Five tips for better online bridge
25 May 2021
Paul Mendelson heads up our Saga Bridge Club team and is the author of over a dozen books on bridge. He has coached at all levels, from complete beginners to national team players, and has helped tens of thousands of players to improve their bridge, and most importantly, to enjoy this amazing game even more.
Saga Bridge Club host, Paul Mendelson, talks about his 5 top tips to improve your online bridge play.
Our bridge playing lives have certainly changed a lot in the last year: no social bridge – and tea – at home; no packed bridge clubs with people pressing the cards to their lips and coughing merrily. Instead, online bridge has been adopted by almost all and, by and large, embraced.
Being able to see, and talk with, your partner and opponents has made it a far more human, interactive experience, and the chair, sofa or bed you are sitting on is much more comfortable than in any bridge club I know.
Let’s take a look at some top tips for playing at the Saga Bridge Club using RealBridge:
1) Sign in using your name and put an “Experience Rating” number after your name. You’ll find the key on the Saga webpage with the link to the game. This isn’t a guide to how well you play, just how experienced you think you are.
2) If you have trouble with sound or video, try refreshing: On a PC or android device, press Control and “R” simultaneously on your keypad. On an apple device, press the clockwise circular arrow near the top left of your screen. We have technical assistance to try to help you at the start of each session.
3) When it’s your turn to bid, a bidding box will appear in the screen from which you can select your bid. Try to work out what your partner is telling you before you decide on how best to describe your hand. This is, after all, a partnership game – and you have to think of what your combined hands might achieve.
4) When it is your turn to lead, review the auction before picking which suit to play. If your partner has bid, lead her suit. If not, try a suit not bid by the opponents. One golden rule for leading is this: NEVER lead dummy’s long suit.
5) Keep smiling at your partner. I am always amazed when players are unpleasant to their partner. Even if – in your opinion – they’ve made a mistake, stay positive and friendly. You have to play with them for quite a few hands yet, and you want them to relax. That way, you’ll get the best from your partner.
Want to try these tips out? Give the Saga Bridge Club a go. Each week, Paul hosts two Supervised Play and Gentle Duplicate sessions. If you have a regular bridge partner, make sure you book the same session so you can play together.
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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.
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