How to . . .
TEACH AND PLAY BRIDGE USING COMPUTERS
by Sandra Landy
The Educational Trust for British Bridge (ETBB) was founded in 1990 with a generous donation from a player who was impressed
with the work being done by the British Bridge League (BBL) in training our junior teams. To extend our teaching work, he wanted
his money to be used for Junior Bridge in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Our first project was a teacher's handbook
for teaching bridge in schools – that book is still being issued by the EBU to new teachers twenty years later!
But now many young people have a laptop for school work, and we want them to use it to learn bridge too.
VUBRIDGE IS an amazing piece of laptops, all bidding and then playing the available throughout the world. There are
software which allows you to bid and play same deal. If you have five or six students, ten lessons, each with eight deals to be
pre-prepared hands online. The moment I nobody will be sitting out. Everyone can played.
saw it, I knew this was what I had always have a go, rather than three players sitting Do tell everybody about this free Mini-
needed to teach my students. Every doing nothing whilst the fourth player bridge program, particularly people with
teacher who has seen VuBridge in use has tries to work out what to do. Now children. Nowadays youngsters get hooked
agreed with me! everyone can bid and play the same cards. on playing games on their computer; let’s
This is how it works. All the students log At the end of play, the teacher can review make sure they are playing Minibridge. To
on to VuBridge and select the set of hands to the bidding and the play, because all play online Minibridge, log on to
be used in the lesson. Then the student’s students will be seeing the same screen. www.vubridge.com/Minibridge.
hand for the first deal is displayed on the The ETBB’s major offering, the Acol-
screen, using real card images. The hand is based beginners bridge course, has been
bid using simple Acol bidding, while the developed by Paul Bowyer for use by
computer bids the other three hands. Only
TWIN TRUSTS teachers in the United Kingdom. He has
the ‘correct’ bid is accepted. So if the EBU members are used his lifetime’s collection of hands and
student, with 13 points and a balanced probably a little lessons to provide you with well-tested
hand, should have opened 1NT, that is what confused about the charitable material, suitable for all young people (and
they have to bid, no other bid is accepted. trusts that exist to promote older students as well). The trust has paid
youth bridge in England and we
for the course devel opment and our
thought an explanation was due.
The ETBB was set up in 1990
contract with VuBridge includes its use by
and represents the four home teachers at no cost. My students love the
unions – EBU, WBU, SBU and opportunity to replay the class hands at
NIBU. It promotes youth bridge home, reinforcing their class teaching – I
across the United Kingdom. The am sure yours will enjoy that too!
Youth and Education Trust is the
EBU’s own charitable trust for
the development of youth bridge
in England, and was set up in
2007. It is this trust that runs
the Minibridge in Schools proj-
ect, training teachers and pupils
alike to play the game in the
classroom and aligning it to the
national curriculum. The two
trusts work together for the
When the final contract is reached, the development of the game for
young people in schools and on
student becomes declarer and dummy is
the international scene.
displayed on his screen. The defensive
cards are played by the computer and, as
in real life, the student plays dummy and Teachers wanting to use this bridge
his own hand. But the computer objects if Courses Available course should email email@example.com.
the student attempts to play the wrong Tell them your email address, your bridge
card, just as the teacher does if he sees the The EBU Bridge for All course recom - union (EBU, SBU, WBU or NIBU) and
student misplaying a deal. So the student mends teaching Minibridge to beginners, member number. Ask for instructions to
has to work out what he is doing that is as it introduces card play without learning be sent. It is absolutely free to teachers,
wrong and change the card played. bidding. So it is very good news that an just so every young person with a laptop
Picture your students sitting at their online Minibridge course has been made can learn to play bridge. r
14 English Bridge June 2012 www.ebu.co.uk