Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Bridge Bidding Practice

Like most skills the game of bridge needs practice!  You might be a member of your local bridge club or class - and meet once a week.  It's easy to forget what you have learnt in between sessions.

Imagine trying to learn to drive a car with just weekly lessons and no practice in between.  It would take much longer to get proficient, wouldn't it?

It's exactly the same with bridge bidding.  To improve your skill you will want to do some bridge bidding practice in between.  The good news is that you can easily practice your bridge bidding online at any time at No Fear Bridge

No Fear Bridge is the UK's leading bridge practice site.  You will find hundreds of fun, interactive tutorials, hands, quizzes and handouts.

There are loads of interactive, bridge bidding practice hands. Choose your bid and click.  If your answer is incorrect you will be prompted to "Try Again".  Some of the hands also have audio feedback if you make an incorrect bid, to help you learn why your bid was incorrect.

No software download is required - all the interactive activities are played online.  You can practive bridge bidding and practice strategies for play.  There are activities for beginners, improvers and advancers.

Try the weekly quiz and see if you can get your name on the leaderboard.   Look at your own personal progresss graph and see how  your skills improve.

Best of all, you get two week's completely free membership, with no credit card details required.  Head over now for some bridge bidding practice.

Friday, 15 January 2010

The Rule of 11

If you are learning to play bridge, sooner or later you will come across the Rule of 11. But what is it and how should you use it?

What is the Rule of 11?
It is usually used in a no trump contract, by the third player in a game of bridge. If you are the third player, you use it if you think that your partner led with the 4th highest card in their longest suit.

After your partner has played, you can see the cards in dummy's hand and you also know the cards in your own hand. The Rule of 11 will let you work out if the remaining player has any cards that are higher than the card led by your partner. If they don't and dummy played low, then you don't need to play a higher card than your partner in order to win the trick. It helps you win the trick as cheaply as possible.

How to Use the Rule of 11
Here is an example. Your partner has played the 7. Dummy played 2 and you can see that dummy also holds Q and 8. You hold A, 10 and 3. Should you play a higher card than your partner to win the trick?

You think your partner played their 4th highest card so you can use this rule to work out which card to play. Deduct 7 (the card played by your partner) from 11. This gives you 4 - which tells you that there are four cards higher than 7 NOT held by your partner. You hold A and 10 and dummy holds Q and 8 - so you can see all of those four cards. This tells you that the declarer doesn't hold any card higher than 7, so you can play your 3 and your partnership will still win the trick.

Now you know what the Rule of 11 is, you can practice it online for yourself at No Fear Bridge. Join for a two week free trial and enjoy all the fun, interactive learning and practice hands.

Acol players (UK, Ireland, NZ) can join HERE.

American Standard players can join HERE.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Bridge Holidays for Beginners and Improvers

If you are looking for a beginners bridge holiday for 2011 - Click here.

In January last year I spent a happy hour or so searching the internet for beginners bridge holidays.  It turned out to be a very popular post - so here is a new list, for 2010.

Urchfont Manor in Wiltshire have a weekend for complete beginners in January and a couple of weekends for improvers.  Their brochure is a pdf document, so you will need Adobe Reader on your computer.

HF Holidays are offering 4 or 6 night breaks for complete beginners as well as a selection of breaks for improvers.

Farncombe Estate in the Cotswolds offer a selection of weekends for improvers.

Burton Manor in Cheshire offers a bridge weekend for complete beginners in March.  (This is strange website to navigate!)

Earnley Concourse in Chichester offer a selection of weekend courses for beginners and improvers.

Marlborough College Summer school offers week long courses from absolute beginners to advance techniques

Missenden Abbey in Buckinghamshire offer a selection of weekend courses for improvers