Join Bridge Winners
The Meandering Thoughts of a New player
(Page of 3)

Hello Bridge Winners, this article is a balanced 4,3,3,3 hand of 3 observations, 3, questions about bidding, 3, questions about card play, and 4 general questions. I have had a bunch of rambling thoughts about Bridge, and I've been meaning to write a second article. So I thought, why not write down all my rambling thoughts. 


First the observations. 

People play bridge really fast; a lot faster than I can play it. I am not talking about the bidding. It makes sense for the bidding to go quickly; I'm talking about the actual play of the cards. I'm currently reading How to Play a Bridge Hand by Root. In it he says things like "in your hand you have Q10XX in the dummy is AXX you have to win three tricks in this suit to make your contract. How do you do it? how would you play differently if you only needed four tricks?" I can spend ten minutes on these questions without fully answering them. But at the club people play actual hands (that have FOUR! suits AND they need to worry about entries!) in five minutes. 

I never know how well I am doing. No hand I play ever works out perfectly. I say with a smile, "each hand teaches something" but what I mean is each hand comes with one or two regrets. Sometimes I flub of the bidding; other times I lead the wrong suit. Occasionally I forget that doubling is an option. The weird thing is that I never feel like I'm doing particularly well, and I never feel like I'm doing particularly poorly. The result is, at the end of the day, I have no clue how well we did until I look at the score board. Some days I make 38% other days 50%.  

Can't tell how good my opponents are. I am a chess player, and in chess we have a simple rating system that quantifies our results. If you do well your number goes up. If you do poorly the number goes down. It isn't the perfect measurement, but it does nicely. It helps give people's opinions context. Say, I get strange advice from a player. If his rating is close to mine, I'll take it with a grain of salt. If his rating is way above mine, I'll take it more seriously. When I sit down at the Bridge table though I have no way of knowing if my opponents are champions of chumps.  



Many people who responded to my first article said that I should primarily study card play, and avoid studying bidding. However, my mentor LOVES bidding and it is all he ever wants to talk about. What sort of bidding knowledge do I need? How much do I need to know in order to know enough?

Some how in this hand I, west, ended up in 2H. I have no idea how that happened. Any thoughts on how it should be bid? (in part this is just an excuse to try to put a hand into my article. I've never done that before so I'm giving it a shot)



How should I go about learning to bid? There is so much to know, and so many particular scenarios with specific things to remember. How do I hold all of that in my head? 


These are some super vague questions about the play of the cards.As a defender, when do I cash in my winners, and when do I save them up?

When should I think that my partner is sending me signals/when should I be sending signals to my partner?

How do I go about solving declarer problems. I mentioned on page one the problems that I read about, and how I spend a ton of time trying to figure them out. I want to know what a good thought process is. If the question is "in your hand you have Q10XX in the dummy is AXX you have to win three tricks in this suit to make your contract." what should my first thoughts be? How do I go about answering it?

Now for the four general questions.

Are there any rules governing the bidding conventions that people can use? Are there illegal conventions?

What are the rules about asking about bids. Say the opponents bid and my partner and I pass. It goes: 1S pass 2C pass 2D pass 2S pass 3C and I want to know what the 3C means. Can I ask? and if I can, how do I ask?

Is it, (in your opinion), useful to play bridge hands if it is not possible to review the hands immediately after? It frustrates my partner that after each hand we don't have any time to talk about my mistakes and the interesting bits of the hand. Other members of the club agree that immediate reviewing is very important. What do you guys think?

I'm going to let you guys in on a secret. First off, thanks for reading so much of my article already. I know its a bit long and rambley. My secret is that I really wanted to have 13 points (so that I could make the "well balanced" joke earlier on.) but I actually only have three questions.  So I'm going just have to end this article here. :( 

I'd love to hear your comments. You can answer a question, or a few questions, or give your opinions. It's all Great!

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