Bridge is a game of counting and good players think of each suit layout as a pattern, and there are 39 pattern types, of which 20 are the most common.
Richard Pavlicek, a well-known bridge authority, says “Do not count the missing trump, but look for the pattern in your opponent’s discards.” Your opponent’s hand may be 4432 or 5332 and when you have this knowledge you can tell from the shape where the cards you are looking for lie.
Pavilicek stresses that the key to successful play of the cards, is to plan before your first trick is played and look for a line of play that will take advantage of as many chances as possible. Plan the play as soon as dummy is exposed. If it looks hopeless, don’t give up, as others will be in this same contract and you need to win as many tricks as possible. A sure loser will rarely cost you a trick, he says, but may give you a timing advantage.
There are so many duplicate bridge sites on the Internet that players from novice to advance can learn from. Go to Bridge Winners, Warren’s Free Bridge Workshop, the Aces of Bridge, Simplicity Bridge, Bridge 7 and Bridge Doctor, a site from New Zealand. Pavlicek’s site, rpbridge.net, has quizzes and instruction, plus interesting articles along with advanced lessons to help the serious player move into expert ranks.
The game of duplicate bridge is played all over the world, with tournaments, trials and festivals. In May you could have attended the International Bridge Tournament in Sri Lanka, the Bridge Festival in Tallinn, Estonia and the 26th Bonn Nations Cup in Bad Godesberg, Germany. And from October 15-29, you could take your team to the 40th Team Championships in Veldhoven, in the Netherlands.
The Bridge Deck Club’s Summer Sectional is June 9-11. Thursday and Friday will feature single session, stratified open pairs games at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and 0-99er pair games if attendance warrants. Saturday at 10 a.m. will be a stratified Swiss teams play through, with teams stratified by average of master points.
For more information, contact Partnership Chair Liz Saxon at (239) 394-8347 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Bridge Deck Club meets in the Community Room of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church on Rattlesnake Hammock Road.