The Fun Way to Serious Bridge

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Overview

The Fun Way To Serious Bridge is for anyone who wants to learn and understand the fundamentals of the mind-stimulating and challenging game of bridge — and enjoy every minute of it! Harry Lampert combines his skills as a bridge player and teacher with his artistic talents to bring you a totally new FUN way to learn the game. The magic of his superb cartoons and simple, informative language will help you to absorb the principles of serious contract bridge — and remember them. You'll laugh and learn every step of ...

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The Fun Way to Serious Bridge

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Overview

The Fun Way To Serious Bridge is for anyone who wants to learn and understand the fundamentals of the mind-stimulating and challenging game of bridge — and enjoy every minute of it! Harry Lampert combines his skills as a bridge player and teacher with his artistic talents to bring you a totally new FUN way to learn the game. The magic of his superb cartoons and simple, informative language will help you to absorb the principles of serious contract bridge — and remember them. You'll laugh and learn every step of the way from opening bids to strip and end plays. Whether novice or seasoned social player, this unique book will make good bridge a simple "trick." You'll learn all about:

• Opening bids, suit bids, response and no trump bids, and how to force bids

• Competition and the reasons and ways behind it

• Big hand bidding such as Blackwood Convention, grand slam force and Gerber Convention

• Patterns of play including how tricks are won, the finesse, establishing a long suit, when to pull and delay trumps and entries.

• Defensive and advanced play — plus much more!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Charles Goren and Omar Sharif Daily News One of the most intriguing beginner's books we've seen in many a day...a very pleasant way to learn the world's most fascinating game.

Alan Truscott The New York Times ...takes the student efficiently through the basic rules of bidding...a sound introduction to play and defense.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671630270
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 5/28/1986
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 139,870
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Harry Lampert, a licensed teacher of the American Bridge Teachers' Association, is a Life-Master of the American Contract Bridge League and has won titles at National, Regional and Sectional tournaments. Mr. Lampert is also a nationally published cartoonist with illustrations having appeared in The New York Times, Time, True, Esquire, Saturday Evening Post and Saturday Review.

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Read an Excerpt

BASICS OF THE GAME

Playing bridge is fun and learning the game should certainly be fun as well. Although the only way to learn the game is to be serious about it, let's approach the game with a relaxed attitude.

The first magic number in bridge is 13. There are 13 cards in each hand, 13 tricks in the deck and 13 cards in each suit. If you can count up to 13 in one suit, you're on the way to playing bridge. If you count to 13 in two suits, you're playing good bridge. If you count to 13 in all four suits, you're an expert.

PLAYERS

Bridge is played by four people. The players facing each other are partners. For convenience we will call one set of partners, North and South, the opposing partners, East and West.

DEAL

One person shuffles the cards, and deals the cards — starting to his left — clockwise, one at a time to each person including himself until all the cards are dealt out. Each person winds up with 13 cards.

SUITS

Each person then sorts his cards into suits — placing all the spades together, all the hearts together, all the clubs together and all the diamonds together. To avoid intermixing the suits, alternate the red and black suits in the hand. His "hand" may then look something like this: *

The object of the game is to win TRICKS.

WHAT IS A TRICK?

After the bidding has ended and play commences, each player places a card on the table, face-up in turn clockwise until four cards are played. These four cards constitute a trick. As each player is required to follow suit, (that is, if the first card led is a diamond, each player must play a diamond if he has one) the highest card wins the trick.

Remember that this is a partnership game. Therefore, if partner's card is high enough to win the trick you do not have to waste a higher card on that trick.

The player who wins the trick then leads (makes the first play) to the next trick. If a player does not have a card in the suit led, he discards a card in another suit, or he may at his option, win the trick by trumping it — that is, playing any card in the trump suit.

WHAT IS TRUMP?

Trump is the suit selected in the bidding process by the partnership that wins the final contract. It could be either clubs, diamonds, hearts or spades.

Which brings us to the basic concepts of Contract bridge. The object of the game is for a partnership to determine, by bidding, the trick-taking ability of the combined hands, and to arrive at a profitable contract.

If they are to play in a trump contract, they have to establish which of the suits they want to be the trump suit. A good trump suit is one in which the partnership has the majority of the cards, preferably eight or more cards in the combined hands.

They also have the option of playing in a no trump contract, where there isn't any trump suit.

The partnership arriving at the final contract is the declaring side. The person playing the hand is the declarer, his partner is "the dummy."

The opposing pair is called "the defenders."

BIDDING

Each hand is started by the dealer, who always makes the first call. He may either make a bid or a pass. The bidding proceeds to his left to the next player who likewise makes a bid or a pass. The process continues clockwise around the table. (If all four players pass, the hand is thrown in and the deal passes on to the player on the left who deals a new hand). If one or more players make a bid, the bidding process continues until a bid is followed by three consecutive passes. That last bid is called the final contract.

Here is a typical example of the bidding process.

Assuming South is the dealer, this is how the bidding might proceed:

SOUTH

1 *

2 *

pass

WEST

1 *

pass

pass

NORTH

2 *

4 *

EAST

pass

pass

The final contract is four hearts, requiring the winning of ten tricks with hearts as trumps. The declarer is South, because he was the first member of the partnership to bid hearts.

PLAY

The play is started by the defender to the left of the declarer, who places a card face-up on the table. This is called the opening lead. After the opening lead is made, the declarer's partner ("the dummy") places all his cards face-up on the table with the trump suit at his right. The declarer has the sole responsibility to play dummy's cards as well as his own.

This is what the table would look like after the opening lead: *

The play continues trick by trick until all 13 tricks have been played. The declarer keeps all tricks won by his side neatly in front of him. The defenders' tricks are kept by one of the defenders, traditionally the partner of the defender who wins the first defensive trick. The tricks are placed alternately vertically and horizontally to make counting easier. At the end of the hand the table might look something like this: *

THE BIDDING LADDER

The higher ranking suits are spades and hearts. They are called the major suits. The lower ranking suits are diamonds and clubs, the minor suits. Ranking above them all is a category called, "No Trump."

You will note in the scoring table on page 18 that spades and hearts are worth 30 points per trick, while diamonds and clubs are worth only 20 points a trick. Therefore the major and minor suit designations. No trump (which is worth 40 points for the first trick and 30 points for each succeeding trick) ranks above them all.

Therefore you can bid a new suit at the same level as long as it is a higher ranking suit. For example: you can bid one diamond over one club. But you cannot bid one club over one diamond. With a lower ranking suit you have to go to at least the next higher level to overcall. You would have to bid two clubs over one diamond.

Actually there can be as many as five bids on each level. The bidding can go, one club, one diamond, one heart, one spade, one no trump. But if the bidding were in the reverse order the minimum bidding would have to be one no trump, two spades, three hearts, four diamonds, five clubs.

In addition to bids in various levels of the four suits and no trump, there are only three other legal calls. 1. Pass, 2. Double (of an opponent's bid). 3. Redouble (of an opponent's double).

BOOK

The founding fathers of bridge developed the game quite logically.

With 13 tricks as the ultimate possibility, they established "Book" as six tricks (just under half of 13).

When you make a bid of one of a suit or no trump, you are obligating your partnership to win one trick above "Book" or seven tricks. A bid of two equals two tricks above book, or eight tricks, and so on until a bid of seven requires you to win all 13 tricks.

Therefore when you bid one spade, you are undertaking to win seven tricks with spades as the trump suit. Likewise, if you or your partner bids three no trump (for example) you are contracting to win nine tricks with no suit as trump.

OBJECT OF THE GAME

The object of the game is to win as many points as possible. You win points by bidding and fulfilling your contract. If you fail to make your contract there are penalties and the opponents win points (see chart pages 18-19). The main goal of the bidding is to arrive at the most profitable contract.

In order to accomplish this, it is necessary to evaluate the trick-taking ability of the combined partnership hands. As you can't show your hands to each other, you try to do so by informative bidding.

Copyright © 1978, 1980 by Harry Lampert

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Introduction

BASICS OF GAME

First Magic Number

Mechanics of game

Scoring

BIDDING

Goal of bidding

How to evaluate hand

Point count system

What is an opening bid?

SUIT BIDDING

Distributional Points

Opening Bids

Point requirements for game and slams

Second Magic Number

Responses to opening suit bids

Rebids by the Opening Bidder

NO TRUMP BIDDING

Opening One No Trump bids

Responses to No Trump bids

Stayman Convention

Stayman Interference

FORCING BIDS

COMPETITION

Reasons for competing

Ways of competing

Overcalls

Responses to overcalls

One no trump overcalls

Take-out doubles and responses

Defense against take-out double

Cue bids

Preemptive overcalls

"Unusual" no trump

BIG HAND BIDDING

Opening two bids in suits and responses

Blackwood convention

Grand slam force

Big no trump hands

Gerber convention

PREEMPTIVE BIDDING

PENALTY DOUBLES

PATTERNS OF PLAY

How tricks are won

DECLARER PLAY

The finesse

Establishing long suits

Play in trump contracts

When to pull trumps

When to delay pulling trumps

No trump play

Hold-up play

Dangerous opponent

Which suit to set up

Entries

DEFENSIVE PLAY

Opening leads

No trump leads

Rule of Eleven

Suit contract leads

Third hand play

Signalling

Lead-directing doubles

ADVANCED PLAY

Strip and end plays

Simple squeeze

Counting the hand

Dummy reversals

False-carding

Bath coup

YOUR BRIDGE SYSTEM

PROPRIETIES

OTHER SYSTEMS

The weak two bid

Preemptive single jump overcalls

Dopi

Balancing

Third hand openings

Drury

The negative double

Transfer bids

Flannery

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First Chapter

BASICS OF THE GAME

Playing bridge is fun and learning the game should certainly be fun as well. Although the only way to learn the game is to be serious about it, let's approach the game with a relaxed attitude.

The first magic number in bridge is 13. There are 13 cards in each hand, 13 tricks in the deck and 13 cards in each suit. If you can count up to 13 in one suit, you're on the way to playing bridge. If you count to 13 in two suits, you're playing good bridge. If you count to 13 in all four suits, you're an expert.

PLAYERS

Bridge is played by four people. The players facing each other are partners. For convenience we will call one set of partners, North and South, the opposing partners, East and West.

DEAL

One person shuffles the cards, and deals the cards -- starting to his left -- clockwise, one at a time to each person including himself until all the cards are dealt out. Each person winds up with 13 cards.

SUITS

Each person then sorts his cards into suits -- placing all the spades together, all the hearts together, all the clubs together and all the diamonds together. To avoid intermixing the suits, alternate the red and black suits in the hand. His "hand" may then look something like this: *

The object of the game is to win TRICKS.

WHAT IS A TRICK?

After the bidding has ended and play commences, each player places a card on the table, face-up in turn clockwise until four cards are played. These four cards constitute a trick. As each player is required to follow suit, (that is, if the first card led is a diamond, each player must play a diamond if he has one) the highest card wins thetrick.

Remember that this is a partnership game. Therefore, if partner's card is high enough to win the trick you do not have to waste a higher card on that trick.

The player who wins the trick then leads (makes the first play) to the next trick. If a player does not have a card in the suit led, he discards a card in another suit, or he may at his option, win the trick by trumping it -- that is, playing any card in the trump suit.

WHAT IS TRUMP?

Trump is the suit selected in the bidding process by the partnership that wins the final contract. It could be either clubs, diamonds, hearts or spades.

Which brings us to the basic concepts of Contract bridge. The object of the game is for a partnership to determine, by bidding, the trick-taking ability of the combined hands, and to arrive at a profitable contract.

If they are to play in a trump contract, they have to establish which of the suits they want to be the trump suit. A good trump suit is one in which the partnership has the majority of the cards, preferably eight or more cards in the combined hands.

They also have the option of playing in a no trump contract, where there isn't any trump suit.

The partnership arriving at the final contract is the declaring side. The person playing the hand is the declarer, his partner is "the dummy."

The opposing pair is called "the defenders."

BIDDING

Each hand is started by the dealer, who always makes the first call. He may either make a bid or a pass. The bidding proceeds to his left to the next player who likewise makes a bid or a pass. The process continues clockwise around the table. (If all four players pass, the hand is thrown in and the deal passes on to the player on the left who deals a new hand). If one or more players make a bid, the bidding process continues until a bid is followed by three consecutive passes. That last bid is called the final contract.

Here is a typical example of the bidding process.

Assuming South is the dealer, this is how the bidding might proceed:

SOUTH

1 *
2 *
pass

WEST

1 *
pass
pass

NORTH

2 *
4 *

EAST

pass
pass

The final contract is four hearts, requiring the winning of ten tricks with hearts as trumps. The declarer is South, because he was the first member of the partnership to bid hearts.

PLAY

The play is started by the defender to the left of the declarer, who places a card face-up on the table. This is called the opening lead. After the opening lead is made, the declarer's partner ("the dummy") places all his cards face-up on the table with the trump suit at his right. The declarer has the sole responsibility to play dummy's cards as well as his own.

This is what the table would look like after the opening lead: *

The play continues trick by trick until all 13 tricks have been played. The declarer keeps all tricks won by his side neatly in front of him. The defenders' tricks are kept by one of the defenders, traditionally the partner of the defender who wins the first defensive trick. The tricks are placed alternately vertically and horizontally to make counting easier. At the end of the hand the table might look something like this: *

THE BIDDING LADDER

The higher ranking suits are spades and hearts. They are called the major suits. The lower ranking suits are diamonds and clubs, the minor suits. Ranking above them all is a category called, "No Trump."

You will note in the scoring table on page 18 that spades and hearts are worth 30 points per trick, while diamonds and clubs are worth only 20 points a trick. Therefore the major and minor suit designations. No trump (which is worth 40 points for the first trick and 30 points for each succeeding trick) ranks above them all.

Therefore you can bid a new suit at the same level as long as it is a higher ranking suit. For example: you can bid one diamond over one club. But you cannot bid one club over one diamond. With a lower ranking suit you have to go to at least the next higher level to overcall. You would have to bid two clubs over one diamond.

Actually there can be as many as five bids on each level. The bidding can go, one club, one diamond, one heart, one spade, one no trump. But if the bidding were in the reverse order the minimum bidding would have to be one no trump, two spades, three hearts, four diamonds, five clubs.

In addition to bids in various levels of the four suits and no trump, there are only three other legal calls. 1. Pass, 2. Double (of an opponent's bid). 3. Redouble (of an opponent's double).

BOOK

The founding fathers of bridge developed the game quite logically.

With 13 tricks as the ultimate possibility, they established "Book" as six tricks (just under half of 13).

When you make a bid of one of a suit or no trump, you are obligating your partnership to win one trick above "Book" or seven tricks. A bid of two equals two tricks above book, or eight tricks, and so on until a bid of seven requires you to win all 13 tricks.

Therefore when you bid one spade, you are undertaking to win seven tricks with spades as the trump suit. Likewise, if you or your partner bids three no trump (for example) you are contracting to win nine tricks with no suit as trump.

OBJECT OF THE GAME

The object of the game is to win as many points as possible. You win points by bidding and fulfilling your contract. If you fail to make your contract there are penalties and the opponents win points (see chart pages 18-19). The main goal of the bidding is to arrive at the most profitable contract.

In order to accomplish this, it is necessary to evaluate the trick-taking ability of the combined partnership hands. As you can't show your hands to each other, you try to do so by informative bidding.

Copyright © 1978, 1980 by Harry Lampert

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 24, 2012

    Great for beginners and also for advanced player review

    This book makes it a great read as well as fun and informative play of bridge. Cartoons make it fun but lots of information about bidding, play of hands and different bidding systems.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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