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Structured courses - Beginning Bridge Year 1 and Short Courses, include a power-point presentation, handouts, quizzes and pre-dealt hands all based on the weekly/daily topic. Discussion and questions are always welcome.

 

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Beginning Bridge - Year 1

This is a 3-term Year Course which is for people who have absolutely no bridge experience but are keen to learn with other beginners. We start off by using mini-bridge, and then lead gradually into the language of bridge bidding. 

Each lesson will begin with a revision of the previous week's topic, followed by the quiz answers and questions. There will be a power-point presentation based on a new topic. Students will then be able to play some ready prepared hands and will be helped at any stage of the bidding and play.

At the end of the lesson students will be given quizzes and handouts based on the weekly topic. Each term follows on from the previous term so students joining in terms 2 and 3 will require some bridge or whist knowledge. 

A Second Year of Bridge

These sessions are for those players who are already playing bridge and want to consolidate early principles of bridge and increase their knowledge of the game little by little. The class is also appropriate for those people who have learnt bridge some time ago, have not been playing recently and want to return to enjoying the game again.

The course will cover the following:

Opening bids holding different point counts and introducing weak 2 and weak 3 openings; 1NT opening and the responses including Stayman and transfers; defence - examining lead styles and third hand play; planning for declarer play;  competitive bidding including weak jump overcalls and the use of doubles.

Deal, Ask and Play

 

All bridge standards are welcome, from Beginners to more experienced players. We will organise tables according to ability.

 

Students will deal their own hands and be able to ask about any aspect of bidding, play defence and tactics for both rubber and duplicate bridge. We will endeavour to bring students up to date with new bridge systems and handouts will be available on these topics. Students will be encouraged to bring in problem hands for discussion. All questions are welcome.

If students are unable to attend a session we will try and fit them into another session in lieu.

Topic Based Dealt Hands

This is for people who have been playing bridge for at least one year. The aim is to consolidate foundation principles of bridge and for those who want to refresh and modernise their bridge. The course is a chance for students to play prepared topic based hands with time to discuss and analyse their bidding, evaluate their hands beyond the point count and work out their best defence. They will be helped at any stage of the session.

 

The topics will include different types of Opening hands, Responses and the Continuation of the Auction. There will be competitive bidding including Take-out Doubles and Weak Jump Overcalls. Stayman and transfers will be used in response to No-trumps. There will be hands planning Declarer play and Defence strategies. 

Some students may want to use part of the session to play randomly dealt hands with help and direction from us.

Short Courses

These are for more experienced bridge players who want to refine their competitive play and defence. 

 

Signals: Attitude, Count, Suit Preference (SPS), Discards.

Defenders can help each other by signalling which suits they would like to be led, or by showing where they hold their strength. This will only be effective if partner Notices! Each signal can only convey one message with one card – it depends on the situation.

Three types of signals will be covered and making Discards, which are also ways of signalling to partner.

 

Doubles: Takeout, Penalty, Negative, Re-opening

Penalty Doubles are made to increase the score made should the opponents fail in their contract. Because it is rarely profitable to make a penalty double of a contract below the level of 3♠, Double is used conventionally. Double of 1NT opening bid is always for penalty.

Take-out Doubles - 'TO. X' - are a way of asking partner to 'Help' with overcalling. The requirements are Shortage in the opening suit, Opening strength and Support for the other 3 suits - SOS.

Negative doubles - made by responder to opener after an overcall. They are an essential way of coping with interference bidding.

Re-opening doubles are made by Opener asking partner to bid even when partner has already passed.

Conventions:  Jacoby and Splinter bids, Unusual Notrump (UNT), Michaels Cue Bid, Landy, Unassuming cue bid (UCB).

Jacoby and splinter bids are conventional ways of telling partner there is a suit fit with enough values for game and possibility of slam.

Unusual No-trump and Michaels Cue bids are both ways of showing two 5-card suits in the overcall position.

Landy is an overcall made after an opening Notrump bid, promising 5/4 cards in the major suits and asking partner to choose.

An Unassuming Cue Bid shows a value support for partner's overcall  to at least the 3-level and to distinguish it from a pre-emptive raise.

Bidding Big Hands: 2NT, 2 clubs, cue bids, RKCB

Whilst hands with lots of high card points are a good indication of slam there are other ways of recognising potential slams.

SSSS - shape, stops, strength and a source of tricks are all relevant.

This course covers quantitative bids searching for slam used after a Notrump opening. 

2 club opening bids, are the strongest bid available with certainty of game and searching for slam.

Once trumps are agreed cue bids are used to show controls of suits before continuing  to slam.

Roman Key Card Blackwood (RKCB) is the modern way of checking whether the partnership has enough Aces, plus the King of trumps (these are the 5 KEY cards) before proceeding to slam.

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