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Teach Yourself VISUALLY Bridge

ISBN: 978-0-470-11424-7
306 pages
December 2007
Teach Yourself VISUALLY Bridge (047011424X) cover image


Teach Yourself

Tricks. Trumps. Auctions. Contracts. Bridge is a challenging game, but you can quickly grasp its basics with this guide that shows how it's played. Teach Yourself VISUALLY Bridge covers everything from evaluating a hand and bidding it through playing the cards and scoring the results—guiding you play by play and trick by trick. With this book and with practice as declarer or defender, you"ll quickly be playing your bridge cards right. Maybe you"ll even make a slam—doubled, redoubled, and vulnerable!

Concise lessons show you the keys to successful play and are ideal for quick review

  • Text helps to de-mystify bridge rules, lingo, and traditions
  • Each strategy or tactic is clearly explained
  • Graphics help you visualize concepts and build your bridge skills
  • Helpful tips provide additional guidance
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Game of Bridge.

A Universal Game.

A Brief History.

What You Need to Play.

Bridge’s Key Number: 13.

How to Hold Your Cards.

Kibitzers and Other Bridge Terms.

Chapter 2: Basic Bridge.

Starting a Bridge Hand.

Tricks and Taking Tricks.

Following Suit and the Power of Trumps.

The Auction and the Meaning of Bids.

Bidding Higher in the Auction.

Ending the Auction.

Watching Your First Bridge Hand.

Reviewing the Deal.

Chapter 3: Rubber Bridge Playing and Scoring.

Using a Score Sheet.

Trick-Scores and Making Game.

Trick-Scores at Notrump Contracts.

Part-Score, Game, Slam, and Vulnerability.

Scores for Overtricks.

Scoring Defeated Contracts.

Making Doubled and Redoubled Contracts.

Slam Bonuses.

Honor Scores.

Tallying a Rubber.

Chicago-Style Bridge Scoring.

Rubber Bridge Scoring Summary.

Chapter 4: Hand Evaluation and the Opening Bid.

General Hand Evaluation for Bidding.

Counting High Card Points.

The Importance of Distribution.

Opening 1-Level Bids: Function and Guidelines.

HCP Guidelines for Part-Score, Game, and Slam.

Major Suit Opening Bids: 1♥ and 1♠.

Minor Suit Opening Bids: 1♣ and 1♦.

Opening 1NT.

More Strategies for the Opening Bidder.

Chapter 5: Responding to Opener's Bid of 1-of-a-Suit.

Responder’s Job.

Responding to 1♣ or 1♦.

Responding to 1♥ or 1♠.

Strategies and Tactics for the Responder.

Chapter 6: Responding to 1NT.

Responder’s Choices.

When to Pass.

Raising NT.

2♦ and 2♥ Responses: Jacoby Transfer Bids.

2♣ Response: The Stayman Convention.

Suit Bid Responses of 2♠ and Higher.

Tips and Strategies for Responding to 1NT.

Chapter 7: Declarer Play.

You as Declarer.

Dummy and You.

Keeping Track of Tricks.

Declarer in Action.

Essential Skills for Declarer.

Entries and Finesses.

Playing Suit Combinations.

Knowing the Odds.

Chapter 8: Competing in the Auction.

Ways to Enter the Bidding.

The 1NT Overcall.

Suit Overcalls.

Takeout Doubles.

Competing over Opponent’s 1NT Opener.


What to Do When Opponents Compete.

Chapter 9: Opener's Rebid and Beyond.

Rebids by 1NT Opener.

Rebids by 1-of-a-Suit Opener.

Responder’s Further Actions.

Chapter 10: Defensive Play.

Thoughts for Defenders.

How the Defense Can Win.

Basic Defensive Skills.

Making the Opening Lead.

Playing the Right Card.

Defensive Signals.

Tips and Strategies for Defenders.

Chapter 11: Preemptive Bids.

The Philosophy of Preempting.

Opening 2-Level Preempts.

Responding to a Weak 2 Bid.

Opening 3-Level Preempts.

Opening Preempts at the 4 and 5 Levels.

Preemptive Jump Overcalls.

Preemptive Raises.

Tips for Preemptive Bidding.

Dealing with Opponents’ Preempts.

Chapter 12: 2♣ and 2NT Opening Bids.

Opening 2♣ Bid.

Responding to 2♣.

Continuing the Strong Forcing Auction.

Opening 2NT.

Responding to 2NT.

Tips When Opening 2♣.

Chapter 13: Three Popular Bidding Conventions.

The Unusual Notrump.

Michaels Cue Bid.

The Negative Double.

Chapter 14: Strong Hands and Slam Bidding.

In the Slam Zone.

Suit Slams: Three Key Ingredients.

The Gerber 4♣ Convention.

The Blackwood 4NT Convention.

Chapter 15: Play Duplicate Bridge.

Special Features.

Bidding with Bidding Boxes.

Playing Tricks, Duplicate Style.

Movement of Players and Boards.

Recording the Score.

Duplicate Bridge Scoring.

Match Point Scoring.

Team-of-Four Play.

The American Contract Bridge League.

Duplicate Strategy and Tips.

Chapter 16: The World of Online Bridge.

Features of Online Bridge Sites.

Give Yourself a Bridge Identity.

Where to Play.

Online Bridge Chat.

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Author Information

DAVID GALT is the author of three books on card games and has been a bridge "life master" since 1972. He writes a regular card-game column for the games magazine Knucklebones. Holding a PhD in education, David owns a consulting firm that provides game design and name development services. He also teaches bridge and directs bridge competitions.

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