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. Here are four more lessons that will move your game forward.
Some of the topics are repeating what was covered in Lessons 1-10, but the Practice Games that go with Lessons 11-14 are more challenging and require players to be more competitive. The lessons below can be printed and used as hand-out sheets for workshops. Like anything you do, the more you learn and practice, the more you will improve!
Practice Games are available for purchase — scroll down to see buying options.
Lesson #11 – Competitive Bidding
Topics: Continue to apply your knowledge of overcalls, doubles, the “Rule of 20,” “The Law of Total Tricks,” and how to assess how high to bid. This lesson helps you learn strategies to deal with interference and competition.
Click on link: Lesson 11 – Competitive Bidding
Lesson #12 – No Trump Bidding and Strategies Use Stayman and Jacoby transfers to show 5-5 or 5-4 in the majors to find the fit in the best suit. Ensure taking the contract to game when you have enough points to do so. Decide when to select a NT or a suit contract as the best option. Assess when to use Blackwood or Gerber to investigate slam.
Click on Link: Lesson 12 – NT Bids and Strategies
Lesson #13 – More Info on Take-out Doubles
When to use them and how to respond to show accurate point count and communicate effectively.
Click on link: Lesson 13 – Take-out Doubles
Lesson #14 – Forcing Your Partner to Bid
Learn some new bids: Reverses, Jump Shifts, “New Minor Forcing,” and “4th Suit Forcing.” Essential bids to use when you want to send a message to your partner to keep bidding. Be careful you do not use them by accident. Know when to use them and when not to use them.
Click on Link: Lesson 14 – Reverses and Other Bids
The Practice Games for Lessons 11-14 are a great supplement for these lessons.
For example, if you’ve finished taking beginner lessons and would like to learn more but cannot find a class to take, you will find that these practice games will help you learn new bids and strategies on your own. Each bid has explanations and guidelines to help you, almost like having a coach beside you.
If you are a teacher, these practice games are ready-made for a workshop on these topics. There is no substitute for a good teacher, but good resources are helpful and can save you a lot of time. Each set of practice games can be used as a “one-off” lesson on a stand-alone basis, so your participants can attend one session but miss another.
Each of these practice game sets took much thought and many hours to prepare. Here’s an idea of how much work went into each set. First, each game was set up to cover the topics in the lesson. Next, the card hands were created and manipulated to ensure the bidding is based on point count and distribution. In addition, the card hands are set up showing realistic cards, as they would appear in your hand. Almost all bridge publications show symbols instead of cards which is an added mental step to decipher and, therefore, an impediment to learning. Each set of games covers a variety of concepts on the same topic showing different actions that might be taken by the opponents. And, finally, each set of 16 games allows every player (whether sitting N, S, E or W) a chance to bid and play the hand equally, so everyone feels involved and engaged. Emphasis is on communication and the messages being sent between partners; this is explained in detail. This helps players learn to analyse and think, rather than just blindly following the rules. Each game shows a suggested opening lead so players have some guidance on that aspect of the game, a very important part of defense.
Here’s a description of each set:
Practice Games #11 – Competitive Bidding: Players will apply various bids and rules covered in Lessons 1-10, including overcalls, doubles, the “Rule of 20,” and the “Law of Total Tricks.” These games will help you learn strategies to deal with interference and competition. Results are shown with possibilities of either side taking the contract. When should you continue to compete and when should you pass?
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, each set with 16 games, enough for a morning or afternoon of bridge. After purchasing, you will receive an email from me with a password which allows you to access the files and download them. (See menu at top of page – Downloads.)
To recap, your purchase of $20 US includes: Practice Games #11 – Competitive Bidding (16 games) Practice Games #12 – NT Bidding and Strategies (16 games) Practice Games #13 – Take-out Doubles (16 games) Practice Games #14 – Reverses, Jump Shifts, new minor and 4th suit forcing (16 games) Click on the “Buy Now” button below to purchase with credit card or PayPal.