Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Bridge Tips When "Stuck" at Home

A warm hello to fellow bridge players!

Although most of us love our homes, we really love going to our bridge club, seeing our friends and trying to play our best!  Is there anything we can do to enjoy bridge and keep our "edge" while the bridge clubs are shuttered?  Tired of moping and cursing fate, I fired up my trusty computer and put on my thinking cap!

What can we do to stave off boredom, and maybe upgrade our game at the same time? For starters, this can be a good time to catch up on our bridge reading and do some playing online.

Bridge Reading

Bridge Bulletins:  Most of us have several Bridge Bulletins at home and they are a wonderful resource - entertaining and instructive for players at all levels.  Sometimes it's challenging to keep up with our reading, including the Bulletins. The interactive features are great: The Bidding Box, It's Your Call and Challenge of the Month can keep us busy for a while and give us plenty to think about.

The interesting and talented contributors can help us improve our game.  I always turn first to George Jacobs because his columns are so entertaining!

With extra time at home we can peruse the tournament reports and admire the excellent, creative and bold play of the top experts at tournaments--and maybe pick up a few tips.

Bridge Books:  Most of us have good bridge libraries.  We can pull out our old favorites and refresh all aspects of our game:  Bidding, Play and Defense.We love bridge books--we're just usually too busy to read them!

Flash cards: A good time to pull out our flash cards and study card combinations.  Nothing can improve your game quicker than good play!

Play online.

I enjoy the Just Play Bridge feature from the ACBL website.  It is easy to play several hands quickly.  The bridgebase robots are generally only average bidders, i.e., you often get to the correct contract. (Don't expect adequate defense, however!) Here's a hand I played recently.

I picked up this amazing hand. None vul.  My robot partner passed and RHO opened 2. My bid.


I can't make any fancy two-suited bids with the robot as my partner, and can't risk not getting to game, so, with this great 3-loser hand, I simply jumped to 4 - a practical bid.

LHO bid 4 and it was back to me. Not finished, I now bid 5, LHO doubled and you'll never guess what my robot partner did. The robots aren't reliable about taking preferences when it's indicated, so my expectations were not high.

7!! bid the robot! Pass, pass, double from LHO!

7x was the final contract. To say I was shocked by the bidding was an understatement.  OMG was my actual thought-- I hated to see the dummy--to see what kind of trouble I was in.

The 4 was led and I couldn't believe my eyes.



Incredibly, it looked like the contract had chances--particularly with the double of my 5 bid by LHO, followed by the final double of 7. I drew a round of trump, then played the K which was covered and ruffed.  A heart back to my hand drew the last trump. Now I laid down the J and held my breath.  It was COVERED and I ruffed high, both opponents following.  Now the high clubs would draw the remaining clubs and my hand was good.

Now here's a score for you:  Plus 1770!

I closed my device and quit while I was ahead.

While we're "sheltering in place" (stuck at home), feel free to send me hands, questions or comments.

Stay well!


1 comment:

Memphis MOJO said...

Cute hand, thanks for sharing.

Stay safe!