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Xmas party bridge

My local club had its Xmas party last night and I get the responsibility of running the party bridge after the meal. Obviously this is not taken too seriously due to the amount of wine consumed beforehand and during the play, but as it seemed to go well I thought I'd share the format.

Previously I used Goulash deals but I found that people found them interesting for the first board or two, then it waned. Now I use a concept based on the EBU Fun Party Games (PDF). We play 12 hands, so that we finish at the right time, using a simple Mitchell and aggregate scoring. We had eight tables last night so three copies of the hands were needed and we played three four-board rounds.

A normal set of random hands are used, like a regular evening. The odd-numbered boards are played normally. The even number hands have a rule.

Board 2 – Aces are low, not high.

Board 4 – Second highest card wins the trick.

Board 6 – Dummy plays his own cards, though still placed face up.

Board 8 – Bidding must not die below the four level.

Board 10 – Bidding and Play to proceed anti-clockwise.

Board 12 – No-one is allowed to bid spades.

This year I also introduced the rule suggested by Lukasz Slawinski: on every board dummy was put down before the opening lead. This actually slowed play down a little since everyone took more time (than usual) to consider their lead.

The EW and NS winners got a small prize. As the author of the Beer Card blog I gave a bottle to everyone who successfully 'beered'. And we had spot prizes (Tunnock's Tea Cakes) for everyone who won a trick with any two or won a trick with the Curse of Scotland.

The rule on board 4 caused most swearing and calls for my execution.

Everyone coped well with board 10, but not so well on board 11 when they continued to play anti-clockwise.

Some were more successful tactically on board 8.

The stronger players all liked board 6 when they were dummy, as it allowed them to show that they could indeed play better as dummy.

I will use the same format next Xmas.

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