Winning at bridge is not about the clever bids or outlandish plays as typified by the various news columns (although these can help). It’s primarily about not making mistakes, and you and your partner having a clear understanding of your system. Memory does help, but if you have a muddled system it can be like building a house on quicksand.
The following tutorials are not just for beginners to the game; if you are regularly coming below average in the club, players of any standard would benefit from ‘refresher’ lessons. The tutorials are not a substitute for personal tuition, but recognising that good quality teaching is not always readily available, they go some way towards bringing new players into the game.
There are many systems adopted throughout the world, some better than others. If you are American, Standard American (yellow card) rules – many of them haven’t heard of Acol. But in the UK, Acol is king. Whatever the system, it’s only as good as the player, and a disciplined approach to applying the system is vital.
The basic system approach within these tutorials is Acol with 5-card majors, and a weak no-trump. Why 5-card? (an integral part of Standard American) – it’s my personal preference, I think it’s easier to teach and learn, and I think it’s slightly better. Why weak no-trump? (unlike Standard American) – again my personal preference, it’s more pre-emptive, and it’s played by most players in the UK. (However I do include the equivalent 4-card major tutorials for those devotees). All tutorials include numerous exercises.
At this stage all tutorials are based on the ‘auction’ (except a discussion of opening leads is given in Tutorial 12). In time, tutorials on basic play situations will be posted.
It is assumed that players have some knowledge of Bridge procedure, i.e. the sequence of suits, the number of tricks required to make a contract, the concept of vulnerability, basic scoring (a more detailed appreciation of Scoring can be found in the Appendix 1), etc.
(All tutorials are in WEB or PDF format for viewing or printing)
When you are confident with the basics, you should consider as a priority: