Page 0074

74 English Bridge October 2019 www.ebu.co.uk

HOW TO PLAY BRIDGE

A

n interviewer once asked a woman who had

achieved a great deal in her life, 'How did

you manage to achieve what you did?' Her

response was 'I never learned to play bridge'

If you decide to ignore that woman's warning and

play bridge, now or in the future, I'm going to share

with you, from my own experience, some tips on:

D how to play bridge;

D how to enjoy playing bridge;

D and most importantly, how to survive playing

bridge!

The first and the most important consideration is

'Partner'.

In bridge you must play with a partner.

'Play' is an interesting description and not always

a valid one. Take great care in your choice of

partner.

It's very tempting to play with a real life partner.

But this can be dangerous. Very dangerous, as the

several spouses who have been murdered during or

after a bridge game, have learnt to their cost.

It can, and does, work playing with a real life

partner. One way this appears to work is if one

person in the partnership is a sadist and the other a

masochist.

Bear in mind that you cannot not communicate.

Facial expressions, voice tone and body language

will all be communicating messages to your partner.

If you want to keep a real life partnership going,

or stay friends, or stay alive, be very aware of what

you are communicating across the table.

A useful rule to apply is 'What happens at the

table, stays at the table' - Don't take it home. Doing

so could be very bad for your health!

Second, Jargon. There's lots of jargon in bridge.

Terms like 'ruff', 'finesse', 'endplay'. Wow, playing

bridge can be like speaking another language! A tip

is to translate the jargon into something more

meaningful.

The game bonus, which is awarded for accurate

bidding, is often forgotten by novice bridge players.

Calling it a 'Brucie bonus' makes it much more

memorable.

Hands which contain lots of high card points -

for the non-bridge players, this is 13 cards which are

aces, kings, queens and jacks - have special bids that

need to be remembered. How about describing such

hands as 'real stonkers?'

Given there is so much jargon, it's wise to adopt

the approach KISS, which is most usually

understood as 'Keep it simple stupid.'

Given your relationship, or planned relationship

with your partner, you might prefer to use instead

'Keep it Simple Sweetheart'.

Talking about KISS, one way to deal with a

partner who's moaning, or pulling a face at you

across the table, is to blow a kiss at him or her.

Now, this approach will certainly have an impact.

However, take care, as it may lead to another bit of

bridge jargon - a 'squeeze'!

Bridge is a mind game. Literally. Your state of

mind will affect yourself and the people you play

with and against.

My final suggestions are about how to use your

mind to your advantage.

D First, play either stone cold sober or blind drunk.

Never in between. Stone cold sober and you're

more likely to play effectively. Blind drunk and

you won't care how you play. In between, and you

get the worst of both worlds, still caring about

your performance, yet not having the clarity of

thought to perform well.

D Second, keep a poker face. Keep hidden what you

are thinking and feeling about what's going on at

the bridge table, so you are not giving away

information that could be useful to others. This is

going to be much more difficult to achieve if

you're playing drunk than if playing sober, but

hey, if you're playing drunk you won't care much

about your performance!

by Krista Powell Edwards

Index

  1. Page 0001
  2. Page 0002
  3. Page 0003
  4. Page 0004
  5. Page 0005
  6. Page 0006
  7. Page 0007
  8. Page 0008
  9. Page 0009
  10. Page 0010
  11. Page 0011
  12. Page 0012
  13. Page 0013
  14. Page 0014
  15. Page 0015
  16. Page 0016
  17. Page 0017
  18. Page 0018
  19. Page 0019
  20. Page 0020
  21. Page 0021
  22. Page 0022
  23. Page 0023
  24. Page 0024
  25. Page 0025
  26. Page 0026
  27. Page 0027
  28. Page 0028
  29. Page 0029
  30. Page 0030
  31. Page 0031
  32. Page 0032
  33. Page 0033
  34. Page 0034
  35. Page 0035
  36. Page 0036
  37. Page 0037
  38. Page 0038
  39. Page 0039
  40. Page 0040
  41. Page 0041
  42. Page 0042
  43. Page 0043
  44. Page 0044
  45. Page 0045
  46. Page 0046
  47. Page 0047
  48. Page 0048
  49. Page 0049
  50. Page 0050
  51. Page 0051
  52. Page 0052
  53. Page 0053
  54. Page 0054
  55. Page 0055
  56. Page 0056
  57. Page 0057
  58. Page 0058
  59. Page 0059
  60. Page 0060
  61. Page 0061
  62. Page 0062
  63. Page 0063
  64. Page 0064
  65. Page 0065
  66. Page 0066
  67. Page 0067
  68. Page 0068
  69. Page 0069
  70. Page 0070
  71. Page 0071
  72. Page 0072
  73. Page 0073
  74. Page 0074
  75. Page 0075
  76. Page 0076