Double the Fun

My partner Christine and I like to combine bridge and something else in our travels, and this past weekend (3/4-3/6/2016) it was bridge and baseball. On Friday we played in the Stuart Silver Sectional because it was the home tournament of Florida’s chief director Harry Falk, and we figured we … [Read more...]

Sam the Slammer

What does it really take to make a Slam? Some optimists say you should start thinking Slam once you’ve determined that between you and your partner you have a minimum of 29 high-card points. Others say you need at least 30 or even more. As with everything else in bridge, there’s probably no … [Read more...]

Delayed Alerts

What a way to start the 2016 New Year – with a zinger of an argument at the table, and winning it! With the Voidwood (or Exclusion Blackwood) convention, my partner Christine and I reached an unbeatable 6 Clubs contract in the auction, but our very competitive opponent, the solid A player Freeman … [Read more...]

Trust Your Partner

Whether you play with one or more regular partners, the ability to be a good partner is probably the most important skill any bridge player can develop. To be consistently successful in duplicate bridge, you have to have developed an unerring confidence in your partner – that he or she will not … [Read more...]

Up or Down

As they move up through the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) ranks, regular duplicate players face a choice. Do you play “down,” looking for weaker competition to beat up to gain MasterPoints more quickly, or do you play “up,” measuring yourself against tougher players in a field where it may … [Read more...]

In Between Rich and Poor

My partner Christine and I always assumed that running a bridge game as a business is a penny-ante affair and no one really gets rich off bridge – with the possible exception of a handful of professionals who are so good they can command $200,000 annual salaries plus bonuses from their rich … [Read more...]

Intimidation

Most experienced duplicate players have from time to time run into other players who try to gain an advantage through intimidation – obviously a big part of competitive bridge is mental and playing mind games with your opponents is all part of the game. But when it crosses the line into … [Read more...]

To the Nines

My partner Christine and I had never enjoyed much success at bridge tournaments in knockout competitions, which offer great possibilities for winning MasterPoints in bunches. Usually we got knocked out in the first round and we would do well if we survived even one round. We turned the corner in a … [Read more...]

The Common Game

Some duplicate bridge players still refuse to play hands from The Common Game, believing that the hands are made extra hard by an evil computer or dealing machine that won’t let you make anything. It's a myth that seems impossible to stamp out, especially among some less experienced players. Of … [Read more...]

Exotic Conventions

My partner Christine and I don’t play a lot of complicated and arcane conventions. We like to keep things as simple as possible and use as few as possible artificial bids to avoid confusion. And we’ve rarely found ourselves lamenting not playing a certain convention because it was the only tool that … [Read more...]