Don Stack Top Ten Tips to Winning Bridge
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10. Have Fun.
If we don't have fun then there is no reason to play this game !! It's a game, not life and death !!
We must have fun and we must not do anything to keep other people from having fun. We should be
"Zero Tolerance" advocates. It works !! Maybe this should be #1 !!
9. Practice online.
BBO (bridge base online) is a marvelous resource. At any given time there could be 10,000 bridge players
from all over the world playing. Kibitz (watch) the greatest players in the world on vugraph competing in world class events.
Play online bridge with your partner of choice or robots in ACBL or BBO tournaments.
8. Bridge is more competative !!
Realize how bridge has changed in the last 40 to 50 years. The opponents are always in the auction. The opponents bid every time it is their turn.
There are more ways to get into the auction. The opponents are always trying to steal from us. It is a war.
The Law of Total Tricks is king. Because of the interference by the opponents, our judgement is always under pressure.
We must know when to "hold-em, fold-em, or double-em".
7. Form Partnerships.
Do this with people on your same level of expertise that you genuinely like. The idea being
that you will each improve individually and as a partnership. They should have your same views about
bridge. Work on your partnership. Know what you are playing. You do not need many conventions to win
at bridge but you must know what you are playing. System notes are a great idea and are to be reviewed
often and updated as necessary.
6. Discussion of hands with partner.
After the game in a constructive way and with no recriminations, it is essential that there
be a discussion of the hands with partner. If there is no effort to eliminate errors,
analyze the hands, and improve your system then there will probably be very little growth in your partnership.
5. Study the game.
Bridge is a game that has books written about every possible aspect of the game.
Defense, play of the hand, bidding, theory, human interest, humor, etc. Our ACBL Bulletin is a
wonderful magazine of great instructional articles and human interest. It is truly a great resourse for the aspiring player.
4. Talk To Yourself.
While I am playing , in my head I am talking to myself. I ask myself questions about every thing that is happening
at the table, bidding and cards played especially. If you don't ask the right questions and have
the right information for analysis then you cannot draw correct conclusions.
3. Set realistic goals.
Set goals that are attainable for your level of bridge expertise. When starting out they will be things like,
"I want to be a life master", "I want to improve at bidding or defense or declarer play". Stay focused on your goals
and do your best to deal with the frustrations that will come when it seems as though you are not
making any progress or perhaps even taking a step back.
We are counting all the time at bridge. We count HCP (high card points), distribution, tricks etc.
We should always strive to improve our counting skills. It is hard work but essential for improvement at this game.
The rewards are great if we are willing to do the hard work of counting.
1. Concentration - FOCUS.
These traits are essential. Once we have the correct info then we can use our judgement to make the correct bid or play.
We will never attain perfection in bridge. We will always be trying to improve our concentration,.
judgement and counting skills.