Basic Beginning Bridge
Bridge for the Newcomer Only
By Ken Monzingo
If you have never played bridge, this column is for you. If you have only played a very little bridge you this is also for you. But if you are already a participating player at your club, you should be reading Maritha’s Advancing Player Corner, Paul Ivaska’s Hand of the Month, or John Swanson’s famous Master Solvers Panel – all later in this monthly communique.
This excellent video is from an Australian Bridge Teacher named Joan Butts. Before you tackle the game please watch it a couple of times – Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 are only seven minutes long each, and cover critical understanding of the basics to get you started.
You will never progress without a solid understanding of the points, she makes. Learn Lesson 1 before moving on to Lesson 2.
Once you have grasped these simple basics you will be capable of understanding the purpose of the game. That purpose is simply “high card wins!” Example: If everyone throws one card of the same suit on the table, the person contributing the highest card is the winner, and this is called a “trick.” Each players is given 13 cards therefore there are 13 of these “tricks” available. Competing for tricks as a partnership is the strategy and object of bridge.
After watching Lesson 1 whatever number of times necessary to digest it fully, move on to Lesson 2. Try not to go too fast, but understand everything completely before advancing. Very soon you’ll have a grasp of the game and you’ll move on to real exciting lessons from friends, teachers, and teaching aids.
The beauty is this: no matter where you are, the minute
play your ﬁrst cards with some knowledge of bridge, or the ﬁrst time you win a few tricks, or the ﬁrst time you take a successful ﬁnesse – you are hooked. More important, you will never completely master the game, but every step along the learning curve is more exciting than the last. The game is wonderful all the way from beginner to advanced to expert.
Next I’ll continue with lessons, videos and may include basic handouts of my own to print out. But dwell on, and learn, these basics now ... you will never regret it.