Brent Manley, the editor of “The Bridge Bulletin,” wrote a wonderful book called “The Tao of Bridge.” The book shows how to adapt and face the challenges of life through the game of bridge. This little book contains 200 principles selected by the author that demonstrates how life’s lessons translate into bridge lessons.
Manley uses common sense and advises each player to use “the best tool you own,” your ears, and listen to the bidding. Master the basics before you expand your convention repertoire, he says, as communication is the key to success.
Manley also likes players to be competitive but not combative as in opening no trump bids. He suggests players get in the bidding if they are bold enough as sometimes the opener’s side does not hold the balance of the cards, but the moment to enter the bidding passes.
He suggests that players uses their imagination in problem solving and advises each player to never give up, the card you need to drop just might drop, or the card that needs to be onside may be onside. Some players are always taking finesse this way or that, but if you plan and strategize sometimes the finesse can be avoided and the trick is won.
According to Manley, if you master the habit of counting your confidence and success in the game will soar. Your bridge hand will take on a new meaning either as a defender or declarer. You learn to count and avoid silly mistakes. You have the advantage of seeing half the cards and can infer in many cases where the other cards are by the bidding. And he advises, count your tricks, as sometimes you can see your winners and you take your eye off them and they disappear.
Manley also notes that some players play too fast and beat themselves up when they err, but keeping a calm demeanor and letting go of what has already happened is the best way to play, then the player can focus on what’s to come.