Please note that as the videos are an online resource, supervisors should make young people under the age of 18 aware of online safety issues. The NSPCC guidelines can be seen here: NSPCC Online Safety Guideline.
Bridge is a recognised activity under the skills section of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. If you have participants learning bridge as their chosen skill for DofE and would like help with guidelines about assessing progress, please contact me at email@example.com.
New Tricks is in the process of application for Approved Activity Provider with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award organisation.
Everyone should watch the Modules 1 and 2, and Play Level 1 Bridge videos, and take the Module 1/2 quiz to make sure they have understood the basics. We recommend playing level 1 bridge for at least six weeks before moving on to level 2, and playing level 2 bridge for at least 12 weeks before introducing bidding. It’s natural to want to progress but we can’t emphasise enough how much greater ability in bridge comes from real understanding of play. Delaying the introduction of bidding will pay off in the long run.
Club members should get together to play as often as they like, and the option to practice online is also available, as outlined in the videos.
As you will know from the videos, bridge is a game for four players, but your games can be adapted to suit the number of people that want to play, as long as you have at least three. Information on how to manage different numbers is set out to the right.
You will need two packs of cards of different colours per table. If budgetary constraints are very tight and suitable packs of cards are not available, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address and we will send you some. The two decks are used alternately so that one deck can be shuffled in readiness for the next deal while the other is in use.
Playing level 1 bridge, keep track of the number of tricks won by each player on their turn as declarer. The winner is determined after they have all played a given number of hands.
The role of declarer rotates to the right after each hand and the hand opposite declarer becomes the dummy. The other two players sit opposite each other as defenders.
Play as described in the videos.
Play as with four players. The player who has declared the hand sits out the next hand.
Play as two tables of three, using the instructions for the three player game above.
Play as one table of four and one of three.
Play as two tables of four. You can just have two separate games or try out a ‘duplicate’ option, which is fun and instructive. After each hand has been played, the four players gather up their played cards from in front of them and the four hands are kept separate and marked as N,S,E and W. (If you would like duplicate wallets that are designed for this purpose, email us at email@example.com and we will supply them). When both tables have finished playing, the hands are exchanged with the other table and played again. Because they are playing with the same hands that were played at the other table, you now have a direct comparison of who did better as declarer, and which defenders did better, so you can score points for each victory that way. No points are scored if declarer makes the same number of tricks at each table.
Higher numbers can go on being divided into groups of three and four.
When the group is ready to move on to level 2 bridge, the numbers can be managed in exactly the same way, with a small modification for three players to choose partnerships as follows:
The cards are dealt as normal to the three players and the empty chair. Each player announces their point count, so the points in the empty chair’s hand are known (40 points in the deck). The two hands with the highest combined point count become the declaring partnership, and the other pair are the defenders, as per the instructions in the video. If the empty chair has the highest point count, their partner is declarer. If the empty chair is a defender, then the player with the highest point count is declarer, their partner’s hand becomes dummy and that partner moves to take on the role of the second defender.
For scoring at this level, keep track of the score achieved by each player on their turn as declarer and divide by the number of hands they have declared. Highest average declarer score wins.
Once the group is ready to move on to level three (no videos yet) and introduce bidding, you will need one bidding box and a set of bidding cards per table. It is usual to have one of these per player but very easy to manage with one per table, as no two players can make the same bid! Again, in the face of budgetary constraints, we can provide these on request.