Interested in learning more and improving your game? The first ten lessons and practice games should get you off to a good start, but there is much to learn beyond that. Like anything you do, the more you practice, the more you will improve! Anyone can use these set-up hands to learn more — either as an individual wanting to learn on your own, as a convenor of a small group who might want to try something different other than playing random games, or as a teacher who has given beginner lessons and your students want to learn more and build their confidence!
What’s so valuable about these particular practice games is that they show and explain the messages being sent by the bids. In order to be a good bridge player, you need to be a good communicator. Together, with your partner, you strive to find the best contract at the best level. Bridge is a partnership game!
These practice games are great for someone who has finished taking beginner lessons and would like to learn more but cannot find a class to take. Use these practice games to learn new bids and strategies on your own. Each bid has explanations and guidelines to help you, almost like having a coach beside you.
These practice games are great for someone who plays bridge socially with a group of friends. You could suggest that, from time to time, you could play some structured games so your group can learn more together and still have fun. Something different! Plus it brings everyone together so you are using the same rules and strategies. It’s very difficult to play bridge well when your partner’s bid means something different from what you use. Some of my eager students have purchased their own set of duplicate boards and cards; they attend my workshops to learn the bidding, and later on their own, they set up these games to continue practicing in their own homes. They love to learn!
These practice games are great for a bridge teacher who has given beginner lessons to a group who are eager for more guided practice so they can build confidence. Consider giving a workshop once a month as an opportunity for your beginners to continue to learn together — invite other bridge players, too. I get a variety of participants attending my workshops — some still consider themselves beginners, some have played social bridge for many years, and some are competitive duplicate players. There is no substitute for a good teacher, but good resources are helpful and can save you time. Each of these practice game sets took me many hours to prepare — first, to create the hands to cover the topic, then to manipulate the cards to make sure the bidding goes according to plan based on point count and distribution, to ensure they cover a variety of concepts on the same topic, and, finally, to allow every player (whether sitting N, S, E or W) a chance to bid and play the hand, so everyone feels involved. It’s important to understand the message each player is sending so players can learn to analyse and think, rather than just blindly following the rules. I also give a suggested opening lead so players have some guidance on that aspect of the game, a very important part of defense. The practice games include a hand-out sheet which you can use or adjust to meet your teaching goals. These practice games are a “one-off” lesson and can be used on a stand-alone basis, so your participants can attend one session but miss another, as many do because we are all so busy!
Practice Games #11 – Competitive Bidding: Players will apply various bids and rules covered in Lessons 1-10, including overcalls, doubles, the “Rule of 20,” the “Law of Total Tricks,” and how to assess how high to bid. These games will help you learn strategies to deal with interference and competition.
Here’s a sample: Board #1 – Practice Games #11
Practice Games #12 – No Trump Bidding and Strategies: Using Stayman and transfers, how do you show your partner that you have 5-4 in the majors or 5-5 in the majors so you can find the best suit? How do you ensure taking the contract to game when you have enough points to do so, and in which suit? When is NT the best option? When should you use Blackwood and Gerber to investigate slam?
Practice Games #13 – Take-out Doubles: When to use them and how to respond to show accurate point count and communicate effectively. Are you using doubles often enough?
Practice Games #14 – Reverses, Jump Shifts, “New Minor Forcing” and “4th Suit Forcing.” Very useful bids when you need to send a message to your partner to keep bidding. Be careful you do not use them by mistake. Know when to use them and when not to use them.
If you wish to purchase these practice games for beginner/intermediate players, please click on the “Buy Now” button below and follow the prompts to pay with PayPal or a credit/debit card. The cost is $20 US for all four sets, Practice Games #11-#14, each set has 16 games. Within 24 hours or sooner, you should receive an email from me with a password which allows you to access the files and download them. (See right-hand side menu with downloads.) Included is a handout/review sheet for each set which is useful for your own personal studying or for distributing to your class of enthusiastic bridge learners.
To recap, your purchase of $20 US includes:
Practice Games #11 – Competitive Bidding
Practice Games #12 – NT Bidding and Strategies
Practice Games #13 – Take-out Doubles
Practice Games #14 – Reverses, Jump Shifts, new minor and 4th suit forcing
This also includes instruction/handout sheet for each topic, suitable for learning and teaching.
Click on the “Buy Now” button below to purchase with credit card or PayPal.