Articles for newer players

  • New To The Table

    20 Sep 2019

    “Shut Your Eyes and Bid”. We are going to introduce a slightly different concept this week as we are going to look at the bidding of the same hand at two different tables. Let’s call it a Teams match and see what can happen. It... read more here

  • New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

    16 Sep 2019

    Taking Advantage of the 5-3 Trump Fit. We found our way with a little exploration to 4H, a fair looking 5-3 trump fit. Let’s see how we can not just make our contract but even maybe an overtrick. South led a spade with North following to... read more here

  • New To The Table

    13 Sep 2019

    Finding (not having!) a Fit. We know we need to have a minimum of 8 trumps between our two hands, dummy’s and our own, for that suit to be our trump suit. That is called a "fit". It is normally fairly easy to find such a fit when each hand... read more here

  • New To The Table

    6 Sep 2019

    Text-Book or Practical? We referred last week to the use of bidding a suit we do not hold when our side has bid three suits, in other words “Fourth Suit Forcing”. An example of the use of this came up very recently. There are... read more here

  • New To The Table

    30 Aug 2019

    The Suit You Do Not Need to Call. You open the bidding by calling your longest suit at the 1 level. Your partner calls a different suit and you call your second longest suit because you have no support for your partner’s suit and a hand not... read more here

  • New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

    25 Aug 2019

    Making the Two Games….or Failing in a Good Cause? We left you on Friday with one pair of hands and two contracts to play. So, let’s look first of all at the one I hope you did not reach, 3NT. North DealsE-W Vul... read more here

  • New To The Table

    23 Aug 2019

    Going to game: but which game? We, the bridge teachers, tell our new players to bid to game when we know we are strong enough to do so. Sometimes, we may be strong enough but we do not know which game we should bid. As a for instance, we open 1... read more here

  • New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

    18 Aug 2019

    Can’t Bid Slam but Can you Make One? We left you on Friday in a reasonable looking 4S contract. We got to game on a combined 24 high card points and avoided the trap of playing 3NT. We are playing Pairs which means not only do we want to... read more here

  • New To The Table

    16 Aug 2019

    The Wise Bid. There are times when, in the bidding, you tell the opponents as little as possible about your hand and other times when you need to reveal all, or quite a lot! If you know which suit and which level you want to play, then... read more here

  • New To The Table

    9 Aug 2019

    "Quantitative Bid" …. Can you say it and use it? I struggle to say it but it is a useful bid to use. The idea is that you ask partner to pass if they are minimum for their holding or bid on if they are maximum…a bit like the... read more here

  • New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

    4 Aug 2019

    A Change of Plan. You make your plan when you first see dummy. Sometimes, something goes wrong and you have to make an abrupt change if you are to have any chance of making your contract. Take this week’s hand: North DealsNone... read more here

  • New To The Table

    2 Aug 2019

    Staying in Part-Score. Part-score contracts are important too. You cannot make game on every hand. When we do not think we can make a game, we would like to stop as low as we can…but it is not always possible.    ... read more here

  • New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

    29 Jul 2019

     Playing a Tough Part-Score Contract.                 We left you as declarer in the  following deal in your part-score spade contract after West had led the jack... read more here

  • New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

    21 Jul 2019

    Squashing Honours. We left you on Friday in a rather precarious contract after a very difficult bidding sequence. Let's hope we did not use up all our energies in the bidding! We needed to get 10 tricks with spades as trumps: South... read more here

  • New To The Table

    19 Jul 2019

    Bidding What We Have Not: Not Bidding What We Have! The rules or guidelines around bidding can be strange or at times make us do seemingly strange things. For example, if we have 7 high card points and 4 spades and a 6-card club suit, we bid 1... read more here

  • New To The Table

    12 Jul 2019

    VALUING VOIDS . As well as valuing 4 points for each ace, three for each king, two for a queen and one for a jack, we learn that we can add on extra points for our hand when we have a one or two card suit…or even no cards in a suit! Word... read more here

  • New To The Table

    7 Jul 2019

    How Forcing? We often say that a bid is either forcing or is not. Yet, like so much in Bridge, it is not always that simple. We also need to know how forcing a bid is. Is it : Forcing to game? Forcing to 2NT? Forcing just for one round? If... read more here

  • New To The Table

    28 Jun 2019

    They Open: We bid Game.     As South you pick up a nice looking 18-point hand. You are 4th to speak and there’s a bit of bidding before you get your first shot:       West DealsNone Vul... read more here

  • New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

    23 Jun 2019

    Like does mean “Like”. We worked through last time what we would lead to a simply bid 3NT contract and left you in the middle of trick 2 after you had chosen the SQ. This is what you saw after the opening lead was made:... read more here

  • New To The Table

    22 Jun 2019

                A Problem Lead. Our focus today is on the choice of opening lead, rather than the bidding. The opposition bid quickly to 3NT with the following uninterrupted sequence:... read more here

  • New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

    16 Jun 2019

                                    TIME TO SWITCH Remember we left you on Friday at trick 3.... read more here

  • New To The Table

    14 Jun 2019

                           A BID TOO FAR. At times, we all tend to underbid hands….and at other times, we all bid a bit too much.... read more here

  • New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

    9 Jun 2019

    Lucky Lie. So, there you are in your 4 heart contract. What you can say is that it looks a better contract than 3NT. You made a good choice when you elected to play in your 5-3 heart fit. North DealsNone Vul ♠ A 4 2... read more here

  • New To The Table

    7 Jun 2019

    Finding The Right Game. The words “trump fit” are regularly discussed in Beginners’ Bridge Lessons. The magic number seems to be eight. If you have eight or more cards between you and your partner's hand, then you should be... read more here

  • New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

    2 Jun 2019

    MANY CHOICES…and a VITAL DUCK.  Too many. If only there was one way to play a contract, life would be a lot easier…but then Bridge would not be the exciting and absorbing game it is. So, let’s get back to the problem of... read more here

  • New To The Table

    31 May 2019

    Showing Strength. It is important when Opener, or indeed Responder, has a strong hand that they show that strength to their partner. It would not have mattered particularly on the following deal though it is a good principle to grasp. What... read more here

  • New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

    26 May 2019

    Defenders Must Count Tricks too. We left you on Friday with a problem for a defender. Not only must we learn to bid and play well but we need to defend as accurately as we can as well. We have heard the bidding. After the opening lead, we can see... read more here

  • New To The Table

    24 May 2019

    TWO LEVEL IS TOO LOW Many bridge deals involve competitive bidding with both partnerships having in region of 20 high card points (hcp) each. While sometimes no player has a long (5+ card) suit, where one partner does, they should not defend the... read more here

  • New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

    20 May 2019

    Like a good meal, it’s all in the preparation. It seems a shame to bid to a more than reasonable slam and then to fail somewhat unnecessarily. So, we are going to take a good deep breath as they have made their opening lead and we have been... read more here

  • New To The Table

    17 May 2019

     Slamwards Bidding Sometimes, we have so many high card points (hcps) between our two hands that one player in our partnership will drive our partnership to slam. Yet, we can still bid to what we hope is the right time to bid slam by some... read more here

  • New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

    12 May 2019

    Justifying the Good Bidding  Two days ago, we guided you through a difficult choice of opening bid, responding to an opening bid with just 5 high card points (hcps), a forward going bid called a reverse and recognising the forcing nature of... read more here

  • New To The Table

    10 May 2019

    “Reverse”.. but move forward to Game. Going “back” to move “forward”. This bridge language might seem like “Double Dutch” at times. It is certainly true that bridge terminology does take a bit of... read more here

  • New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

    5 May 2019

    Reaching the Right Game….and making it! A couple of days ago, we left you with your hand and dummy and asked you to plan how to make your game. You have enough high card points to be in game and enough trumps to make the heart suit... read more here

  • New To The Table

    3 May 2019

    Reaching the Right Game. “Never mind the quality, look at the length” is a bastardised version of a well-known saying of which bridge players should take heed. While it is nice to have the ace and king of the suit you decide to be... read more here

  • New To The Table

    28 Apr 2019

    NO TRUMPS: NO NEED TO PANIC “Leave a space for the trump suit, please” pleaded the declarer as dummy put down a side suit in the space normally reserved for the trump suit. “I would” partner replied “were there any... read more here

  • New To The Table

    26 Apr 2019

    STRONG DOUBLES For those new to the bridge table. The Bidding When we make a take-out double of an opponent’s opening bid, we need either an opening hand of our own (12+ high card points) with tolerance for every other suit apart from... read more here

  • New To The Table

    21 Apr 2019

    The Easter Egg Winning Lead. We left you on Friday with an opening lead problem. We gave you the following hand and bidding sequence and asked you what you would lead. As is often true, the choice of opening lead is vital to the success or... read more here

  • New To The Table

    19 Apr 2019

    A TOUGH HAND TO BID AND TO DEFEAT! This week, we are going to look at a tough pair of hands to bid…and we will later look at whether the defence could defeat the final contract. Firstly, we will give you a bidding problem. Now, you did... read more here

  • New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

    14 Apr 2019

    A couple of days ago, we looked at the bidding of one hand. We are now to be the declarer and will have to make our contract of 4 spades. We are West. Remember the hands and the bidding? Board 5North DealsN-S Vul    ... read more here

  • New To The Table

    12 Apr 2019

    Bidding to a Game This series is aimed at those who are new or pretty new to the bridge table. Maybe you have just come out of lessons..or even been playing a little while? Perhaps you are a bridge teacher and want some example hands, extra ones... read more here

  • New To The Table

    10 Apr 2019

    This is advance notice of a new feature which will run on this website. It is aimed at new players, perhaps those who have just come out of a Beginners' Class or those who need a bit of a refresher. It is quite likely that such players do not... read more here

  • Play, Defence even Bid for Newer Players

    5 Dec 2017

    Wrong Suit, Wrong Level, Wrong Result? Hey, let’s be positive as we draw to the end of the year. Here’s hoping that those new to the game are enjoying themselves, maybe getting the hang, just a little, of how to bid and play this... read more here

  • Play, Defence even Bid for Newer Players

    21 Nov 2017

    How many losers? Many…well just about all…players new to the game breathe a sigh of relief when they become dummy. The bidding is over. Partner should look and sound happy when you turn your cards over..and you can relax for a... read more here

  • Play, Defence even Bid for Newer Players

    15 Nov 2017

    AVOIDING MINOR SUIT GAMES There are times when you want to be in 5 of a minor as opposed to 3NT. When one player is very short in a side-suit, and there partner has only one hold in that suit, maybe a doubtful hold at that, then 5 of a minor may... read more here

  • Play, Defence even Bid for Newer Players

    31 Oct 2017

    ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR CONTRACT You bid to what looks like an excellent slam. You thank your partner for their dummy…and really mean it! It is a truly excellent dummy. All you have to do is to make your contract. Yet, alas, you had to record... read more here

  • Play, Defence even Bid for Newer Players

    12 Sep 2017

    RIGHT- SIDING A CONTRACT One of the aims of bidding, the most important aim, is to reach the right contract, to decide whether one’s side is likely to make game, maybe even slam, or else rest in a part-score, or maybe even defend. However,... read more here

  • Play, Defence even Bid for Newer Players

    28 Aug 2017

    The Finesse You are happy to lose. Many contracts require care. If that was not the case, we would get a little bored with all deals being too simple to play. Maybe you would like a simple board to play? Many players hate playing in no-trumps.... read more here

  • Play, Defence even Bidding for Newer Players

    7 Aug 2017

    BUT THEY BID HEARTS! Bridge is full of good pieces of advice … and we know that sometimes we find reasons to break the advice. However, such tips are there for a purpose. At least one player paid the price when they did not follow a very... read more here

  • Play, Defence even Bidding for Newer Players

    31 Jul 2017

    LOSE ONE TO WIN TWO. When you are playing in a no-trump contract, it is rarely correct to play all your aces and kings at the start unless you can see you have enough tricks to make your contract. Even then, sometimes, crafty declarers can make... read more here

  • Play, Defence even Bid for Newer Players

    25 Jul 2017

    SHOWING A STRONG HAND When the opposition open the bidding with a suit bid at the one level, we double to show an opening hand reasonably balanced between the other three suits apart from opener’s. There is, though, another type of hand for... read more here

  • Play, Defence even Bid for Newer Players

    24 Jul 2017

    SHOWING A STRONG HAND When the opposition open the bidding with a suit bid at the one level, we double to show an opening hand reasonably balanced between the other three suits apart from opener’s. There is, though, another type of hand for... read more here

  • Play, Defence even Bid for Newer Players

    17 Jul 2017

    The Finesse That Cannot Fail. Everyone is taught the art of finessing at a very early stage of their bridge career. Playing a small card towards AQ gives you a 50% chance of success, even if you feel that more than half of your finesses do fail!... read more here

  • Play, Defence even Bidding for Newer Players

    11 Jul 2017

    Getting Rid of Your Losers The teacher said when you are in a trump contract, it is usually best to draw the opposition’s trumps. Normally, hopefully, your side has more than they do and you can stop their trumps being a threat. The... read more here

Our Sponsors
  • NZB Foundation
  • JLT and Chubb Logo square 02.jpg
  • City Council square logo.png
  • Ryman