week Course?

Course outline (per week)

1. Partner opens 1NT and I respond

2. Partner opens 1 of a suit and I respond

3. Partner opens 1NT and I have a Major suit

4. Partner opens and I bid a different suit

5. Opponents open. Can I bid too?

6. I have a weak hand - Can I bid?

7. Continuing the conversation / finding the best contract

8. A special bid: take out double

9. Declarer Play: making the most of your cards

10. Defence: defeat your opponents

11. I have so many points!

12. Winning at Bridge: maximising my scores

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Do I need a laptop?

You can use any PC - a laptop, iPad, tablet or apple mac - all users are welcome.

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Is the class being run at the same time every week?

Yes - the zoom lessons will start on Monday 9th January at 14:00 hrs and continue until

27th March 2023. It is advisable that the follow-on practice sessions are run just after the zoom meeting,

but they can be run at any time prior to the following meeting

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What if I miss a lesson?

There will be online videos and quizzes to watch and try again as well as the opportunity to practice the card play again.

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I notice that the poster is aimed at Bridge Teachers. I am the only person in my u3a who wants to learn to play Bridge.

Can I sign-up for the course?

Yes - you will be able to follow the course online - Zoom for the lessons and RealBridge for the practical playing sessions

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According to the EBED website, the cost of the 12-week course is £100 - is the £60 correct?

Yes - EBED have generously discounted the course by 40% in order to assist our u3a's to encourage more 

people to learn to play Bridge.

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As this is an EBU initiative, do I need to join the EBU before I enroll?

The courses are being run by EBED (English Bridge Education and Development), which is a registered

Charity whose purpose is to promote Bridge nationally - as such, there are no EBU joining fees due.

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What happens after the 12 weeks?

During the course you can take part in practice sessions, either with a local u3a group leader / teacher / assistant bridge helper. This can continue after the course. EBED (the bridge charity) can also help you to identify a local bridge club which welcomes and support new learners, should you not have access to bridge in your own u3a.

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Can I do extra practice between lessons?

Absolutely - we would encourage you to play the hands over again using the commentaries. There is also an opportunity for those players who have completed 5-6 lessons and are comfortable with online Bridge to join the EBED "Relaxed Bridge" sessions BBO (Bridge Base Online). These are on Wednesday afternoons and there is also an opportunity to join in the zoom meeting afterwards and ask questions about the hands played.

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I am my local Bridge Group leader - what skills do I need to lead a new Beginner's group?

There is no need to be a qualified teacher or a bridge expert. As long as you understand the game and can encourage others to learn and enjoy learning then these are the most important qualities.

EBED together with the u3a will offer support in the form of advice and some free materials so that you can continue to run a small group for new players.

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How long is each lesson?

The pre lesson video is around 5 - 10 minutes long. This is followed with an online task based lesson (30 - 45 minutes) and play of practice hands (approx 1 hour)

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How long is each practice session? Are they supervised or is it self learning? It looks like we would need at least 4 beginners to operate those sessions?

Within the lesson there is a practice task and practice play (hands).

Additional practise can be done with the following:

1. Four (or more) learners get together with a supportive group leader / helper and using EBED’s hand records they can play and practice the same topic as previous lessons

2. Four (or more) learners can get together independently to practice and a hand commentary will give help on the play.

3. EBED run weekly sessions online on BBO and these are followed up with a zoom to discuss any interesting hands. Cost around £3 per session

4. Some bridge clubs run “supervised play” and may accommodate one or two tables playing their own practise boards.

5. Other online practice play can be organised for anyone who cannot easily travel for face to face practice.

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Do we need a Group co-ordinator for this and would that person (if it's not one of the beginners) need to sign up and pay for the lessons so that he/she knows what the beginners have learnt?

Group co-ordinators are welcome to join the lesson (free of charge) and may be asked to assist at a table (depending on the whole group size) or they can observe.

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Is it hosted on RealBridge?

RealBridge now offers the opportunity to have a video lesson and then move seamlessly to the play of the hands so it is currently an ideal option for taking part in a practice task, getting whole group feedback from the teacher and then beginning the play (without the need for switching from zoom). There is a single link to join the lesson, with no password or login needed and no charge for those taking part. A realbridge link will be provided.

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I am a group leader and our u3a meets on Thursday mornings - can we do the lessons then?

The lessons are given by an EBED teacher on Monday afternoons and video copies will be available shortly afterwards for playing on your own specified day. However, your students will not have the advantage of asking questions of the EBED teacher.

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I'm a little confused - is this for group leaders to learn to teach bridge or is this aimed at beginners?

It's really for both. SmartBridge is a teaching aid for your group leader/teacher such that they can supervise a set of practice sessions for beginners after the main lesson has been delivered on zoom.

A cohort of one teacher and 4 beginners is an ideal number - the 4 beginners signing-up and paying the 12-week course fee.

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If I become a group leader/teacher will I receive full instructions?

Yes, you will be given teaching handouts for all the lessons. There will also be an opportunity to get together with other group leaders at a zoom session to be held on 4th January 2023

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I am on holiday for the first 2 weeks in January - can I join at week 3?

We would obviously prefer you to start the course and collaborate with your fellow students, but will look at each case of a late start on it's merits.

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I really want to learn to play Bridge, but will be out of action for the first 2 months of 2023 - can I join at another time?

Yes, we are hopeful of running these courses 3 times a year - however, you will not benefit from the reduced fees after January 2023.

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What is EBU?

English Bridge Union is the national bridge organisation which runs bridge tournaments at regional and national level for its membership in England. It does this by working through county bridge associations and clubs.

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What is EBED?

English Bridge Education and Development is a national charity whose aim is to encourage, assist and support the play of duplicate bridge. The belief that bridge as a means of helping social interaction and preventing exclusion is at its heart. Its other main aim is to support the play of bridge by children and young people in full time education. Any revenue generated by the charity is ploughed back into the organisation to support these aims. The charity’s website is https://www.ebedcio.org.uk/

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