Bridge for Beginners and Beyond (© November 2015) is a comprehensive guide to good bridge for beginner and intermediate-level players. It's designed to teach the game to newcomers and help current players build on their knowledge of the basics, improve their skills and refine their bidding systems. The book is used by bridge teachers in Champaign-Urbana IL and other communities, and can also be used as a self-teaching guide.
The new 18th edition is 108 pages (8 more pages than previous editions) and includes updated bidding recommendations and a new chapter on the popular Two-over-One Bidding System. Format is 8.5" x 11", spiral-bound.
The book begins with the bare basics for those who have never played and progresses to more advanced topics suitable for intermediate-level players. Each lesson presents the "how-to's" and "why's" in a concise format for easy reference. Lessons include General Rules sections that summarize the basic principles for each aspect of bidding or play, Quick Reference charts that can be used as bidding guides, and At the Table sections with many quiz hands to test your skills.
Bridge quotations and cartoons appear throughout the book. There are also new features on bridge trivia and history.
The book is organized into 21 lessons plus a "Quick Facts" reference chapter and sections on specialized topics:
Why play bridge? -- an overview of the mental, physical and social benefits of learning and playing the world's most popular card game.
How to use this book -- tips on how to progress through the lessons and practice your new skills.
Quick Facts -- point-count and other numbers to know, bridge vocabulary, scoring table, tear-out bidding "cheat-sheet".
1 - Getting Started -- the purpose of the game, introduction to bidding and play, contract requirements, how tricks are won, the roles of declarer and dummy.
2 - Opening Suit Bids -- opening 1 of a suit with balanced and semi-balanced hands.
- Responding to an Opening Suit Bid -- choosing the suit and level for a
response to partner's opening bid.
Frequently asked questions and answers about responding bids.
- Opener's Rebids -- rebids after opening 1 of a suit with a balanced or
The Rest of the Auction: Guidelines for responder's second bid
- Notrump Bidding -- opening and responding to 1NT and 2NT, the notrump
opener's rebids, the Stayman 2C convention.
Updated bidding with 15-17 1NT and 20-22 2NT openings.
6 - Hand Evaluation -- determining a hand's strength by its distribution, suit quality, honor combinations & positions. Guidelines for when to make "light" opening bids.
7 - Bidding Unbalanced Hands -- describing strength and distribution, choosing opening bids and rebids, using the "reverse bid" to show extra values.
- Special Opening Bids for Unbalanced Hands -- strong and weak two-bids,
strong-and-artificial 2C opening, preemptive three-bids and four-bids, sacrifice
Expanded section and practice hands for Weak Two-bids and the strong-and-artificial 2C opening.
Special section: Bidding Summary -- quick-reference guidelines and tables that summarize which bids and which auctions are signoff, invitational and forcing.
9 - Overcalls -- making and responding to suit and notrump overcalls, cuebid overcalls, balancing bids.
10 - Doubles -- penalty doubles and takeout doubles, responding to partner's takeout double, competing with freebids, the takeout doubler's rebids.
- Competitive Auctions -- bidding over an opponent's overcall or double,
using redoubles, evaluating trump fits, using the "Law of Total
Tricks" to make competitive decisions.
Features: Bridge history, The Battle of the Century, Bridge by the Numbers
- Declarer Play -- planning the play in suit and notrump contracts,
establishing and cashing tricks, unblocking plays, developing long-suit winners,
how to finesse, a table of common finessing combinations.
New: Playing the Odds -- finding honors, estimating tricks in long suits, a table of common suit breaks.
Features: James Bond and the Duke of Cumberland hand, The Curse of Scotland
13 - Opening Leads -- standard guidelines for leading to suit and notrump contracts, plus advanced tips on choosing your opening-lead strategy.
14 - Defense -- second-hand and third-hand plays, bracketing, Rule of Eleven, unblocking plays, communicating with your partner by using attitude and count signals.
15 - Counting the Hand -- how to collect information from the bidding and play and make logical deductions about unseen hands; card-reading and memory strategies; tips for defenders, declarers and dummies.
- Slam Bidding -- evaluating strength and controls, Blackwood 4NT, Gerber
4C, control-showing cuebids to find aces.
New: Roman Keycard Blackwood
- Refining Your System -- New-Minor Forcing, game-try bids, more uses
New: Cuebids and preemptive raises
18 - Popular Conventions -- Michaels Cuebids, Unusual 2NT overcalls, Jacoby Transfers, Texas Transfers, Negative Doubles, Jacoby 2NT Major-Suit Raise and the Drury 2C convention.
19 - New: Two-over-One Bidding System -- responder's bids and rebids, opener's rebids, Forcing Notrump convention, finding slams, special types of auctions, quiz hands.
- Duplicate Bridge -- duplicate movements, scoring, using boards and bidding
boxes, filling out a convention card, sample convention card, matchpoint and
team-of-four strategies, alerts, duplicate customs.
Feature: The most disastrous bridge hand ever played (the Bennett murder trial).
- More Learning Opportunities -- recommended bridge books, software,
websites and free online clubs; tips for individual practice; techniques
for developing your memory and "card sense".
Internet Bridge -- how to choose a club and play online (free), the SAYC (Standard American Yellow Card) bidding system, printable SAYC convention card, online "lingo".
The book is available direct from the author for $13.00 (USD) plus postage (new USPS rates effective 5/15):
$6.25 for Priority Mail for one to three books (2-3 day delivery)
$2.75 for one book sent by Media Mail (2-9 day delivery, depending on distance from Illinois)
$3.75 for two books sent by Media Mail to the same address
$5.25 USD for First Class International service.
$11.50 USD for First Class International service. Contact me for quantity orders and rates to other international addresses.
Quantity discounts are offered to bridge teachers (see below or email for details).
Postage is included in the above amounts.
For postage to other international addresses and/or quantities of three or more books, email me and I'll send you an invoice for the total with actual postage.
Quantity discounts for bridge teachers:
3-9 books -- $1.00 off the $13 cover price ($12.00 per book) plus postage
10-19 books -- $1.50 off ($11.50 per book) plus postage
20+ books --- $2.00 off ($11.00 per book) plus postage
Priority Mail (recommended) for a box of 10-15 books to USA addresses is $13.50.
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