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Take the opportunity to learn bridge: courses now online

Our club bridge teacher Margaret Blewett is now teaching bridge online, for both absolute Beginners and Improvers. No previous experience of playing online needed. She says: "Easy, friendly, fun and relaxed lessons from your own home, whilst socialising with other members of the class online on Zoom, no experience of using Zoom needed. However inexperienced you are at being online, you’ll really enjoy it!"

For further details please contact Margaret: Email: Phone: 01962 734797

Improve your bridge

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, most of us would like to improve our bridge. There are many ways to do so, but the one I want to highlight today is an excellent free online resource for players of any standard.

Bridge Master is actually based on Windows software that came out some 20 years ago, but has now been adapted for the web and will work on any computer, phone or tablet. It consists of 600 tutorial hands (a lot!) graded from Beginner to World Class. Each hand shows the bidding and then lets you try and make your contract. The hands in levels 1 and 2 show some basic bridge points, like keeping communication open between dummy and declarer, when to take a finesse and when to go for the drop, leading up to honours and so on. The hands in level 3 onwards are more challenging and personally I find it takes me two or more tries before I get it right - but hopefully learning something along the way.

A few points to note. These hands are designed on the basis that making your contract is more important than getting overtricks - so not intended for Pairs scoring where overtricks can make a big difference. Go for the safety play if there is one; it will probably be needed.

Second, the hands are not actually fixed. This takes a bit of adjustment. You play a hand and fail to make because E has all the trumps. So you try again, and now W has all the trumps. What's going on?

The answer is that you are being taught to play to a high standard. Your job is to find the best line of play. If you find an inferior line, the cards will turn out to be wrong and you will not make the contract.

All the contracts can be made, though there isn't always a play that will make in all circumstances. For example, if your slam depends on a finesse, you must take the finesse and it will be right. On the other hand, if there is a better play that avoids the finesse, you should do that instead because the finesse will be wrong!

Each hand has a solution which shows exactly what you need to do and why.

It is a lot of fun and quite distracting. For beginners, there are lots of great example hands. For experts, it is a chance to try things like squeezes and elimination plays, in the hope that you might sometimes recognize them when they come up at the table.

Thought for the Month

At the last Committee meeting it was agreed to publish a "Thought for the Month" each month on our website. Here is the first:

Don’t be a time thief! Description: C:\Users\Jenny\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\ZN80VTB5\burglar[1].png

As declarer, we all want the same thing...

not to have to rush the hand. 

If you are on lead, please give declarer that courtesy by making your lead as quickly as possible, before entering the contract in the Bridgemate, writing on your scorecard, etc.

Dummy should go down as soon as the lead is faced.

Be courteous, don’t be a time thief.

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Recent Updates
3rd Nov 2021 17:25 GMT
Winchester Bridge Club
Winchester Bridge Club

Winchester Bridge Club welcomes all bridge players, from complete beginner to expert to play duplicate bridge in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We are part of the Winchester Racquets & Fitness Club, Bereweeke Road, Winchester. Membership of the bridge section of the club (currently £141.50 per annum) includes full use of the club facilities, including the bar and cafe, serving drinks, meals and snacks, tea and coffee. No table money is payable. Members interested in a sports or fitness membership package may join and also add bridge membership for just £15 extra. 


Current schedule

Face-to-face (F2F) club sessions restarted from July 19th 2021, in line with the delayed step 4 of the government’s roadmap. We play duplicate pairs on Tuesday and most Thursday evenings. Please arrive promptly before 6:45pm for a prompt start no later than 7pm, to ensure a timely start and finish. Scoring is electronic, using Bridgemates

Covid precautionary measures

Tables are currently laid out for a maximum of 6 tables and are well spaced out in the playing area.  Extra ventilation is ensured by keeping open large windows and the emergency door, by which players may enter and leave the room.  Players are advised to bring an extra layer of clothing and to apply hand sanitiser before each round.  No sessions will be held in the small room, as it is deemed to have insufficient ventilation.

Online play

Because of the pandemic we are also playing online once a week, on Wednesdays, at 6.45pm for a 7.00pm start. We are also glad to welcome guests. Please see our separate post below for more details.


Visitors and prospective new members are always welcome. There is a guest fee of £3.50 for the evening (£3.00 online). We normally have a host available on duplicate evenings so visitors do not need a partner, but you are asked to arrive early and introduce yourself to the Director, so that any formalities can be dealt with before start of play.

All sessions are scored electronically by Bridgemate and printed hand records are available, or for online games, hands, double-dummy analysis, and the ability to replay bidding and card play.

Beginners and improvers

Beginners and Improvers courses are offered by one of our members, Margaret Blewett (please contact Margaret directly for more information). We also  offer Supervised Play sessions on Monday evenings, with occasional Gentle Duplicate sessions as part of the programme, to introduce players with less club experience to duplicate play, before taking out full membership, at a special introductory rate. We also run occasional seminars on Wednesday evenings.

 For more details please click here.

Restarting face to face Bridge after Lockdown

Tim has written a blog post about restarting face to face bridge after lockdown, which is online here:

Restarting face to face bridge after lockdown – EBU Membership Development (

Guests for online bridge

We are now able to invite guests to our online bridge on Wednesday evenings. This means you can play with friends who are not members, or come as a pair or on your own to try it out. This does need to be arranged in advance and anyone interested should contact our secretary Jenny McRobert for full details.

Come and play online
Come and play online

We have set up our dedicated online bridge site which is free to members. The site is at and we are currently playing on Wednesday evenings at 6.45pm for a prompt 7.00pm start. Come and join us!

There are of course other options including:

Bridge Club Live is UK-based and EBU affliated.

Funbridge is where you play against the online computer (it's pretty good!) but compare your results with other people who have played the same boards.

Bridge Base Online is the world's biggest online bridge site for real-time bridge; you can also play with the computer to practice. It is US Based so mainly 5-card major systems but there are EBU sessions and quite a few ACOL players.

If you would like to play online bridge but do not know how to get started please contact Tim Anderson for some assistance.

Tim would also welcome comments about how we should go about this so please get in touch.

Check back here for updates.

Bridge Links

English Bridge Union -
County Bridge -
County Education Opportunities -
Ecats (for Simultaneous Pairs events) -

Duplicate Pairs
Scorer: Tim Anderson
Tuesday Pairs
Director: Richard
Scorer: Ticker
Thursday Pairs
Director: Paul
Scorer: Peter

If you have any items of interest for inclusion on our website, or any suggestions for improvement, questions, or problems, please contact the club secretary