Notes from the Newsroom
John I. Carney

A spot at the table

Posted Wednesday, April 21, 2010, at 11:50 AM
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  • My college roommate taught me how to play bridge, but I don't remember anything but all the neat terminology.

    -- Posted by cfrich on Wed, Apr 21, 2010, at 12:31 PM
  • I used to play Bridge in college. When I was young, my family played Pinochle every night after dinner and dishes. I learned to play because my father wasn't always there to be the fourth player.

    In college I learned that no one played Pinochle anymore, but everyone played Bridge. My husband (at the time) and I learned together from scratch. Our teachers were some really patient experienced players, who were his colleagues. We ladies eventually even had a bi-monthly bridge club with three tables going at once. I also taught my foster children to play so we always had enough players.

    I would love to brush up my the game, but can't find anyone who will play with a "rusty" partner. I do not enjoy "cut=throat" or go for the jugular type players or partners. I enjoy the game and the people. I would be willing to share what I know and re-hone my game at the same time. My other half has expressed a passing interest in learning, maybe if we could find a fourth we could try it some night and see how it goes.

    The lament of Bridge players everywhere - "if we only had a fourth."

    You have my e-mail and number.

    -- Posted by amalphia on Wed, Apr 21, 2010, at 12:39 PM
  • It really is not as difficult as you imagine.

    For the primary version, find one good player. Sit at a card table with him/her as your partner. Deal four hands, face up; then get the experienced player to play all four hands, explaining what is happening as the hand progresses. It will only take about two or three hands for it to begin to make sense.

    The best way to learn to play is to find three other players who are willing to sacrifice an evening. In my opinion, you need to start playing before you begin studying. Once you have spent 3 or 4 hours actually playing with experienced players, then you can begin to grasp what is written as you study. It is a very simple game with multiple strategies and techniques. However, the bottom line is that it remains a simple card game.

    -- Posted by dmcg on Thu, Apr 22, 2010, at 6:28 PM
  • Excellent advice. Thanks!

    -- Posted by Jicarney on Thu, Apr 22, 2010, at 9:11 PM
  • The way 'dmcg' describes it is close to the way I learned. They had us play face up hands with a cheat sheet for bidding, explaining the "whys" as we played the bid hands out.

    I had read the Bridge book and it confused me until I had some "hands on" experience.

    It took me several months before I had the "ah-ha" moment and understood the language of bidding. Then it took several more months before I felt like I understood the concept of finessing. But with patient bridge players who love and want to share the game, it was a pleasant experience.

    -- Posted by amalphia on Thu, Apr 22, 2010, at 10:11 PM
  • Hi John,

    Perhaps the very best Bridge player I have ever known is your friend, and mine, Carl McClanahan.

    I would further venture to say that, if you gave Carl a ring, he would be more than pleased to proffer you a word or two!

    -- Posted by garhawk on Sat, Apr 24, 2010, at 1:30 PM
  • It sounds as if you have some good leads lined up.

    I've had dreams of learning to play the game,myself but thought too well of my bridge-playing friends to subject them to my learning phase.

    It may be a technical glitch or a statement about my skills as a player but now my computer won't play beginner's bridge with me.

    I trust you have many delightful hours of play in your future.

    -- Posted by quantumcat on Sat, May 15, 2010, at 4:10 PM
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