With our lesson #19, Day 1 on Bridge hand evaluation (High Card Points, distribution for length and shortness) beyond us, probably the next most important factor to improve our game is… YOU! But what does that mean and what can I do about it? Read on…
Bridge is far more than just a logical game with fixed algorithms, cold statistical odds and players who all follow pre-programmed “If This – Than That” drone rules. On the contrary, part of the secret sauce to winning Bridge is exuding a modicum of flair, full of the “X Factor” and as the French would say, “je ne sais quoi” (extraordinary indescribable quality).
To start, it helps if we are at least self-aware, “Knowing Thyself” as Socrates would say. Yet going beyond our own SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threat) and our ego is imperative since Bridge is much more than just ourselves. Enter situational awareness - being aware of our environment, perception/interactions./reputation (to and from others).
And just playing one hand involves over 100 factors and attendant decisions – whew! So over 3+ hours of Bridge, we’ve made thousands of decisions and that can be taxing as well as stressful in the face of competition. Add to that our self awareness, distractions, focusing on the wrong thing or fixated elsewhere… well, you get the idea.
In this lesson, we will focus on learning to focus at the table, providing clear signals (to partner at least), learning countermeasures when we become fatigued, stressed or face distractions including an occasional devious opponent. And that including dealing with emotions around the table (theirs and yours), awareness of basic Bridge odds associated with suit splits, awareness of game forcing/1 round forcing/freebids/signoff bids, etc.
But wait, there’s more! Whether you and your partner play various defensive signals or not, your better opponents probably do. So doesn’t it at least make sense to be aware of the basic types of signals used by those competing against you? Okay, enough talk – its time to tune in to this 100 minute, 4 part lesson with a few dozen slides, punctuated by animated bidding and play. And oh, by the way, in this lesson we will overlook student bidding and play on these actual hands! Okay, let’s do it…
Part 1 – Entering into the mind of the Bridge player – 20:35 minutes of video
Free, Premium, ULTRA, click here to view Part 2 on focus and awareness – 10:43 minutes of video
Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 3 on countermeasures – 37:41 minutes of video
Premium and ULTRA Members click here to view Part 4 playing several hands – 31:53 minutes of video
And best yet, here at BridgeHands all of our Bridge hands are full of commentary (regardless of who is the declarer and defender) and analysis on hand evaluation, bidding and animated card play. As always, our hand discussion offers a refreshingly rare glimpse of Bridge inside the minds of all four players at the table as play progresses, bid by bid, card by card. Visitors are welcome to view the Part 1 series of our video lesson with nuances that will lead to quick and sound bidding without guesswork. Those with the Free BridgeHands membership may also watch Part 2 where we play more hands with provocative play tips and strategies, as well as way to improve skills by critiquing student players. As a Premium and ULTRA member, you are welcome to enjoy the entire four-part lesson segments with lots of hands, plus an opportunity to view future shows during your membership subscription period. And as always, be sure to check out the hundreds of hours of videos in our archive that is growing by leaps and bounds, by clicking “Index to Videos” on the navigation above or simply click this link.