# Teacher Manual - American Contract Bridge League

School Bridge Lesson Series Program
Teacher Manual
By Kitty Cooper
with content assistance from Felicity Moore
Updates by Betty Starzec and Julie Greenberg
Updated March 2009 to compliment the revised ACBL text,
Bidding in the 21st Century
American Contract Bridge League
Acknowledgements
Design/Layout: Cindy Hill
With Extensive use of the ACBL Club Series
And English Bridge Union MiniBridge Materials
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
INSTRUCTION
Overview of Teaching Approach.......................................................................................................1
Tips for Teaching Young People........................................................................................................2
Classroom Control and Discipline....................................................................................................3
Use Reinforcement Sparingly: More Advice for Teachers...............................................................4
Tips and Suggestions........................................................................................................................5
When Your Number of Players is Not Divisible by Four..................................................................5
LESSON 1 — The Deck of Cards and Taking Tricks................................................................................6
Exercise 1: Rank of the Cards...........................................................................................................7
Exercise 2: Shuffling and Dealing....................................................................................................7
Exercise 3: Sorting into Suits............................................................................................................7
Exercise 4: Taking Tricks..................................................................................................................8
Exercise 6: Playing in a Trump Contract........................................................................................10
Summary.........................................................................................................................................10
LESSON 2 — Whist – Playing with a Partner........................................................................................11
Exercise 1: Repeat the Trick-taking and Trump Exercises.............................................................11
Exercise 2: Playing with a Partner..................................................................................................12
Exercise 3: Picking a Trump Suit....................................................................................................13
Exercise 4: Playing with a Dummy.................................................................................................13
Exercise 5: (Optional) Picking a Trump Suit with Partner.............................................................13
Exercise 6: (Optional) Whist Scoring.............................................................................................13
Summary.........................................................................................................................................13
LESSON 3 — MiniBridge Part 1 (Row 1 Deals)....................................................................................14
Exercise 1: Counting High-Card Points..........................................................................................14
Exercise 2: Points of the Compass..................................................................................................15
Exercise 3: Using the E-Z Deal Cards............................................................................................15
Exercise 4: The Fist MiniBridge Deal.............................................................................................16
Summary.........................................................................................................................................17
LESSON 4 — MiniBridge Part 2 (Row 2 Deals)....................................................................................22
Exercise 1: Start Keeping Statistics................................................................................................23
Exercise 2: Keeping Score..............................................................................................................24
Exercise 3: Contracts......................................................................................................................25
Summary.........................................................................................................................................28
LESSON 5 — Game Contracts and Promotion (Row 3 Deals)...............................................................32
Exercise 1: Contracts......................................................................................................................33
Exercise 2: Scoring with Game Bonuses........................................................................................34
Exercise 3: Promoting High Cards – The Rest of the Deals...........................................................35
Summary.........................................................................................................................................36
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
LESSON 6 — BridgeIt and Length Tricks (Row 4 Deals)......................................................................38
Introduce the Game of BridgeIt......................................................................................................39
Developing Tricks from an Eight-Card Fit.....................................................................................40
Learning Distributional Points........................................................................................................41
Summary.........................................................................................................................................43
LESSON 7 — More BridgeIt and Finesses (Row 5 Deals).....................................................................46
How Many Points are Needed for Game?.......................................................................................48
Summary.........................................................................................................................................50
LESSON 8 — Opening the Bidding (Row 2 Deals)................................................................................51
Opening the Bidding.......................................................................................................................51
Defender’s Finesses – Why Lead Top of a Sequence?....................................................................53
Summary.........................................................................................................................................56
LESSON 9 — Responding to 1NT (Row 3 Deals)..................................................................................59
Review the 1NT Opening Bid.........................................................................................................59
How to Respond to the 1NT Opening Bid......................................................................................59
Summary.........................................................................................................................................63
LESSON 10 — Responding to One of a Major with a Fit......................................................................65
Introducing Dummy Points.............................................................................................................67
Summary.........................................................................................................................................69
LESSON 11 — Responding to One of a Suit without a Major Suit-Fit..................................................72
Summary.........................................................................................................................................76
LESSON 12 — Overcalling (Row 7 Deals)............................................................................................77
Competitive Bidding and Penalty Doubles.....................................................................................77
Counting Losers..............................................................................................................................78
Summary.........................................................................................................................................81
LESSON 13 — Opener’s (Overcaller’s) Rebid........................................................................................82
Summary.........................................................................................................................................86
LESSON 14 — Responder’s Rebid (Row 6 Deals).................................................................................89
Summary.........................................................................................................................................93
LESSON 15 — Doubles (Row 8 Deals)..................................................................................................94
Double is for Takeout When...........................................................................................................95
Summary.........................................................................................................................................97
LESSON 16 — Final Week – Hold a Competition..................................................................................98
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Appendix A – Exercises for Younger Children – Lesson 1....................................................................100
Exercise 1: Rank of the Cards.......................................................................................................100
Exercise 2: Taking Tricks..............................................................................................................101
Exercise 3: Following Suit and Sorting.........................................................................................102
EBU MiniBridge Worksheet 1......................................................................................................103
MiniBridge Worksheet 2 (not EBU).............................................................................................104
Scoring: EBU MiniBridge Worksheet 2 (Answers)......................................................................105
EBL MiniBridge Worksheet 3......................................................................................................106
Modified EBL Worksheet 5 — Finessing.....................................................................................107
Appendix C – Wizard Tip Cards............................................................................................................108
Row 2 Deals..................................................................................................................................108
Row 3 Deals..................................................................................................................................109
Row 4 Deals..................................................................................................................................110
Row 5 Deals..................................................................................................................................111
Row 6 Deals..................................................................................................................................112
Row 7 Deals..................................................................................................................................113
Row 8 Deals..................................................................................................................................114
Play of the Hand Series Deals for Lesson 13................................................................................116
List of Figures
Figure 1 – EBU Guide to Scoring..............................................................................................................8
Figure 2 – Summary of MiniBridge Cards..............................................................................................18
Figure 3 – MiniBridge Scoring................................................................................................................19
Figure 4 – EBU MiniBridge Worksheet 1................................................................................................20
Figure 5 – Statistics Sheet........................................................................................................................21
Figure 6 – Scoring Examples...................................................................................................................25
Figure 7 – Score Cards to Use.................................................................................................................29
Figure 8 – MiniBridge Worksheet 2 (not EBU).......................................................................................30
Figure 9 – Scoring: EBU MiniBridge Worksheet 2.................................................................................31
Figure 10 – BridgeIt Announcing Forms.................................................................................................37
Figure 11 – EBL MiniBridge Worksheet 3..............................................................................................44
Figure 12 – Modified EBL Worksheet 5 – Finessing..............................................................................45
Figure 13 – Opening the Bidding.............................................................................................................57
Figure 14 – Responding to 1NT...............................................................................................................58
Figure 15 – Added Deals for Lesson 10...................................................................................................64
Figure 16a – Responding to One of a Major Opening Bid......................................................................70
Figure 16b – Responding to one of a Minor Opening Bid......................................................................71
Figure 17 – Opener’s Rebids....................................................................................................................87
Figure 18 – Responder’s Rebids...............................................................................................................88
Figure 19 – What Opener Has Shown......................................................................................................90
Figure 20 – Hand Record Template.........................................................................................................99
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Copyright, Credits and Permission to Use
The material in these lessons is primarily a reworking of the original ACBL Club Series. As such it may not be used or reproduced
without permission, except for use in the ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Program or other not-for-profit bridge teaching endeavors. New material included here is the teaching of MiniBridge,
BridgeIt, the use of the statistics sheet and special score cards.
The various bidding summary sheets are copyright Kitty Munson
Cooper, with same permission to use. Material from the EBU MiniBridge booklet also is included - various Worksheets and the card
sorting exercise — with same permission to use.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
INTRODUCTION
Overview of Teaching Approach
This material is aimed at teaching bridge to a target age group
of children 11 to 13, but may be suitable for other age groups.
There is an appendix of material for younger children.
Our basic approach is to start with the game of Whist to learn
the mechanics of card play and trick-taking. Then we use the
ACBL Bidding in the 21st Century deals and lesson material
with the games of MiniBridge and BridgeIt for the next part of
the course, before we start bidding.
MiniBridge is bridge without bidding. All players announce
♥
♠
♦
♣
their points in turn. The side with the most points plays the
hand. The partner with the least points puts dummy down and
their partner, declarer, chooses a contract while looking at the dummy. The scoring is as non-vulnerable at
duplicate bridge.
BridgeIt is bridge with bidding for the contract based on knowledge of partner’s distribution and high-card
points as written on a form in front of each player.
No “Standard American” bidding or use of the textbook takes place until Lesson 8, and by then the concepts
of contracts and scoring are well understood.
Each lesson is structured to last for an hour and 15 minutes. Middle school after-school activities are usually
one-and-a-half to two hours with a break for a snack. It is easy to stretch them out to last 10 or 15 minutes
longer or cut them to an hour by eliminating the in-class use of the worksheet (just play four deals). The
same format should be used each week. Students like a familiar structure. The format is:
• A very short interactive talk at the beginning (five minutes maximum).
• Later lessons may include some exercises in the workbook (not needed until Lesson 8) or special
worksheets. The worksheets are included in this manual and may be done as optional homework.
• Play the four lesson deals.
By Lesson 3 the exercises use the deals from the special E-Z Deal Bidding Series cards. These deals are
shown in the Bidding in the 21st Century text and teacher manual, and they are analyzed in this booklet for
these classes. There are sample talks in this guide with each new term bolded.
All of the material in this lesson series is compatible with the “Learn to Play Bridge” software program developed by Fred Gitelman. It is a free download from the ACBL web site at www.acbl.org/learn/ltpb.html.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Tips for Teaching Young People
Audrey Grant’s advice taken from the original Club Series text plus thoughts from Val Covalciuc, TAP
Teacher-Trainer, in her Teaching Young People workshop.
Differences Between Teaching Adults and Children:
• Young students have a short attention span. Information should be presented in small bits and pieces.
They want and need activity, so don’t talk for more than five or ten minutes before you let them play.
Remember they need to “do it” and “see it” in order to learn.
• Young students are energetic, playful and inventive. Tools are provided to help teachers recognize
this high energy and guide it.
• Young students won’t try to ‘digest’ material that is over their heads. They’ll become irritated, either
with the teacher or themselves, and class control problems will result.
• Young students do not have highly developed competition skills. They don’t know how to win or lose
well. Either keep competition out of the learning process or set up contests they can handle.
• It’s difficult to make kids understand they have to study to learn a game. They will say, “Why can’t
we just play?”
• Young students aren’t afraid to make mistakes. They are willing to take a chance because they
MIGHT be right.
• Young students like their cards to be secret. (One teacher reported that she had a student who put his
spade ace in his pocket during a class just to make certain it wasn’t seen.
• Young students don’t like to play their high cards if they are in danger of losing them.
• Young students will find it easier to write in textbooks to do the exercises. (The school might not like
them developing a habit they can’t carry with them to other classes.)
• Young students love to be “dummy” and make jokes about it. (Teachers need to allow an extra five
minutes for the hubbub to die down when they first introduce this concept.
Some of the bidding in the Bidding in the 21st Century text is too complex for this age group. Students are
directed to these two general concepts:
• It takes 25 combined points to have a good chance at one of the game bonuses.
• The most popular games are 3 notrump, 4 hearts and 4 spades.
Long bidding conversations are uncomfortable for the students at this point. They need more information
than they can handle to show an opening hand opposite an opening hand. The course approaches bidding in
this manner … If opener starts with 1 and responder has 13 points and four spades, then 4 … a direct
The teacher is encouraged to tell the students at this time that they will later learn a special use for this bid,
a direct raise to game. For now, however, it is the best bid. This approach reinforces the flexible approach we
learned in the TAP (ACBL Teacher Accreditation Program) with regard to 15-17 NT versus 16-18 NT.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Classroom Control and Discipline
Basic class discipline should be handled by the school staff. It is your job to teach bridge and to maintain
control while the bridge lesson is in session.
Arriving for Class
The students may come from another class, from recess or from lunch. They may be quite high-spirited. Because this is often the case, have them assemble outside the classroom door and go into the room one table at
a time. This allows you to keep the disruptive energy in the hall. If the students are already in the class, the
teacher in charge should get their attention and turn the class over to you.
Getting Their Attention
The bridge classes are activity-oriented. Students will be talking among themselves while playing a hand of
bridge. Even in a well-run, orderly class, you can expect noise. If there are six or more tables, the students
will need a signal to stop what they are doing and get ready to listen to instructions. Use a bell. It is rung
about four times during the class … after each deal is played and when the students need to be given the next
round of instructions.
Organizing the Material
Well-organized routines for keeping track of material help class management. The bridge material is kept
in a bridge Envelope that the students can decorate. Make it clear that the students are expected to bring the
bridge Envelope to class. If they forget, or if there is any piece of equipment that they need, like a pencil, establish a routine for dealing with this.
It’s very important to keep the phrase, “That’s interesting,” in mind. Do not criticize any student in front of
the class. If a card travels off the table, simply say something like this:
“Slippery aren’t they? It’s just like golf; sometimes when a golfer makes a putt, the ball overshoots the hole.”
The students can learn best when you focus them on a task and leave them alone. Through the ages, great
educational thinkers have offered the same piece of advice that at first seems like a paradox: You can’t teach
anyone anything; the student is the teacher.
Giving the students a chance to learn independently affects your class control. The more you put them in
control, the less they will try to take over your class management.
Notes to the Teacher
Throughout the material, tips, suggestions and ideas are presented to the teacher in italics.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Use Reinforcement Sparingly
Reinforcement is a delicate matter. You should use it sparingly; it can lead to the following four traps.
➤ First Trap
By using the same word too much, for example “good” … it can sound patronizing. Supporting
can come very close to the philosophy of the teacher being right, having the right answers which
the students repeat. When the student guesses what the teacher is thinking, the teacher rewards by
saying, “Good.”
➤ Second Trap
The timing can be poor. Timing is an important element in the reinforcement process. If we were
teaching a child to ride a bike, we might say how terrific it was when the child started to pedal
independently. After the child had mastered this skill, it would be insulting to give the same reinforcement every time we saw the child ride down the driveway.
You have to know a lot about the skill development of the student to use effective reinforcement. If
you don’t, the reinforcement shows that you really don’t know the student’s level of development
… and this is clear to the student.
In a game like bridge, it is difficult to tell when the student is making gains and when the student is
performing something that is very easy for that student. To reward at the wrong time is patronizing
and irritating for the student.
➤ Third Trap
It’s important to select the approval to fit the person. Positive reinforcement is relative. What works
with one student may not work with another. For some students and for some people, the best reward is to say nothing.
➤ Fourth Trap
There’s always the trap of creating a teacher’s pet. Every time you praise one student in front of the
class, remember that the other students have not been praised. You would have to keep very good
records to make sure that you showed no favoritism.
All in all, reinforcement is something that it is suggested you downplay. Create a dynamic, friendly classroom where all of the students feel eager to learn. Keep a positive relationship with the students on a one-toone basis.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Tips and Suggestions
A bridge club as an after-school activity tends to have new students for several
weeks as students decide which activity they want to do. Cater to this by doing
the trick-taking exercise (Lesson 1) and the trump exercise (Lesson 1, Exercise
5: Playing with a Trump Suit) repeatedly during each of the first few weeks. It is
useful to have an assistant run a separate table of newcomers after Lesson 2.
If you can prepare the lesson deals in boards, it will save a lot of time. However,
unless you have more than one set of boards, each table will be playing different
hands. This is not a problem in a small class, as long as they get used to calling you over for help and laying
the hands out afterwards to look at them.
A suggestion is to use a bell at the beginning of each exercise to get students’ attention since they will be
busy playing. Another approach, once they are used to the routine of dealing out the lesson deals, is to let
each table proceed at its own pace and wander among them, especially if you have an assistant. If there is
time after the exercises, random deals can be dealt and played. In the first few lessons, it is important to
leave them with a game that they can go and play with their friends and families.
Children like to learn by doing. Play the deals first and then discuss them afterward. Try to get them to figure things out for themselves as much as possible. Keep the opening talks interactive by using questions and
Children get bored easily. Ask the defenders what their trick goal is to keep them focused on trying to defeat
the contract. Have dummy come sit with Declarer and help with the play where appropriate. The defenders
can each learn to play the two nearest of dummy’s suits. Students also prefer random dealt cards to the Lesson deals, so work those in whenever possible. You can make them a “treat” for when the lesson deals are
completed.
Some teachers write the points and the scoring on the board. We also have a set of Word documents, which
www.kittycooper.com/Bridge/. It is unlikely that you can cover all of the lessons and material in this course
in your time frame. Don’t worry about it. The students will teach themselves more from the book if they are
interested. Be sure to do the lesson on doubles before the ending competition. The skipped topics can be
covered again in the next series, the Play of the Hand in the 21st Century.
When Your Number of Players is Not Divisible by Four
In the first two lessons, have the extras help others and rotate them in after each deal is played. With three extras, get your sponsoring teacher to play. It is best to have several helpers along to fill in the first few times.
Once your students are playing with a dummy (Lesson 3), you can use combinations of tables of three and
four for all group numbers that have at least six people. The table of three can play MiniBridge by announcing their points and then deducing the points in the unseen hand. Then the player, whose hand is to become
dummy, moves to play the hidden hand.
Similarly with BridgeIt (the hidden hand can be deduced). Once we are playing with bidding, the teacher
should let them know which seat should be vacant during the bidding (that hand passes throughout) and then
dummy moves to play that hand.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
LESSON 1:
The Deck of Cards and Taking Tricks
I recommend that you use the “HELLO my name is” nametags for the first few lessons, if that is okay with
your sponsoring teacher. Have the students write their names as they come into the room. The arrival and
seating of students needs to be discussed with your sponsor, as well as the setup of the room. If desks are to
be used for card tables, usually four can be slid together. See what works for your group. Local players may
well be willing to contribute old bridge tables for a worthy cause. Teachers can usually store folded card
tables behind cabinets or in big closets.
Materials
• Bring two decks of cards for each expected table plus a few extra.
• Name tags.
• Card holders (you will find out this lesson if you will need them every week).
• Pencils or papers are not required for this Lesson, but it is helpful to have them for Exercise 5:
Predicting Your Winners. One pencil and one slip of paper for each student.
Objectives
• Recognize the four suits.
• Recognize the relative rank of cards.
• Deal and shuffle and sort the cards.
• Understand how a trick is won at notrump.
Some preliminary exercises for younger children that you may wish to insert into this lesson before Exercise
1 are detailed in Appendix A.
_________________________
“Welcome to the Bridge club. We are here to learn to play the best card game there is that can be played with
a regular deck of cards. My name is (your name) and my teaching partner is (their name). We will be your
bridge teachers.
“Raise your hand if you think you already know how to play bridge. Raise your hand if you know a little bit
about bridge or you have other family members who play. (You can ask each who raised their hand something about their experience – keep it brief.)
“All right, how many of you have played other card games? Raise your hand if you’ve played hearts?
Spades? War? (If most raise their hands, tell them that bridge is like four-person war.) Rummy? Raise your
hand if you have never played any card games at all. Who knows how many suits there are? (Call on someone to answer this.) Does everyone know the names of the suits? (Call on someone to answer this.)”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Exercise 1: Rank of the Cards
“Do you all know the rank of the cards? Which card beats all the others? (Call on someone to answer this.)
What is the next highest card? And the next? (I usually make some kind of joke here, like why shouldn’t the
queen be higher than the king? After all, England and Denmark have queens and no kings at all.) And after
that? What is the lowest card? Does anyone know how many cards are in a full deck? (Call on someone to
answer this.) All right now, how many cards are there in a suit? (If no one raises their hand give them a hint
– 52 divided by 4 is?)
“You all seem to know enough about cards to start playing now, so let’s get started!”
Exercise 2: Shuffling and Dealing
One of the biggest problems for 10- and 11-year-olds is learning to sort the cards. Help them by offering at
least one of the approaches below. Also bring some card holders for them to try.
“I am giving a deck of the cards to each table. Raise your hand if you are able to shuffle a deck of 52 cards.
(Get a few students to demonstrate ways of shuffling and/or shuffle one yourself.) Does everyone know what
the term shuffle means? There are two basic types of shuffle. One way is to divide the deck in half and then
slowly riffle the edges of the two halves together, pushing them together as one deck again. The other way
is to hold half the deck horizontally and loosely in one hand and then push the second half into the first.
Studies have shown that it takes at least five shuffles to fully randomize a deck of cards. (Discuss what that
means if it seems appropriate and there is time. A web site with a discussion of this is located at
www.nature.com/nsu/001005/001005-8.html.) In this class you will make do with two or three shuffles to
save time.
“Once the deck is shuffled, deal out all the cards face down, one at a time to each player, starting with the
player to your left. Do this by going around the table in turn until the cards are all dealt. How many cards
will each player have? (Call on someone to answer this.)
“Dealing the cards around in that direction is known as clockwise. Raise your hand if you already know that
term. Does anyone know why starting on your left and going around is called clockwise? (Call on someone
to answer this.) The person who gives out the cards in a card game is known as the dealer. There should be
no cards left over. Why? (Call on someone to answer this if it seems appropriate.) How many cards does everyone have? (We hope 13, or else we will learn about misdeals.) It’s a good habit to count your cards before
you pick them up, so that if there is a problem with the deal, the person with too few cards can just pick a
card from the one with too many. Does everyone have the right number now?”
Exercise 3: Sorting into Suits
“When all the cards are dealt out, I want you to each pick up your cards without showing them to the other
players and hold them in one of your hands. Right-handed people usually hold the cards in their left hand
and vice versa. Sort your cards into the four suits from highest to lowest. This isn’t all that easy when you
have 13 cards.
“Now you have the challenge of holding 13 cards like a fan and sorting them into the four suits. For those of
you who have never sorted this many cards before, I am going to give you a step-by-step technique for doing
this:
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
(Excerpted from the EBU MiniBridge Booklet)
1. Pick up the dealt hand and group all the cards together, with the backs of the cards
facing out.
2. With one hand tightly on the bottom, use the thumb and first finger of the other
hand to spread out the top corners of the cards so that you can see the number or
picture letter (J, Q, K or A) to form a fan shape.
3. Now take the lowest diamond from the hand and place it behind the other cards, so
that you cannot see it any longer.
4. Take the next lowest diamond and place it behind all the other cards so that you
cannot see it any longer.
5. Continue with step (4) above with all the diamonds.
6. Repeat steps (3) to (5) with the club suit.
7. Repeat steps (3) to (5) with the heart suit.
8. Repeat steps (3) to (5) with the spade suit.
9. You will now be looking at the lowest diamond, the first card you moved to the
back. Spread out the cards as you did at the beginning (in step 2 above), and your
hand will be sorted.
Figure 1 - EBU Guide to Sorting
Alternatively they can put the cards in the same order in a face down stack or even in separate suit piles
(helpful to a sharp opponent). Give out the card holders at this point to anyone who is struggling.
Exercise 4: Taking Tricks
This is just like Exercise 1, Lesson 1 in the Bidding in the 21st Century text. You can have all the players
gather around one table and watch and assist for the first deal, as it is usually done in the Bidding in the
21st Century lesson.
“You are about to play cards. Is everyone ready? The player — notice that you are all card players now — to
the left of the dealer is going to go first. Remember, this is just an experiment. Take one of your cards, any
card, and place it face up in front of you. This is called leading. Don’t put it in the middle like you would for
other card games. Put it on the edge in front of you. Now the player to the left of the opening leader, please
play a card of the same suit in front of you (yes, the first lead is called the opening lead). Then each player
clockwise in turn plays a card of the suit led.
“Raise your hand if you played the card with the highest rank. Congratulations, you have won the first trick.
A trick is when everyone has played one card. The game of bridge has a lot of special terms. If I use a word
that hasn’t been explained yet, just raise your hand and ask me.
“Turn the card you played face down in front of you slightly to the left. Players who lost the trick, place your
card so that the long side is along the table’s edge, in other words, parallel to the side of the table. The player
who won the trick, place your card the opposite way, so that it points to the middle of the table and to you.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Since you won the trick, you get to lead to the next trick, so lead any card. (Wait for the next comment until
after the trick is played.)
“Now that everyone has played a card, turn your cards over, overlapping a little more than half of the first
card on the right side of it. Again, the winner turns their card so it points to the middle. Since you won the
trick, you get to lead to the next trick, so lead any card. Your objective is to win as many tricks as you can.
“There are two main rules at this point. First of all, the card that wins the trick, will be the highest card in the
suit that has been led. The second rule is that you must play a card in the suit that has been led, if you have
one. This is called following suit. When you can’t follow suit, you have to play a card of any other suit and it
cannot win the trick. That is called discarding. Let’s play!”
Let them play all of the cards out. Do not help them other than to correct technical errors. Remind them that
it is just an experiment at this point.
“Now let’s look at the cards that won tricks. Turn the winning cards face up. What do you notice about these
cards? Now have a look at the cards which lost tricks. Turn them over. How do these cards differ?”
Ideally, not all the cards that won tricks are high cards, so that the concept of long suits comes up — that is,
low cards winning a trick when everyone else is out of that suit. Play another deal unless time is short.
“Okay, the player to the left of dealer please shuffle and deal the next hand. The new dealer is always the
next person clockwise around the table. Let’s play this game again.”
If you have two decks per table, now is the time to introduce the idea that the person opposite the dealer
should be shuffling the just-played deck while the fresh deck is being dealt.
This exercise can be skipped if time is short. This is just like Exercise 2, Lesson 1 in the Bidding in the 21st
Century text. Try it several times. Pass out little slips of paper for them to write down the number of tricks
that they think they will take, or they can say it out loud starting with dealer and going around clockwise.
Emphasize that this is just an experiment and that they do not have to be right. Do this exercise twice if
there is time.
“This time try to estimate how many tricks you think you will take. This is hard, so don’t be surprised if you
are off by a trick or two.”
After they finish play, ask them a few questions. Here are some suggestions:
“Were there any surprises? Was anyone disappointed because a card that you thought would take a
trick didn’t?”
Students start to develop keener observation skills. A king didn’t win a trick because the ace was not in the
right spot. This is not the time to mention that the ace was “offside.” The point is that the student is getting
the experience necessary to understand the ideas of play of the hand, and these experiences can be labeled
at the appropriate time.
“Was anyone surprised that a small card won a trick?”
Students can talk about why they won a trick with a card that at first glance didn’t seem like a winner.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Exercise 6: Playing in a Trump Contract
This is like Exercise 5, Lesson 1 in Bidding in the 21st Century text. If you don’t get to this exercise in the
first lesson, don’t worry, just do it in Lesson 2.
“So far all the hands have been played in notrump – the highest card in the suit led wins the trick. Now you
will have a trump suit. For this deal, I am calling diamonds the trump suit. In the future you will pick your
own trump suits.
“When you have a trump suit, you can use a trump to win the trick when you can no longer follow suit. In
other words, instead of discarding, you can play a trump. The trump suit outranks all the other cards, so
the deuce of trumps can beat the ace of another suit. If more than one trump is played on a trick, the highest trump wins. The trump suit can be led at any time just like any other suit. What makes it special is that
you can win a trick with a trump, even though another suit is led, as long as you are out of that suit.” (Play
a deal. If there is time for another deal, have the dealer turn the last card over briefly. This is how trump is
determined at Whist.)
Summary
“You have now learned the game of Whist, the game that bridge was developed from. You know how to deal
out the cards and take tricks, lining them up in front of you so that they can be reviewed at the end of the
play. This also allows the same deal to be played again by another group of players, which is essential for
holding competitions.
“Your assignment for next week is to practice shuffling and dealing, which you can do on your own. Try
also to play a few more deals of this trick-taking game. You can play with other bridge club members or
teach your families and friends. Does everyone have a deck of cards at home? If you have two decks, then
one person can be shuffling one deck while another person deals. Normally the player opposite the dealer
shuffles the second deck and then puts it to the left of the person who will be the next dealer.”
It’s a good idea to have extra decks of cards available to give to any students that need them. You will probably be amazed by the number of students who don’t have a deck of cards at home.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
LESSON 2:
Whist - Playing with a Partner
This is the essence of the Bidding in the 21st Century Lesson One using just the card play part. There are
extra exercises at the end of this lesson to allow you to stretch this lesson into two lessons, often advisable
when new students are coming in each time.
Materials
• Two decks of cards for each expected table plus a few extra.
• Name tags if you are using them.
• No pencils and paper required for this lesson unless you plan to use Exercise 6: (Optional) Whist
Scoring.
Objectives
•
Reinforce what you learned in Lesson 1 (you may have some new students this lesson):
• how to shuffle,
• deal,
• sort a hand,
• take tricks at notrump and with a trump suit.
• Cooperate with a partner.
• Learn to play with a dummy.
Exercise 1: Repeat the Trick-taking and Trump Exercises
When this is an after-school activity, you will have new students this lesson. In that case, you repeat the
trick-taking exercise and the trump exercise from last week before starting the new material.
“Every table has a deck of cards. Please shuffle and deal. Last week you familiarized yourselves with the
deck of cards. (For the benefit of the new players, who wants to name and describe the four suits?) You
learned to shuffle and deal out all 52 cards to the four players. Then each player learned to sort their hand
into suits. How many cards did each player receive? The player to the left of dealer played the first card,
which is called making the opening lead. After that, the highest card played in the suit led won the trick. Can
someone explain what a ‘trick’ in bridge is for the new players?” (Warning, this may cause some snickering
with an older crowd.)
“You will be learning a lot of new terminology in this lesson, so please raise your hand any time I use a new
word that I have not explained yet. For example, the term rank refers to how high or low a card is. That is to
say, it defines whether it is an ace or a two.” (Check that the new players know the card ranks, if necessary.
Continue on with the trick-taking exercise, then do it again with a trump suit. Get them used to the idea that
the deal passes clockwise, and if you have two decks per table, have the person opposite the dealer shuffle
the other deck for the next deal.)
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Exercise 2: Playing with a Partner
This is like Exercise 4, Lesson 1 in the Bidding in the 21st Century text.
“Distribute the cards for the next deal, but don’t start playing the cards yet.
“How many of you know that bridge is a partnership game? Raise your hands. Good. From now on in this
bridge club, you will be playing with a partner. So smile fondly at the person across the table from you; that
is your partner, and you are now a team! When your partner wins the trick, you also win the trick. If your
partner is going to win a trick, you don’t need to try to win the trick as well. In other words, don’t play your
ace on your partner’s king if you can avoid it!
“When placing the cards on the edge of the table at the end of the trick, you turn your card the same way as
your partner does. So you point it towards you and your partner if either of you won the trick.”
Bring up the topic of cheating.
“There is something you must be careful about now that you have a partner. In the game of bridge, you are
not allowed to talk to your partner, look at their cards or tell them what to lead during the play of the hand.
Sitting up straight and smiling when partner makes a good lead is not part of the game! In order to prevent
this type of cheating at world championships, players are behind screens and cannot even see their partner. A
small flap lifts up in the middle to allow everyone to see the cards played.
“Does anyone know what a ‘poker-face’ is? (Call on someone to explain that it is a face without expression.)
Let’s see some poker faces all around!
“Ready to start? You’re playing in notrump again, so the highest card in the suit led wins the trick, and there
is no trump suit.”
It’s a challenge for the students to work on the same team without trying to look at each other’s cards, or
without being somewhat frustrated that their partner isn’t doing the right thing. Emphasize that the students
should be watching what happens and deciding what they would like to happen. At this point, they should be
focused on cooperation and learning the mechanics of the game, not on competition.
Let the students work with a partner to take tricks. They will block suits, win tricks twice, forget what partner
led in the first place and generally have very little understanding about what is happening. Don’t feel uncomfortable about this. The instructor also has to remember that at this point the mechanics of following suit
and playing with a partner are being introduced. This is only the second lesson.
“So what was different about playing with a partner? (Call on a few to give their impressions of it.) Was it
more fun? More interesting? Let’s do it again. (Play several deals at notrump, time permitting.) “Here’s a tip for playing with a partner. Remember what suit partner leads at their first opportunity. Usually
they would like you to lead that suit back to them. Communication has to be through the cards partner plays
and what has previously happened on this hand, not by smiling and nodding or making a face.”
At some point, someone will want to take back the card they have played. Once they have a partner, this cannot be allowed. Introduce them to the idea that “a card laid is a card played.”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Exercise 3: Picking a Trump Suit
Have the dealer name a trump suit or notrump (or possibly pass the decision to their partner). You can mention that Whist is played this way with the last card dealt being turned over briefly to set the trump suit. Add
an exercise where they play that way before doing this exercise when you are stretching this lesson over two
weeks to accommodate newcomers.
“Are you ready for a new challenge? Dealer is going to get to pick a trump suit! Or if they can’t decide, they
can pass this decision to their partner. After the trump suit is chosen, the person to the left of dealer makes a
Exercise 4: Playing with a Dummy
It is not critical to do this exercise this lesson. You can work it into the next lesson if necessary.
“In the game of bridge, the person who named the trump suit or notrump gets to play both his hand and his
partner’s hand, which is laid down on the table. This player is called the declarer and his partner, whose
hand is on the table, is known as the dummy.*
“The term dummy is not a reflection on that player’s intellectual capacity. Back when this game was invented, dumb actually meant unable to speak. During the play of the hand, the dummy is not allowed to speak
or help his partner. Dummy puts his hand face up on the table with each suit in a column facing his partner.
Then, at his turn to play, he must play the card that his partner calls for from his hand. The trump suit is always placed on the right side from dummy’s point of view, the left side from everyone else’s.”
Exercise 5: (Optional) Picking a Trump Suit with Partner
This is an extra exercise for when you are using this lesson over two weeks. It is similar to the one at the end
of Lesson One in the Bidding in the 21st Century text. Have the dealer discuss with partner which suit they
prefer and come to a decision without telling exactly what their hand is. For example,” I like spades and can
tolerate hearts and diamonds” If you want to really stretch out this lesson, have both sides do this and let
the side that estimates more tricks get to declare.
Exercise 6: (Optional) Whist Scoring
This is another extra exercise for you to use when using stretching this lesson over two weeks.
“One thing you haven’t yet learned is how to keep score. In the game of Whist, you get one point for every
trick your partnership takes after the first six. Why would that be? (You have to take more than half the tricks
to get any score.)
“Let’s play a few hands with scoring.”
Summary
“You have now learned the game of Whist, from which bridge was developed. Your assignment this lesson
is to try to play at least four deals of Whist where the dealer names the trump suit. If you have only three
people, for example if you teach two members of your family, that’s not a problem, just make the dealer’s
partner the dummy.”
* Special Tip: The term “dummy” always generates a lot of giggles and jokes. Many teachers find it is less
disruptive to introduce the dummy by comparing it to the puppet (dummy) used by a ventriloquist.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
LESSON 3:
MiniBridge Part 1 (Row 1 Deals)
Materials
• Decks of E-Z Deal Bidding in the 21st Century cards or pre-made boards.
• Name tags if you are using them.
• Laminated table number cards showing the compass points (table guidecards). These are needed
from now on.
• Bring a copy or two of the bridge column from the local paper.
• (optional) E-Z Deal poster (many teachers blow up a copy of the back of an E-Z Deal card for a
poster and then indicate which deal they are on with a magnet or other mechanism).
• (optional) Poster with the values for aces, kings, queens and jacks on it. This can be added to every week once bidding starts. (Word version of high-card values and rest of poster items available
at: www.kittycooper.com/Schools/BridgePoster.html.)
Objectives
•
•
•
•
Learn to count points.
Learn to use the compass directions.
Learn to use the E-Z Deal cards.
Learn the basic rules of MiniBridge without the scoring.
When the bridge club is an after-school activity, you will have more new students this lesson. Again start
with the trick-taking exercise using regular cards. Then play a deal with clubs as trump with a partner but
no dummy before starting the new material.
“Today you are going to start to learn MiniBridge. The first step is to learn how to value your hand using the
point count system popularized by Charles Goren. You count your points so you can determine who has the
best hand, because that person will get to be declarer. Can someone define the term ‘declarer’ for me?”
Exercise 1: Counting High-card points
This is Exercise 1, Lesson 2 of the Bidding in the 21st Century text without the points for length which are
covered in a later lesson. Distribution points are not used in the game of MiniBridge. Giving everyone a
suit, as done in Bidding in the 21st Century, is too much of a distraction for the young students. They all
want to have their suit be trump and take all the tricks.
“Who can tell me what the best card is?” (The ace.) We are going to assign a point count value of four to an
ace. Any ideas what a king might be worth? (Call on someone if appropriate.) A king is worth three points.
How about the queen? (Call on someone – they should be able to guess this one.) Yes that is right, two
points. And last and least, the jack is worth? (One.) Put up the bridge poster now if you have one. Otherwise
write the values of the cards on the board.
“Here’s a challenge for you. How many points are available in a single suit, for example the spade suit? (10.)
What are the total points available in the deck? (40.)”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Exercise 2: Points of the Compass
“Have any of you looked at the bridge column in the paper yet? (Pass around the copies you have brought
with you.) Soon it will start to make some sense to you. One thing you may have noticed is that instead of
names, the players are each known by a compass direction. This is very convenient for describing hands, and
also for having tournaments where every player sitting North will hold the same hands.
“Can anyone point out the direction in which the sun sets? The players on that side of the table will be
known as the West players. All West players raise your hands. Now the players sitting opposite raise your
hands. You are (East). Can the South players please raise their hands? That leaves the North players. After
today, you will always be the dealer on the first hand in every lesson. We use guidecards on bridge tables to
indicate where the directions are located and give each table a number.” (Put the guidecards out as you do
this Exercise.)
Exercise 3: Using the E-Z Deal Cards
With less class time, pre-deal the cards and put them in boards. Then introduce the concept of duplicate
boards in this exercise, instead of using the E-Z Deal cards.
“Turn the cards over and look at the backs of them. These are different from the cards you used before. What
do you notice about these cards?” (Call on a few players. Use some of the questions below if you wish.)
You could ask the following questions, to make sure that the students have been observant enough to know
how to deal out these cards:
1. “What four letters are in the squares? (N, E, S and W.)?
2. “If you were to count the number of N’s in the first square in the upper left hand corner of
your deck, how many would there be? (13.)
3. “Which player would be associated with N? (North.)
4. “If you were to count the number of S’s in the first square, how many would there be?
(13.)
5. “How many hands are there on row #1? (2.)
6. “How many hands are there in the other rows, 2 through 8? (4.)
7. “How could you use the code on the back of the cards to deal the cards? (The N’s go to
North; the S’s to South; the W’s to West; the E’s to East.)
“We’re going to distribute the cards for the first deal from the E-Z Deal cards: Row #1; Deal 2. Look at the
diagram. This is the square that you use to deal out the cards. (Refer to the E-Z Deal poster if you have one.)
When you get your cards, count them to make certain you have thirteen cards. Look at the backs of the cards
that you are dealt. The letter in Row #1, Deal 2, on each of the cards should match your direction.”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Exercise 4: The First MiniBridge Deal
Note that hand diagrams for all of the E-Z Deals are included in this text. The points will be shown in a table
for each deal, as for #1 below. Note that the dealer (East on this deal) is starred, declarer (West) is bolded
and the total points and ‘contract’ are shown in the far right column. Later on, the bidding will be shown on
the far right.
“In the game of MiniBridge, after the cards are dealt, each player, starting with the dealer, announces how
many high-card points are in his hand. The total of all four hands should add to 40. If not, recount!”
E-Z Deal Cards: #1, Deal 2
Dealer: East  J 5 2
KQJ8
93
 10 8 6 4
 A K 8
 10 7 5 WN E
 A K Q
S
 9 5 3 2
 Q 10 6 4
642
 J 10 8 6
J7
973
A93
7542
AKQ
E-Z Deal Row 1, Deal 2
North
East*
South
West
9 tricks in NT
7
13
4
16
EW have 29 HCP
“The partnership with the most points is going to control the hand. The player with the most points in that
partnership plays both their hand and their partner’s hand. This player is called ‘declarer’ and his partner will
be the ‘dummy.’ (Dummy was covered last week. Repeat any of that information as necessary.)
“Your objective is to take at least half the tricks. How many tricks would that be? (Six and a half, which
rounds up to seven.) Player to the left of the declarer, please make an opening lead. You and your partner are
called the defenders. Your objective is to foil declarer’s plan and take seven or more tricks yourselves.”
(Note that this first hand is played in notrump. Mention that if they ask if there is a trump suit.)
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
If time, play the deal on Row 1, Column 1, as well. But this time let the declarer pick a trump suit or
notrump. Spades should be trump. Also ask them to estimate how many tricks they think that they will take,
which should be 10 tricks.
E-Z Deal Cards: #1, Deal 1
Dealer: North  A 9 4
A76
96
AJ963
 7 3
62
N
 J 10 9 W E
8432
 K Q J 4 3
A752
S
 Q 5 2
 K 10 7
 K Q J 10 8 5
KQ5
 10 8
84
E-Z Deal Row 1, Deal 1
North*
East
South
West
10 tricks in 
13
7
11
9
NS have 24 HCP
Let them continue randomly dealing the cards if there is time left. If they ask about scoring, tell them we will
learn that next week.
“Here are a few more rules. If both sides have 20 points, you redeal. Also, if both partners have the same
number of points, then the first to announce their points is declarer. In this class, however, if one partner has
declared before and the other has not, then we give the other partner a turn.”
Summary
“In bridge and in MiniBridge, one hand is always on the table during the play and it is called the dummy.
The declarer gets to play both his hand and the dummy’s. Your assignment for next week is to try playing at
least two hands of this form of MiniBridge. You can teach your parents and play three-handed as follows:
deal four hands and turn over one hand which will be the dummy. The person with the most points gets to be
declarer and to play with that dummy.” (Hand out Figure 4 - EBU MiniBridge Worksheet 1 as homework.)
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual





Summary of MiniBridge


1.
The
cards
are
shuffled
and
dealt,
13
each
to
the
4
players
(or
taken
from


a pre-dealt board).




2. Points are counted and announced, starting with the dealer and taking


turns clockwise, using the scale:


Ace = 4 King = 3 Queen = 2 Jack = 1



3. The points for each partnership are totalled. The declaring side is the

partnership with the most points, declarer is the member of this side


with
the
most
points,
or
the
first
to
announce
if
equal.
Declarer’s
part

ner’s
hand
is
placed
face
up
on
the
table
as
dummy.




4. Declarer decides and announces the contract — the target number of


tricks and choice of trumps suit or no trumps. Target numbers of tricks


may be:


Part score: 7+
Game in no trumps: 9+


Game in  or : 10+


Game in  or : 11+




5. The opening lead is made by the player on declarer’s left. Tricks are


played out clockwise, cards face up. Declarer decides the play of the


cards from the dummy.



6. After each trick has been completed, cards in that trick are turned face

down.
The
winner
of
each
trick
the
first
card
to
the
next
trick.




7. At the end of play, the tricks won and lost are counted and agreed and


the score is calculated.



8. For the next hand, the dealer is the next player clockwise.




Figure 2- Summary of MiniBridge Cards
18
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual





MiniBridge Scoring


Contracts


Points
for
contracts
are
won
by
the
declaring
side.The
declar

ing side only scores points if they win the target number of tricks, or


more.


No points are won for the first 6 tricks. For each additional trick, in


making the contract, points are scored according to the contract as fol

lows:




 or 
20 points


 or 
30 points


No trumps 40 points for trick 7, 30 points thereafter




Bonuses are awarded as follows:


For
partscore
contract:
50
points


(at least 7 tricks)


For a game contract:
300 points (at least 9 tricks in no trumps, 10


tricks
in

or
,
11
tricks
in

or
)






Unsuccessful contracts


If
a
contract
is
not
(i.e.,
the
target
number
of
tricks
is
not


reached),
the
defending
side
scores
points
of
the
declaring


side. The defenders score as follows, for each trick short of the target:




Per undertrick:
50 points









Figure 3 - MiniBridge Scoring
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
These hands were dealt in a game of MiniBridge. The dealer was West.
A K 6
9632
A Q 4
K42
 Q 9 7 4
N
 7 5
W E
 J 10 6
S
 Q J 9 7  10 5 3 2
A K 4
K83
A 5 3
J8
 Q J 10 8
9752
 10 8 6
1.
How many points does each player have?
West =
_______
East =
_______
2.
Who announces the points first?
3.
Which pair will be the declaring side?
4.
Which pair will be the defending side? ________________
5.
Who is declarer? ___________ Who is dummy? _____________
6.
Which player makes the first lead? _______________
7.
How many tricks can declarer make? __________
8.
Who will be the dealer for the next hand? ___________
North = _______
South = _______
___________
________________
You may find it helpful to take a pack of cards and lay out the hand on the table.
Figure 4 - EBU MiniBridge Worksheet 1
20
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
HCP
0-6
tricks
7
tricks
8
tricks
9
tricks
10
tricks
11
tricks
12
tricks
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
Figure 5 - Statistics Sheet
21
13
tricks
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
LESSON 4:
MiniBridge Part 2 (Row 2 Deals)
Materials
• Decks of E-Z Deal Bidding in the 21st Century cards or pre-made boards.
• Name tags if you are using them.
• (optional) Statistics sheets are needed from now on if you choose to use them, one for each table.
(Make copies of Figure 5 — Statistics Sheet on page 21)
• Score pads and pencils are needed from now on (or the special scorecards in Figure 7 — Score
Cards to Use on page 29).
• Sample Scoring Diagram (Figure 6 - Scoring Examples on page 25).
• Laminated table guidecards with NESW.
• (optional) Bridge Poster – scoring sheet.
• Give out the MiniBridge summary cards this lesson or possibly next week (laminate them if possible) — these are created from Figure 2 — Summary of MiniBridge Cards backed with Figure 3
— MiniBridge Scoring pages 18 and 19.
Objectives
• Learn to name a trump suit or notrump.
• Learn to count sure tricks.
• Learn to lead top of a sequence.
• Learn to keep statistics (we will track number of tricks and points).
• Learn which are the minor suits and which are the major suits.
• Learn to score (without bonuses yet).
This is the first week where the students took home optional homework. You can use the time when they are
all arriving to answer any questions about it. You can choose to collect it and return it with comments, corrections and gold stars the following week, or give them sheets with the correct answers to keep, or whatever
seems to work best with your group. The answers are in Appendix B.
Try to get all four deals played. Cut the teaching talk and save the scoring and contracts for next week if
the first one takes too long. 15 minutes per deal is fairly normal. By this lesson, the experienced players can
now play three-handed if you do not have a number of students divisible by four. The table of three can play
MiniBridge by announcing their points and then deducing the points in the unseen hand. Then the player
whose hand is to become dummy moves to play the hidden hand.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Exercise 1: Start Keeping Statistics
“Let’s start keeping track of how many points take how many tricks. I am handing out special statistics
sheets which you will reuse each week. After every deal you are to mark a vertical line in the box whose
column corresponds to how many tricks were taken and whose row corresponds to the number of points the
declaring side held.
Deal 1: “Play the deal on Row 2, Column 1, North is the dealer and will be on the first deal every week. The
deal will then move to the player on the left, namely East.” (Declarer can play notrump or with either minor
as trump. Nine tricks should be estimated and taken.)
“Let’s quickly review the mechanics of MiniBridge. First, everyone announces their high-card points clockwise around the table. The partnership with the most points has control. The player in that partnership with
the most points is declarer. His partner puts the dummy down on the table. Then declarer decides whether to
play in notrump or with a specific trump suit and announces how many tricks they expect to take.”
E-Z Deal Cards: #2, Deal 1
Dealer: North  A 7
K52
AKQJ
6542
 8 4 3 2
N
 Q J 10 4
W E
 10 8 4
S
 10 8
65
873
9762
AKQJ
 K Q J 10 9
A96
53
973
E-Z Deal Row 2, Deal 1
North*
East
South
West
9 tricks in NT,, or
17
10
10
3
NS have 27 HCP
“When this deal is over, everyone lay your cards dummy-style on the table and let’s discuss.
“Table 1 dummy, how many tricks did your partner take? How many did they estimate? What were the total
points for your side? Mark the box for those points and those tricks on your statistics sheet. Leave room for
more marks in the future. Now let’s all look at this deal together.”
When the deal is over, have everyone turn their cards over dummy-style and have a group discussion. This is
a good time to introduce the notion of counting sure tricks by counting the nine tricks on this hand – four in
diamonds, four in clubs and the spade ace. If declarer tried to make a trick with the king of hearts, then East
may have gotten in and cashed winners. Also look at East’s hand for the lead. Note that the lead of a spade
honor is an attempt to set up East’s other spades. East will regain the lead with the ace of hearts to cash the
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
“The opening lead of an honor card promises the next lower honor and perhaps the next one down as well.
It communicates to your partner what your holding is and that you are interested in developing tricks in that
suit. When you have a long suit with an honor or two that are not touching, you would lead a low card.”
Exercise 2: Keeping Score
“You are finally going to begin learning how to score. The declaring side must take more than half of the
tricks to score. Thus only the tricks won after the first six, count for their score. These first six tricks are
known as the book in bridge terminology. On the other hand, the defending side gets 50 points for every
trick that the declaring side is short of its declared goal.”
If time is short, which is likely, explain that detailed scoring will be covered next week, or ask them to study
scoring on the MiniBridge cards you hand out. For now, have the declaring side get 30 points for every trick
they take after the first six. Then skip the indented material below.
“The points the declaring side scores vary depending on what suit is trump or whether you play
notrump. The lowest score is for playing in diamonds or clubs. Each trick after the first six tricks is
worth 20 points. That’s why they are called the minor suits. For playing in hearts or spades you score
30 points per trick. They are known as the major suits. Finally in notrump, you score 40 points for
the first trick and 30 points for every trick afterwards. What would the score be for this last hand?
(Get each table to report. The score is 60, if played in clubs or diamonds, and 100 if in notrump.)
“Is the scoring going to affect what strain you choose? Strain is the term used to mean either
notrump or a specific suit as trump. How many Norths chose a minor suit as trump on that last hand?
Now that you know the scoring, do you wish you had chosen notrump?”
Hand out score pads or the special scorecards from Figure 7. Next teach them duplicate-style scoring.
“From now on you are going to keep score, starting with that last deal. North always keeps the official score
for the table in bridge and MiniBridge. Everyone may also keep a private score. For this lesson, I want each
of you to take a piece of paper and keep score. You need three columns on your scorepad. The first column is
for the deal number, the tricks estimated and who was declarer. The second column is for the plus scores for
the North-South partnership. The third column is for the plus scores for the East-West partnership.
“Which side was plus on this last deal? (North-South.) Okay, let’s write their score in their column.”
If skipping the next part, tell them to write the deal number and the number of tricks taken and who declared. On this last deal, it would be “#1. 9 North” in the first column.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Exercise 3: Contracts
This can be covered next lesson if time is short.
“To the left of the score in the first column, you are going to write information about the contract that was
played. A contract is the commitment to make a specific number of tricks in the declared strain. You start by
writing down the tricks estimated, using the number beyond the book of six and the first letter of the strain.
Thus nine tricks in diamonds would be written as 3D and the contract is called three diamonds. In the case
of notrump, use NT, so nine tricks in notrump is written as 3NT. (Make this last a question if appropriate.)
To the right of that trick estimate, you will write some more information if the contract did not make exactly. First of all, if the contract went down, you would next write minus and the number of tricks it was short.
If the contract made extra tricks, you would write plus and the number of tricks above the contract that declarer made. Next write the single capital letter that stands for the direction of the player who was declarer.
Let me show you an example scorepad.”
Show them Figure 6 - Scoring Examples below. Another possibility is to duplicate Figure 7 - Score Cards to
Use and give them each a personal score card.
Contract
NS plus (We)
EW plus (They)
3D +1 N
80
2S W
60
4H S – 1
50
Figure 6 - Scoring Examples
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
“Play the deal on Row 2, Column 2. East is now the dealer.”
Deal 2: East will be the declarer. Ideally they will pick notrump and estimate seven tricks. This is a good
time to introduce the idea of having eight trumps, since there is no eight-card fit. If South leads a diamond,
you can introduce the notion of third hand high, if you wish. Either a club or diamond is a fine lead, fourth
best from your longest and strongest can be mentioned here. Tell them that a good way to set up tricks for
their side is to lead a long suit. Maybe partner can help them get that suit set up. The opening leader is
South.
Note that this is the deal where the adage “high card from the short side early” comes in. Declarer’s spades
will get blocked if the queen is not played early on.
E-Z Deal Cards: #2, Deal 2
Dealer: East  10 7 4
KJ952
K9
J93
 Q 3 2
 7 4 3 WN E
 8 5 3
S
 A K 7 4
986
 Q 10
 A J 10 7
 Q 10 6 2
AKJ5
A86
Q642
85
E-Z Deal Row 2, Deal 2
North
East*
South
West
1NT
8
14
9
9
EW have 23 HCP
Remind them to score and to fill out the statistics sheets. Walk around and help them.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 3: “Play the deal on Row 2, Column 3. If the declarer on this deal has already been declarer, you will
let their partner have a turn since this is a class not a competition.”(Have North let South be declarer since
North played the first hand, or if you are making the boards, rotate the hands 180 degrees.)
E-Z Deal Cards: #2, Deal 3
Dealer: South  A 7 6 4
K83
J52
AQ8
 8 2
N
 Q J 10 5
W E
 A 9 4
S
 J 7 3 2
 K Q J 10 5
742
 10 8
K94
93
A96
KQ763
 10 6 5
E-Z Deal Row 2, Deal 3
North
East
South*
West
2
14
9
9
8
NS have 23 HCP
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 4: “Now play the deal on Row 2, Column 4.”(This hand is very straightforward.)
E-Z Deal Cards: #2, Deal 4
Dealer: West  K Q 10
4
8732
A643
 A 7 6 3
 A K 7 WN E
 K 10 6
S
 K 8 2
J842
532
J5
 Q J 10 9
95
 Q J 10 9 8 6
AQ9
75
E-Z Deal Row 2, Deal 4
North
East
South
West*
4
9
9
5
17
EW have 26 HCP
Summary
“In this lesson you learned to keep score and you learned also that scoring affects your choice of strain. You
also learned how to count your sure tricks and some rules about opening leads. Try to play a few deals of
MiniBridge before the next lesson. Here are the rules on a laminated card for you to keep. It goes into some
more details about scoring which you will cover next week.”(Give out optional homework — use Figure 8
— MiniBridge Worksheet 2 (not EBU), page 30.)
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
Contract
Our Plus
Their plus
Contract
Our Plus
Their plus
Figure 7 - Score Cards to Use
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
These deals come from a game of MiniBridge. The dealer was North.
 AK6
 932
 AQ64
 542
 Q 7 4
 K Q 7 6 WN E
 J 10
S
 Q J 9 7  98532
 8
 K832
 AK3
 J 10
 A J 10 7 4
975
 10 8 6
1.
How many points does each player have?
West =
__________ East =
_________ South = __________
2.
Who announces the points first?
3.
Which pair will be the declaring side?
4.
Which pair will be the defending side? ________________
5.
Who is declarer? ___________ Who is dummy? _____________
6.
What should the contract be? ____________________
7.
Which player makes the first lead? _______________
8.
How many tricks can declarer make? __________
9.
Who will be the dealer for the next hand? ___________
North = __________
___________
________________
Figure 8 - MiniBridge Worksheet 2 (not EBU)
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
SCORING MINIBRIDGE
Sarah and David play Kim and Jason at MiniBridge. The table below summarizes what happens. What are
the scores for each partnership on each deal?
Hand
Declarer
Contract
Tricks
game in 
10
David
partscore in 
11
3
David
game in NT
8
4
Sarah
partscore in 
8
5
Kim
partscore in 
6
6
Sarah
game in 
11
7
Jason
game in NT
9
8
Kim
partscore in 
9
9
Jason
game in 
12
10
David
partscore in NT
7
11
Sarah
game in 
9
12
Kim
partscore in 
9
1
Kim
2
Score
S & D
Figure 9 - Scoring: EBU MiniBridge Worksheet 2
31
K&J
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
LESSON 5:
Game Contracts and Promotion (Row 3 Deals)
Materials
• Decks of E-Z Deal Bidding in the 21st Century cards or pre-made boards (if you make the
boards, change Deal 4 by having North give East the K in return for the 6).
• Name tags if you are using them.
• Statistics sheets.
• Laminated table guidecards with NESW.
• Give out more MiniBridge laminated summary cards in this lesson, if needed.
• (optional) Bridge Poster – add the sheets for game contracts and scoring to the poster.
• (optional) Wizard Tip Cards for Row 3 deals from Appendix C. (If you use pre-made boards, slip
them in the appropriate boards. With tables that go at different paces, this is quite useful.)
Objectives
• Learn which suits are the minor suits and which are the majors, if that was not covered the week
before.
• Learn about contracts, if that was not covered the week before.
• Learn actual bridge scoring with game bonuses.
• Learn to give up the lead to promote tricks.
Bring back the statistics sheets from the previous week every week. Have a look at each one to see if there is
a relationship between points and tricks taken. For the purpose of these lessons, get the students used to the
idea that no one declares twice, so that they let their partner be declarer when they have already played a
hand.
Distribute one guidecard, one E-Z Deal deck (unless using pre-made boards), one statistics sheet, one scorepad or special score sheet and the wizard tip cards for today’s deals to each table. These cards help them
succeed at declarer play without your help.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Exercise 1: Contracts
If scoring and contracts have not yet been covered, use Exercises 2 and 3 in the previous lesson now.
“In the past few lessons, declarer has estimated how many tricks they expected to take and had to go for a
minimum of seven tricks. The bridge term for being held to your estimate is ‘making your contract.’ Since
you count only the tricks after six in the scoring, the name of the contract includes only the number of tricks
after six, plus the strain that declarer has called. Does everyone remember the term strain from last lesson? Can someone define it for me? (Strain is the word you use to indicate the selection of a trump suit or
notrump.) So if declarer committed to take eight tricks with spades as trump, the contract would be called
2. This is the way you have been writing it down already on your score sheet. What would seven tricks in
notrump be called? (1NT.) What about 9 tricks in clubs? (3.) And 11 tricks in diamonds? (5.)
“Let’s play the first deal. This time declarer will announce the contract after seeing dummy.”
Deal 1: To make this contract, North has to knock out the A right away.
E-Z Deal Cards: #3, Deal 1
Dealer: North  K 6 5
A97
 K Q J 10
A75
 J 9 4 2
N
 Q J 10 8
W E
 9 8 3
S
 4 2
A73
K62
7542
K63
 Q 10 8
543
A6
 Q J 10 9 8
E-Z Deal Row 3, Deal 1
North*
East
South
West
3NT
17
9
10
4
NS have 27 HCP
After the deal has been played, have everyone lay the hands out dummy-style. Did they make the contract?
We often learn more from mistakes than successes. Discuss the promotion aspect of this deal. The A had to
be knocked out right away. A good rule of thumb is that when you need to do something to set up your tricks,
go about it right away. Don’t postpone it.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Exercise 2: Scoring with Game Bonuses
If majors and minors were covered last week, use something like the following; otherwise cover majors and
minors now.
“There is more to know about scoring. First let’s review what you already know. Which suits are the minors?
(Clubs and diamonds). How many points for each trick after the first six when a minor is trump? (20). How
many points for each trick in the majors? (30).
“In bridge and MiniBridge, bidding and making a contract that scores at least 100 points is called making
game. You get a 300-point bonus for bidding and making a game. You score a 50-point bonus if you make a
contract that is less than game. This is known as a partscore.” (If they ask, tell them that the old way of scoring let you carry forward your partscore, so if the next partscore got you to 100, you got a game bonus.)
“How many tricks do you need to make a game in a minor suit? (11) And those contracts would be? (5
and 5) How many tricks do you need in a major suit? (10 to get to 120 points) And those contracts would
be? (4 and 4) How many tricks do you need in notrump? (9) And that contract would be? (3NT)
“Did you bid and make game on that last deal? If so, add the game bonus in now. What is the score? (400
points for 3NT) Let’s play the next deal.”
Deal 2: To make this contract, declarer first has to draw trumps by knocking out the opponents’ high ones
and then knock out the A. This is a good time to introduce the idea that declarer should play trump until
the opponents are out of them, so declarer’s good tricks can not be ruffed. This is called drawing trump.
E-Z Deal Cards: #3, Deal 2
Dealer: East  K 2
A7
9864
 Q J 10 9 7
 Q J 10 9 8 7
 8 4 2 WN E
 A J
S
 5 4
A4
 10 9 6 5 3
 Q 10 3
832
653
KQ J
K752
AK6
E-Z Deal Row 3, Deal 2
North
East*
South
West
4
10
16
6
8
EW have 24 HCP
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Exercise 3: Promoting High Cards – the Rest of the Hands
Deal 3: To make this contract, South has to knock out the A by playing the queen first (honor card from
the short side first).
E-Z Deal Cards: #3, Deal 3
Dealer: South  7 6 2
87
 K J 10 6 3
A42
 Q J 10 8
 K 10 3 WN E
 A 2
S
 10 8 5 3
AK53
A642
Q5
KJ6
94
QJ95
9874
Q97
E-Z Deal Row 3, Deal 3
North
East
South*
West
3NT
8
5
17
10
NS have 25 HCP
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 4: To make this contract, West has to knock out the top two diamonds, which are trump.
E-Z Deal Cards: #3, Deal 4
Dealer: West  7 4 3
873
K2
 K Q J 10 8
 A K 5 2
 K Q J WN E
 8 4
S
 A 9 3 2
 Q J 10 8 4
 A 10 9 2
A53
75
96
654
 Q J 10 9 7 6
64
E-Z Deal Row 3, Deal 4
North
East
South
West*
2(3)
9
3
11
17
EW have 20 HCP
Summary
“This lesson you learned about game contracts and more about scoring. You discovered the technique for
building tricks called promotion, which is when you knock out higher cards to make your lower cards into
winners.
“The homework sheet for this lesson is about scoring. Write the contract in the contract column and the
score in the score column under the pair who got that score. The sheet also has the URL for an online site
where you can play MiniBridge for free. However, you may not find anyone there to play with unless you
make a date to meet there with three people from this class. Most of the people playing online will be playing bridge. You will have to download the site’s software to play there, so leave some time for that if you
make a date.” (Hand out Figure 9 — EBU MiniBridge Worksheet 2, page 31.)
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
s
s
s
s
Deal
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Deal
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
s
s
s
s
Figure 10 - BridgeIt Announcing Forms
37
HCP
HCP
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
LESSON 6:
BridgeIt and Length Tricks (Row 4 Deals)
Materials
• Decks of E-Z Deal Bidding in the 21st Century cards or pre-made boards.
• Name tags if you are using them – probably the last lesson to use them, unless you are subbing.
• BridgeIt announcement forms (see Figure 10 — BridgeIt Announcing Forms) — these can be
printed on the back of the score sheets.
• Scoring sheets and pencils.
• Laminated table guidecards with NESW.
• (optional) Statistics sheets.
• (optional) Bidding boxes with the extra cards (Alert, TD, Double and Redouble) removed (but
keep the Double cards available in case you decide to include doubles in this lesson.) (If you
leave those cards in, the students will ask all kinds of questions about them and want to use
them.)
• (optional) Bridge Poster – add distribution points.
• (optional) Wizard Tip Cards for Row 4 Deals from Appendix C.
Objectives
• Learn the game of BridgeIt.
• Learn to set up length tricks.
• Learn to draw trump.
• Learn to count distribution points for long suits – from now on they will announce their points as
high card plus distribution points.
• Continue to get comfortable with the scoring of MiniBridge and BridgeIt (non-vulnerable bridge
scoring).
With most children, using the cards on the table for your blackboard, as we do for adults in Bidding in the
21st Century classes, will result in cards flying everywhere. It is best to point out the development of the long
suit either as they play or after they play the cards.
Use bidding boxes if at all possible. It makes the suit rankings easy to see, and scores are on the back of the
bidding cards.
Start by reviewing at least a few of the scores on last week’s optional homework. Have extra copies of the
sheet for students who missed the class or lost the homework. Alternatively, give the sheet out as students
arrive for them to work on until everyone is present. This is particularly useful when running as an afterschool activity.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Introduce the Game of BridgeIt
“Today you are going to learn the game of BridgeIt. Instead of announcing your points, you will write them
down on the paper form in front of you along with the exact number of cards you have in each suit – that is
spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs, in that order. Everyone can see everyone else’s paper.
“Next, starting with the dealer, each player in clockwise rotation must either pass or propose a contract for
their side to play. The contract must be higher than the previously proposed contract, so you need to know
the ranking of the suits. Notrump ranks higher than all the suits, therefore the bid of 1NT outranks one of
any suit. Does anyone know which suit is highest in rank? (Spades.) How about the lowest suit? (Clubs.) A
trick for remembering the suit rankings is that they are alphabetical, so clubs which comes first in the alphabet, is the lowest ranked suit. (Refer to the Bridge Poster for the suit ranks or to the bidding ladder on page 9
of the Bidding in the 21st Century text.)
“Taking turns proposing a contract or passing is called bidding. If none of the four players propose a contract, so that the auction consists of four passes, the deal is thrown in. Otherwise the bidding continues until
three players pass in a row, then the last proposed contract becomes final. The declarer is the player on the
side that won the contract who proposed the final strain first, not necessarily the one who made the last bid.
The term for a completed set of bids is an auction. Your objective is to get the best score you can for your
side. Let’s play the first deal and give it a try.”
Young students prefer random deals to the pre-dealt Bidding in the 21st Century deals. Use the four lesson
deals and then do some random deals, or just use two of the prepared deals. One possibility is to use Deals
2 and 3 from the Row 4 deals in order to demonstrate drawing trump and developing a long suit, and then
just randomly deal the cards. Another possibility is to just use Deals 1 and 2; since the auction is competitive on those deals, they work fairly well for BridgeIt. Introduce the idea of doubling for penalty if they start
overbidding and if it seems appropriate for your group.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 1: EW have an eight-card heart fit. NS have an eight-card club fit. NS can make 1NT or 2. EW can
make 1. EW may discover that it is better to bid to 2 and go down than to defend against 2.
E-Z Deal Cards: #4, Deal 1
Dealer: North  8 5 4
 A 10 5
974
A952
 7 6 2
N
 K Q 9 7
W E
 Q J 10 8
S
 Q 10
AK3
62
A652
K763
 Q J 10 9
J843
K3
J84
E-Z Deal Row 4, Deal 1
North*
East
South
West
1 or 1NT
8
8
14
10
NS have 22 HCP
3334
4423
3244
3442
NS 8s, EW 8s
Developing tricks from an eight-card fit
Review the deal just played. Show how the eight-card club fit can be developed for an extra trick because the
opponents will have no more clubs on the fourth round of the suit. You might say something like this:
“Lay out all four hands like dummies for the deal you just played. Suppose the contract was 1NT by South.
There are six top tricks, two in spades, one in hearts, one in diamonds and two in clubs. You need one more
trick, which could be developed in clubs. Does someone want to tell me how?
“When you have eight cards in a suit, the opponents have only five. Most of the time those five are divided
with two in one hand and three in the other hand. In fact, that happens roughly two-thirds of the time, which
makes it easy to remember. So on the fourth round of the suit, the defenders will usually have none left, and
your cards, no matter how low, will win the trick. You may have to lose some tricks in the suit to set up those
long cards. It is best to do this right away and get it over with.”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 2: EW have a nine-card fit in spades, NS have an eight-card fit in diamonds. The points are fairly even.
Each side can make eight tricks. For EW, if the spades split 2-2 (and they do), they take eight tricks, otherwise they only take seven tricks. For NS, there are five top losers. NS may discover that it is better to bid to
3 than to defend against 2. It may be appropriate to let both sides take a turn being declarer if there is
time.
E-Z Deal Cards: #4, Deal 2
Dealer: East  K J
9875
 Q J 10 9
K76
 A 8 7 3 2
N
 A 6 4
W E
 A 8
S
 J 5 3
 Q 10
 Q J 10
5432
 A Q 10 8
9654
K32
K76
942
E-Z Deal Row 4, Deal 2
North
East*
South
West
1 (makes 2)
10
6
11
13
EW have 19 HCP
NS have 21 HCP
EW 9s, NS 8s
2443
4333
2344
5323
Learn Distribution Points
“How well does point count represent the value of a hand? Do any of you feel that something is missing?
Long suits take tricks, and yet you have not been giving points for them. Now you will start to do so. You
can add a point to your hand for every card in a long suit after the fourth card. So how many points for a
five-card suit? (1.) How about a six-card suit? (2.) And an eight-card suit? (4.)
“The term for the points you add for your long suits is distribution points. From now on you will include
them on your BridgeIt form. Write the high-card points, then a plus sign, then the distribution points.”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 3: Not a competitive deal. NS can make 4 by developing their side eight-card fit in diamonds. With
only the ace, they must lose two tricks to gain one extra and make 10. Warning: Declarer may make the contract by getting a ruff-sluff, if the black suits are eliminated before playing diamonds.
If EW try to outbid NS, introduce doubles! EW can make seven tricks in spades, or possibly only six, if NS
get their club ruff.
Designate whichever member of NS that has not yet been the declarer to play the contract. Be sure to mention that the first one of them who suggested hearts as trump would be the declarer in a real game.
E-Z Deal Cards: #4, Deal 3
Dealer: South  A 7
Q984
A863
K63
 K Q 10 3
N
 7 2
W E
 Q 10 7
S
 J 9 5 2
94
AKJ63
9542
A7
J8652
 10 5
KJ
 Q 10 8 4
E-Z Deal Row 4, Deal 3
North
East
South*
West
4
13
7+1
12+1
8
NS have 25+1 HCP
2443
5224
2542
4234
NS 9s, EW 9s
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 4: With 26 points and no major-suit fit, EW should try for game in notrump (note we haven’t yet covered the number of points needed for game). Let the player who has not yet been the declarer play the contract. The play challenge is to develop a trick with four small clubs opposite four small clubs by playing a
club every time declarer can.
E-Z Deal Cards: #4, Deal 4
Dealer: West  5 4 2
8754
Q875
KJ
 K 7 3
N
 A Q J
W E
 K 9 2
S
 9 8 4 2
 J 10 9 6
963
J43
 A Q 10
AQ8
 K 10 2
 A 10 6
7653
E-Z Deal Row 4, Deal 4
North
East
South
West*
3NT
6
13
8
13
EW have 26 HCP
3442
3334
4333
3334
EW 8s, NS no 8
Summary
“In this lesson, you learned that you can develop extra tricks from any suit where you have eight or more
cards. You also learned to give yourselves distribution points when you have a long suit. Finally, you discovered that you want your trump suit to be at least eight cards long. When you do your homework, pay extra
attention to the long suits. Try to play some deals as well and notice those long suits. (Give out Figure 11 EBL MiniBridge Worksheet 3 as homework.)
“You can play BridgeIt online at any site that has bridge (Yahoo, MSN, ACBL Online, OKbridge, as well as
Bridge Base) by making a date to meet your classmates there. You can use the conversation feature to announce your points and shape. Then you can bid just the way you have been bidding here.
“In the regular game of bridge, bids not only propose contracts but also have meanings assigned to them in
order to describe your hand to your partner. This is much more difficult, but quite interesting. In a few lessons, you will start learning that type of bidding.”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
How many tricks can be made in the suits shown below?
Declarer
Dummy
1.
A 4 2
2.
A K 5
7 6 3
732
3.
A 3 2
K75
4.
A K Q
763
5.
A K
Q76
6.
A K
7.
A Q 5 4 KJ32
8.
Q J
AK
9.
K Q 2
J97
10.
Q 10 9 4
J732
11.
A 10 7 5 4 3
98
12.
9 8 7 6 5
432
Number of Tricks
Figure 11 - EBL MiniBridge Worksheet 3
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
These deals came from a game of BridgeIt. The dealer was North.
 AQ6
 9632
 AQ4
 542
 K 7 4
N
 Q 7 5
W E
 J 10 6
S
 Q J 9 7  J 10 5 3 2
 K84
 K8
 AK3
 98
 A J 10
97532
 10 8 6
1.
How many points does each player have?
West =
_______
North = _______
East =
_______
South = _______
2.
What suit does each side have an eight-card or longer fit in?
North/South _____________ East/West ______________
3.
Which pair will be the declaring side?
________________
4.
Which pair will be the defending side? ________________
5.
Who is declarer? ___________ Who is dummy? _____________
6.
What should the contract be? ____________________
7.
Which player makes the first lead? _______________
8.
How many tricks can declarer make? __________
9.
Who will be the dealer for the next hand? ___________
Figure 12 - Modified EBL Worksheet 5 — Finessing
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
LESSON 7:
More BridgeIt and Finesses (Row 5 Deals)
Materials
• Decks of E-Z Deal Bidding in the 21st Century cards or pre-made boards.
• Scoring sheets and pencils.
• BridgeIt announcement forms.
• Laminated table guidecards with NESW.
• (optional) Bidding boxes with the extra cards (Alert, TD, Double and Redouble) removed (but
keep the double cards available in case you decide to include doubles in this lesson).
• (optional) Statistics sheets.
• (optional) Bridge Poster.
• (optional) Wizard Tip Cards for Row 5 deals from Appendix C.
• (optional) Bidding in the 21st Century books — for some classes it is appropriate to give these
out this lesson since bidding starts in the next lesson.
Objectives
• Learn to take a finesse.
• Continue with BridgeIt bidding.
• Learn that 25 points are needed for a golden game (the statistics sheets are used for this exercise
• (optional) Learn about penalty doubles (and possibly redoubles).
The play topic for this lesson is finesses. Introduce the idea by using some finesse examples on the board
from Bidding in the 21st Century (bottom of page 152 in the text). Or just show them as they play the lesson
deals. Here’s a possible brief talk to use before the first deal, or with the examples on the board.
“Does a king always win a trick? (No.) When are you sure to win a trick with your king? (When the ace is
gone or when you are last to play.) Suppose you are declarer and have a king but no other honor cards in
a suit. You lead the suit from dummy, and your right hand opponent plays low. If you play the king, will it
win? (Maybe, if the next player does not have the ace.) Hoping a high card will win a trick because the card
that can beat it is in the hand of the player who plays before it is called taking a finesse. Let’s watch for
some examples in today’s deals.
“Can someone explain the rules of BridgeIt? (Review the rules interactively.) Let’s play!”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 1: There are no eight-card fits on this deal. Help NS decide to play in 1NT. The finesse is in clubs – declarer leads from dummy towards the king to get the seventh trick. West should have led the K, the top of a
sequence.
E-Z Deal Cards: #5, Deal 1
Dealer: North  A 7 3
A62
AQ75
543
 9 5 4
N
 K Q J 10
W E
 9 8 2
S
 Q 10 8
862
943
KJ4
K762
 K Q J 10
875
 10 6 3
AJ9
E-Z Deal Row 5, Deal 1
North*
East
South
West
1NT
14
11
7
8
NS have 21 HCP
3343
4333
3334
3433
No 8 card fits
This is also a good time to teach the students that they can sometimes figure out where cards are from the
auction (point announcement). With some groups it may be appropriate to introduce defensive attitude signals.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 2: The finesse is in spades only if EW play the deal. EW can make two spades and NS can make two
diamonds. NS may compete to 3 and then EW will probably push on to 3.
E-Z Deal Cards: #5, Deal 2
Dealer: East  9
 Q J 10 5
5432
 K Q 10 8
 Q 6 5 4
N
 K 3 2
W E
 K 7 6
S
 9 4 2
 K J 10
987
 Q J 10 9
A76
A8732
A64
A8
J53
E-Z Deal Row 5, Deal 2
North
East*
South
West
1 (makes 2)
8
13 +1
11
8
EW have 21 +1 points
1444
5323
3343
4333
EW 9s, NS 8s
How Many Points are Needed for Game?
If time is short, skip to the last paragraph below — just tell them the points needed for game.
“Does anyone have a feel yet for how many points it takes in two partners’ hands to make a game contract?
Let’s have a few guesses. (Call on a few people and perhaps write the answers on the board.) You can look
at the statistics sheet to see how many points it usually took to make 10 tricks. Each table look at your statistics sheet and report back to me when I call on you. (Call on each table in turn.)
“Here is another way to think about it: when the points are evenly split, so that both sides have 20 points,
each side can usually take eight tricks when they have an eight-card trump fit. Since 20 divided by 8 is two
and a half, that’s roughly how many points are needed per trick with a trump suit. (This may be supported by
the statistics sheet.) Using this method, how many points do you need to make 10 tricks? (25.) Finally, since
it is more difficult to take tricks in notrump, the same 25 points are likely to produce only nine tricks in
notrump. (You can tell a more advanced group that the formula for NT is 2.5 times one more than the number of tricks, so 12 tricks would be 13 times 2.5 or 32.5 thus 33) . How many points would you need for 11
tricks in a suit contract? (27.5.) So how many tricks do you need for a minor suit game? (28 since there are
no half points.) You can see that it is often better to play 3NT than five of a minor when your only possible
trump suit is a minor. (This may be supported by the statistics sheet.)”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 3: EW have more than enough points for game, and many more than NS. EW can make 4. There are
two finesses: the one in spades works, but the one in diamonds fails. If you think NS will try to take a save in
spades, then introduce penalty doubles and how they affect the scoring.
E-Z Deal Cards: #5, Deal 3
Dealer: South  K 10 7 4
952
 Q J 10
 10 9 8
 5 2
N
 Q J 10 8
W E
 7 6 2
S
 A Q 7 2
J9863
74
A983
J3
AQ
AK63
K54
K654
E-Z Deal Row 5, Deal 3
North
East
South*
West
4
6
19
6 +1
9
EW have 28 HCP
4333
2434
5242
2434
EW 8s, NS 9s
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 4: NS have the balance of the points and no major-suit fit. Help them realize that 3NT is the right game
contract to play when their best fit is a minor.
E-Z Deal Cards: #5, Deal 4
Dealer: West  10 7 3
K75
743
A632
 K Q 8 5
N
 6 4
W E
 J 10 9 6
S
 10 8 5
A6
A83
KQ52
KQJ7
J942
 Q J 10 9 2
A8
94
E-Z Deal Row 5, Deal 4
North
East
South
West*
3NT
7
8 +1
19
6
NS have 26 HCP
3334
4522
2344
4243
NS 8s, EW 8s
Summary
“Today you learned how to take a finesse, and you learned how many points are needed for a golden game.
In your next lesson, you will start learning the formal language of bidding. Next week you will get your very
own bridge workbook.” (Give out Figure 12 — Modified EBL Worksheet 5 — Finessing, page 45, as homework.)”
Optionally give the books out this lesson and say the following:
“This is your bridge workbook. You have covered the material in Lesson 1. Do the exercises at the end of
that chapter, starting on page 18, to check your knowledge. Please bring your book to class every time, since
you will be doing some of the exercises each time.”
With some classes, particularly those with younger students, it may make sense to give them the option to
leave the book in the box of bridge materials that is kept in the classroom.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
LESSON 8:
Opening the Bidding (Row 2 Deals)
This contains many of the elements of Lesson 2 in the Bidding in the 21st Century text.
Materials
• Bidding in the 21st Century textbooks.
• Decks of E-Z Deal Bidding in the 21st Century cards or pre-made boards (rotate deal 3, 180°).
• Laminated table guidecards with NESW.
• Opening bid summary sheet (card) from Figure 1 — EBU Guide to Sorting on page 8.
• (optional) Bridge Poster — add the Opening Bid Summary Sheet (enlarge it if possible).
• (optional) Wizard Tip Cards for row 2 deals from Appendix C.
Objectives
• Learn how to open the bidding.
• Learn the definition of a balanced hand.
Opening the Bidding
If you did not give out the books last lesson, do so now and use the sample talk below.
“I am passing out your bridge workbooks. These are yours to keep and take home. From now on, your homework will be the exercises at the end of the chapter that go with the lesson you do. For this lesson, that is
Chapter 2. Also all the deals you play here are in the book, so have a look at them at home. Bring the book
with you every week, because sometimes you will do an exercise from the book in class. Please write your
name inside the front cover, so that you won’t lose it.
“Today you are going to start learning the language of bidding in the game of bridge. The difference between bridge and BridgeIt is that bids are assigned special meanings. Instead of writing down your points
and distribution, in the game of bridge you try to give your partner that information with the bids you make.
“You will learn how to open the bidding using the Standard American bidding system. (An interesting digression here is to discuss the fact that beginning players in other countries may learn other systems: English Acol, the Polish Club and the Chinese Precision systems. However, most players online know Standard
American.) The term opening bid refers to the first call made in an auction that is not a pass.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
“How good a hand do you think you need to open the bidding? (You can do some interactive chat here if
you have time. An average hand is 10 points, so it has to be a better hand than that.) Since you can make
a game with 25 high-card points, open the bidding if you have more than half that amount. After all, if you
passed, you might miss a game. How many points would that be? (Call on someone to answer.) Thirteen is
a magic number in bridge; where else does it come up? (Number of cards in each hand, number of tricks
played in a deal.) So open the bidding with 13 points — that is your high-card points plus your distribution
points. Now let’s learn our system of opening bids.
“You all know that notrump and major suits score much better than minor suits. So when you open 1NT or
one of a major, you are making a serious offer to play in that contract.
“To open 1NT you need extra high-card points, at least 15, and some cards in every suit, thus a balanced
hand. Does anyone have an idea what the definition of a balanced hand is? (A hand with no singletons or
voids and not more than one doubleton. Make sure those three terms are understood. In longer classes you
can use Exercise 2, Chapter 2, page 48 in the Bidding in the 21st Century book for the balanced hand concept.) We do not count distribution points when evaluating our hand for notrump.
“To open one of a major, you need to have at least one distribution point in that suit, so you need to have a
major suit which is at least five cards long and a hand with 13 or more points.
“All other hands with opening points will be opened one of a minor. So bidding one of a minor is a less serious proposal to play there. It just suggests that this is your longer minor and you would like to have a bidding conversation with your partner to find the right contract. (If time permits, mention that strong hands, 22
or more points, open at the two level. This can be left for another day unless they ask about it.)
“Here are the detailed rules for opening the bidding. (Hand out the bidding summary sheet or laminated
card made from Figure 13 — Opening the Bidding– the Bidding in the 21st Century text has a similar summary on page 44.) When you cannot open the bidding, you say pass. We will look at what happens after the
opening bid in the next few lessons. The sheet (laminated card) I am handing out to you lists the guidelines
for opening the bidding in order of preference. If you can answer yes to a question, use the opening bid listed underneath it. Otherwise move on to the next question.
“You are going to play a little differently today. Only one player will have enough points to open. That player
puts the hand down as dummy, and all four players at the table will work as a team, with the list of guidelines, to figure out what the opening bid should be. Call me over once you have made up your minds. Once
you have the opening bid, the partner of the strong hand will select a contract.”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 1: The dealer, North, has a 1NT opening bid. Dealer’s partner should choose 3NT because there are
enough points for game — more than 25. East would lead the K, top of a sequence, which North will win.
When East gets in with the K, partner knows the established spades will take some tricks.
E-Z Deal Cards: #2, Deal 1
Dealer: North  A 7
K52
AKQJ
6542
 8 4 3 2
 Q J 10 4 WN E
 10 8 4
S
 10 8
65
873
9762
AKQJ
 K Q J 10 9
A96
53
973
E-Z Deal Row 2, Deal 1
North*
East
South
West
3NT
17
10 +1
10
3
NS have 27 HCP
Defender’s Finesses – Why to Lead Top of a Sequence
“You can see on this deal that when East leads the K, the suit is set up once the declarer takes the A.”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 2: The dealer, East, would open 1. There is no eight-card fit, so 1NT should be selected as the contract or possibly the strong seven-card spade suit. This is the deal with the “high card from the short side
early adage” when cashing the spade suit. The lead should be a low heart; you can reinforce the general
rule of leading fourth best now if it seems appropriate.
E-Z Deal Cards: #2, Deal 2
Dealer: East  10 7 4
KJ952
K9
J93
 Q 3 2
N
 7 4 3
W E
 8 5 3
S
 A K 7 4
986
 Q 10
 A J 10 7
 Q 10 6 2
AKJ5
A86
Q642
85
E-Z Deal Row 2, Deal 2
North
East*
South
West
1NT
8+1
14
9
9
EW have 23 HCP
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 3: Neither the dealer, South, nor the next player, West, can open. North should open 1. Since there
are not enough points for game, a spade partscore should be played. The opening lead is the Q, which
will create a finesse position. If declarer covers with dummy’s K, the defense will take the first three heart
tricks. Even by not covering the Q, the defense takes three tricks.
E-Z Deal Cards: #2, Deal 3
Dealer: South  A 7 6 4
K83
J52
AQ8
 8 2
N
 Q J 10 5
W E
 A 9 4
S
 J 7 3 2
 K Q J 10 5
742
 10 8
K94
93
A96
KQ763
 10 6 5
E-Z Deal Row 2, Deal 3
North
East
South*
West
2
14
9 +1
9 +1
8
NS have 23 +1 HCP
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 4: West has a 1NT opening bid. East has enough hearts (six) and points to go for game in hearts. The
opening lead should be the Q, same finessing position as in Deals 1 and 3.
E-Z Deal Cards: #2, Deal 4
Dealer: West  K Q 10
4
87432
A643
 A 7 6 3
N
 A K 7
W E
 K 10 6
S
 K 8 2
J842
532
J5
 Q J 10 9
95
 Q J 10 9 8 6
AQ9
75
E-Z Deal Row 2, Deal 4
North
East
South
West*
4
9 +1
9+2
5
17
EW have 26 +2 HCP
Summary
“In today’s lesson, you learned how to open the bidding in bridge using the Standard American System.
“Please do the exercises at the end of Lesson 2 in your new book for homework.”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
With 13 – 21 points you can open the bidding at the one level:
1) Do I have 15-17 points in a balanced hand?
• Open 1NT.
2) Do I have a five-card or longer suit?
• Open your longest suit; with equal length suits, open the higher-ranking suit.
3) Do I have a four-card minor?
• Open your higher ranking four-card minor.
4) Do I have three clubs?
• Open 1.
5) Then I must have three diamonds.
• Open 1.
With 13 – 21 points you can open the bidding at the one level:
1) Do I have 15-17 points in a balanced hand?
• Open 1NT.
2) Do I have a five-card or longer suit?
• Open your longest suit; with equal length suits, open the higher-ranking suit.
3) Do I have a four-card minor?
• Open your higher ranking four-card minor.
4) Do I have three clubs?
• Open 1.
5) Then I must have three diamonds.
• Open 1.
Figure 13 - Opening the Bidding
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
When partner opens 1NT, here are the responding possibilities:
1) Do I have 10 or more points? If so we have game, so bid it or force.
• Do I have a six card or longer major?
Bid 4 of the major, which is game in the major.
• Do I have a five-card major?
Bid 3 of the major to offer partner a choice between 3NT and 4 of the major.
• Otherwise bid 3NT. There is no major-suit fit.
2) Do I have 8 or 9 points? If so, there may be a game, so invite.
• Bid 2NT asking partner to go on to game with maximum points.
• If you know the Stayman convention, bid 2 whenever you have a four-card or
longer major.
3) Do I have 0 to 7 points? If so, there is only a partscore, so sign off.
• Do I have a five-card or longer suit?
Bid two of your suit to play there (but not 2, which is reserved for the Stayman convention
which will be learned later on).
• Otherwise pass the bid of 1NT.
When partner opens 1NT, here are the responding possibilities:
1) Do I have 10 or more points? If so we have game, so bid it or force.
• Do I have a six card or longer major?
Bid four of the major, which is game in the major.
• Do I have a five-card major?
Bid three of the major to offer partner a choice between 3NT and 4 of the major.
• Otherwise bid 3NT. There is no major-suit fit (or use the Stayman convention with a four-card major).
2) Do I have 8 or 9 points? If so, there may be a game, so invite.
• Bid 2NT asking partner to go on to game with maximum points.
• If you know the Stayman convention, bid 2 whenever you have a four-card or longer major.
3) Do I have 0 to 7 points? If so, there is only a partscore, so sign off.
• Do I have a five-card or longer suit?
Bid two of your suit to play there (but not 2, which is reserved for the Stayman convention
which will be learned later on).
• Otherwise pass the bid of 1NT.
Figure 14 - Responding to 1NT
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
LESSON 9:
Responding to 1NT (Row 3 Deals)
This is based on Lesson 3 in Bidding in the 21st Century.
Materials
•
•
•
•
•
Bidding in the 21st Century textbooks for students absent last week.
Decks of E-Z Deal Bidding in the 21st Century cards or pre-made boards.
Laminated table guidecards with NESW.
Summary Sheet for responding to 1NT (put this on the reverse side of the opening the bidding
sheet, that is why they are arranged two per page in this manual).
• We do not have to use the book this lesson, although the balanced hand exercise could be useful.
• (optional) Bridge poster – add responding to 1NT.
• (optional) Wizard Tip Cards for row 3 deals from Appendix C.
Objectives
• Learn to respond to a 1NT opening bid.
From this lesson on, we are basically doing the bidding portion of the Bidding in the 21st Century text. Now
that we are bidding, the far right column in the hand summary shows the expected auction.
Review the 1NT Opening
“This lesson, you are going to do real bridge bidding with complete auctions. You are going to learn how to
bid when partner opens 1NT. First of all, let’s look at some important terminology: the person who opens the
bidding is called the opener and opener’s partner is called the responder.
“To open 1NT, you need extra high-card points:15, 16 or 17 points, as well as some cards in every suit, thus
a balanced hand. The definition of a balanced hand is a hand with no voids or singletons and not more than
one doubleton. (Check that everyone knows these last three terms.) Do not count distribution points when
deciding if you have a notrump hand.”
How to Respond to the 1NT Opening
“When your partner opens 1NT, you know a great deal about their hand, and you can usually decide then
and there what contract to play. Your objective is to play game if there are enough points. How many is that?
(25.) So how many points do you need as responder to be sure there is a game? (10.) So if you have 10
points as responder, you will bid game, usually 3NT. What is the maximum number of points you can have
to be sure there is no game? (7.) With seven or fewer points, you want to contract for as few tricks as you
can, so you either pass 1NT or bid a long suit at the two level. What range of points is left? (8 or 9.) With 8
or 9 points, you are not sure if there is a game, and you pass the buck to partner by bidding 2NT. All these
bids are listed on the sheet I am handing out. (Hand out Figure 14 — Responding to 1NT — best to put it on
the back of the opening bid summary.)
59
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
“Do you always want to play notrump just because partner opened 1NT? (No, with a long suit, it might be
better to have a trump suit.) How many cards do you want to have in your two hands combined to make that
your trump suit? (At least 8.) How many cards does responder need to have in a suit to be sure to have an
eight-card fit? (Six. The 1NT bidder promises at least two cards in every suit.) If you have a five-card suit,
an eight-card fit is very likely, so you will suggest your suit.
“Let’s play the first deal. You will use a real bridge auction today. (Pass out the “Responding to 1NT” summary cards.) Remember, in bridge, as in BridgeIt, starting with the dealer, you either propose a contract or
you pass, and the bidding continues until three people pass in a row. (An interesting digression is to ask them
what happens if everyone passes.) When three passes follow a bid, then the contract becomes whatever that
last bid was. Who would be the declarer? (Whoever mentioned the strain that becomes the final contract
first.) This lesson someone is going to have a 1NT opening bid. After the notrump opening and a pass, I
want the responder to put their hand down as dummy. Then everyone at the table will work as a team to figure out what that hand should bid.”
Deal 1: North has the 1NT opener. South, with 10 points with no major, bids 3NT. To make this contract,
North has to knock out the A right away. The opening lead should be the Q.
E-Z Deal Cards: #3, Deal 1
Dealer: North  K 6 5
A97
 K Q J 10
A75
 J 9 4 2
N
 Q J 10 8 W E
S
 9 8 3
 4 2
A73
K62
7542
K63
 Q 10 8
543
A6
 Q J 10 9 8
E-Z Deal Row 3, Deal 1
North*
East
South
West
3NT
17
9 +1
10
4
1NT Pass 3NT all pass
60
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 2: East has the1NT opener. With 10 points and a six card major, West bids 4. Don’t let the students
forget to count West’s distribution points, 2 points for the six-card suit. To make this contract, declarer has to
draw trump (knocking out the opponents high ones), then knock out the A. The opening lead should be the
Q.
E-Z Deal Cards: #3, Deal 2
Dealer: East  K 2
A7
9864
 Q J 10 9 7
 Q J 10 9 8 7
N
 8 4 2
W E
 A J
S
 5 4
A4
 10 9 6 5 3
 Q 10 3
832
653
KQJ
K752
AK6
E-Z Deal Row 3, Deal 2
North
East*
South
West
4
10 +1
16
6 +1
8 +2
1NT Pass 4 all pass
61
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 3: South has the 1NT opener. With 9 points, North invites with 2NT. South, who has a maximum hand,
should go on to 3NT. To make this contract, North has to knock out the A by playing the Q (honor card
from the short side first). The opening lead should be the Q.
E-Z Deal Cards: #3, Deal 3
Dealer: South  7 6 2
87
 K J 10 6 3
A42
 Q J 10 8
N
 K 10 3
W E
 A 2
S
 10 8 5 3
AK53
A642
Q5
KJ6
94
QJ95
9874
Q97
E-Z Deal Row 3, Deal 3
North
East
South*
West
8+1
5
17
10
62
3NT
1NT Pass 2NT Pass
3NT all pass
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 4: West has the 1NT opener. East, with a very weak hand, bids 2 to play, and everyone passes. This
is the time to emphasize that it is better for the weak hand to have its long suit be the trump suit, so you use
two of a suit as a “drop dead” bid over 1NT. If there is time, also have them try playing in 1NT, so they can
see how few tricks that will take. To make 2, East has to knock out the top two diamond honors (note diamonds are trump). The opening lead should be the Q.
E-Z Deal Cards: #3, Deal 4
Dealer: West  7 4 3s
873
K2
 K Q J 10 8
 A K 5 2
 K Q J WN E
 8 4
S
 A 9 3 2
 Q J 10 8
 A 10 9 2
A53
75
96
654
 Q J 10 9 7 6
64
E-Z Deal Row 3, Deal 4
North
East
South
West*
2
9+1
3+2
11
17
1NT Pass 2 all pass
Summary
“In this lesson, you learned that the responder to a 1NT opener can usually pick the final contract or make a
bid that lets opener choose between alternative contracts. Because the 1NT bid is so descriptive, responder’s
choices are fairly easy.
“Do the exercises at the end of Lesson 3 in the book. At a minimum, do the first two exercises. By the way,
the deals you played today are in the book at the end of Lesson 3, so have a look at them. Please review the
auctions on the deals you played.”
63
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
DEAL 3
DEALER : South
CONTRACT : 3
DECLARER : East
J74
543
QJ54
A62
 8 6 5
 A 7 6 WN E
 A 10
S
 K 9 8 5 3
 K 10 9 3
K2
9672
QJ7
DEAL 4
DEALER : West
CONTRACT: 4
DECLARER: North
 A J 10 9 6
K72
K2
QJ4
 Q 4 2
N
 A J 10 W E
S
 8 7 6 4
 A 6 2
K73
Q5
QJ53
K873
AQ2
 Q J 10 9 8
K83
 10 4
85
98643
 A 10 9
 10 9 5
Figure 15 – Added Deals for Lesson 10
64
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
LESSON 10:
Responding to One of a Major with a Fit
This is half of Lesson 4 in the Bidding in the 21st Century text. The full lesson is too much to absorb in the
usual hour and a half for after-school activities.
Materials
• Decks of E-Z Deal Bidding in the 21st Century cards or pre-made boards. Use deals 2 and 3 from
Lesson 4 plus the two extra deals. Alternatively for the two extra deals, use Lesson 5, Deal 2, rotated so South is the opener, and Lesson 6, Deal 2.
• Scoring sheets and pencils.
• Laminated table guidecards with NESW.
• We do not use the book this lesson.
• (optional) Bridge Poster — add the minimum, medium, maximum range sheet for responder and
the first half of Figure 16 — Responding to One of a Major Opening Bid, page 70.
• (optional) Wizard Tip Cards for row 4, Deals 2 and 3 and added deals for Lesson 10 from Appendix C.
Objectives
• Learn responder’s ranges: minimum, medium, maximum.
• Learn how to raise partner.
Give a simplified lecture covering the key points above. Be sure to have the opening bid guideline sheet
(Figure 13 — Opening the Bidding, page 57) available for those who have forgotten their copy.
For the four deals in this lesson, responder may either put the hand down so that all the players at the table
can figure out what the response to the opening bid should be, or responder can decide what to bid and then
show everyone.
Here is a sample presentation for the teacher:
“This lesson we are going to work on responding to your partner’s opening bid of one of a major. When
your partner opens one of a suit, he has a much wider range of hands than when he opens 1NT. What is the
minimum number of points partner can have? (13.) Does anyone know what partner’s maximum number of
points is? (21—this is new unless they read it in the book. With more than 21 points, they would open a two
bid which we will cover in a future class.) Opener’s hand may be balanced or unbalanced. So unlike after
a 1NT opener, responder will usually not yet know what the best contract should be. Therefore responder
makes a descriptive bid to start a bidding conversation, which will continue until one partner or the other can
decide on the final contract.
“How many points does responder need to be sure there is a game? (12 since 25 are needed for game.) A
responding hand of 12 or more points is known as a maximum hand. (Write these ranges on the board.) A
responding hand with 10 or 11 points knows that game is quite likely and is known as a medium hand. What
are the most points you can have when partner opens the bidding to be sure there is no game. (4.) So with 0
to 4 points, you can pass partner’s opening bid. You also pass with 5 points, gambling that partner does not
65
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
have 20+ points. There are a number of times in our bridge bidding system when you gamble by a point. (If
they ask when else, tell them to let you know when they notice some of those other times in future lessons.)
What range of points for responder is left? (6 to 9.) You call a responding hand of 6 to 9 points a minimum.
“The term ‘raise’ means bidding the same suit as your partner did at a higher level. For example, if your
partner bids 1, a bid of 2 would be the cheapest raise. How many spades do you need to have to know
that there is an eight-card fit? (Three, because partner showed five by opening.) When you raise partner, you
also are telling partner how many points you have by the level to which you raise. Raise to two with a minimum. Raise to three with a medium hand, which says, ‘Partner, unless you have the least number of points
that you could, there is probably a game.’ With a maximum, bid game.
“After opener hears partner raise, he adds his points to the minimum and maximum partner could have to
see it there is a game. When no game is possible, what do you do? (Pass.) And if game is sure? (Bid it.)
What if game is possible only if partner has a maximum, say around 9 or 10 points? (Pass the buck to partner by bidding three of your major.)”
Depending on your group, you can have responder put the hand down on the table after the opening bid for
the whole table to decide what responder should bid, or responder can first decide what to bid and then lay
the hand down. Otherwise have the students lay the hand down afterwards and check on the bidding as a team.
Deal 1 (Deal 2 on row 4): West opens 1. East has a minimum hand with a spade fit, so East raises to 2.
West should pass this bid since his side cannot have 25 points. The opening lead is the Q. West needs to
play trump to make this contract (the nine-card fit).
E-Z Deal Cards: #4, Deal 2
Dealer: North  K J
9875
 Q J 10 9
K76
 A 8 7 3 2
 A 6 4 WN E
 A 8
S
 J 5 3
 Q 10
 Q J 10
5432
 A Q 10 8
9654
K32
K76
942
E-Z Deal Row 4, Deal 2
North*
East
South
West
10
6
11
13 +1
66
2
Pass Pass Pass 1
Pass 2 all pass
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Introducing Dummy Points
“When your hand is going to be dummy, do you think having a short suit is valuable? (Yes.) Why? (Partner
can take tricks by ruffing cards of that suit in the dummy, once dummy is void.) So when you are going to
an ace? (More valuable since it may take several tricks.) Since it is better than an ace, count five distribution points for a void. Is a singleton more valuable than a king? (It is worth about the same since it will take
tricks after the first trick.) Count three points for a singleton. Can anyone guess how many points you give
yourselves for a doubleton? (One; it may or may not be useful, and besides, that completes the series.)”
Deal 2 (Deal 3 on Row 4): South opens 1. North has a maximum hand with four-card support for partner
and should bid 4 (note that North gets a dummy point in spades). Dummy points will be shown with a plus
in parenthesis to distinguish them from long suit points which are shown with just the plus. The opening lead
is the K (or a low club). Declarer has to draw trump and then play diamonds (the side eight-card fit) to
set up the tenth trick.
E-Z Deal Cards: #4, Deal 3
Dealer: East  A 7
Q984
A863
K63
 K Q 10 3
 7 2 WN E
 Q 10 7
S
 J 9 5 2
94
AKJ63
9542
A7
J8652
 10 5
KJ
 Q 10 8 4
E-Z Deal Row 4, Deal 3
North
East*
South
West
13 (+ 1)
7
12 +1
8
4
Pass 1 Pass 4
all pass
Either use two extra deals from Figure 15 — Added Deals for Lesson 10 or use Lesson 5, Deal 2, rotated, so
South has the opening bid, and Lesson 6, Deal 2.
67
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 3: This is an added deal shown in Figure 15. Added Deals for Lesson 10. Dummy points come up on
this deal, although the added one point for the short suit is the same as the one point for the long suit. When
East’s partner raises, East should be told to add his points to the maximum points that partner can have and
if that makes 25 go to game, otherwise pass. There are finesses in almost every suit. The trump finesse succeeds but the club finesse (probably at trick one) and spade finesse both fail. A diamond and a spade need to
be discarded on a long club, which will probably be set up by the defenders on opening lead. This contract
DEAL 3
DEALER : South
CONTRACT : 3
DECLARER : East
J74
543
QJ54
A62
 8 6 5
 A 7 6 WN E
 A 10
S
 K 9 8 5 3
 K 10 9 3
K2
9672
QJ7
AQ2
 Q J 10 9 8
K83
 10 4
North
East
South*
West
8
12 +1
9
11(+1)
68
3
Pass Pass Pass 1
Pass 4 all pass
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 4: This is an added deal from Figure 15. Added Deals for Lesson 10. Dummy points come up on this
deal too, although they again are no different from the long suit points. Responder still has a medium hand.
With 11 points, West may fall from grace and open, but the subsequent auction will be the same. Declarer
has to finesse for the queen of trumps and deal with the third-round heart loser, unless the defense cashes its
ace. So declarer either ruffs a heart in dummy or pitches it on a set-up winner in dummy (Diamond) to make
this hand.
DEAL 4
DEALER : West
CONTRACT: 4
DECLARER: North
 A J 10 9 6
K72
K2
QJ4
 Q 4 2
N
 A J 10 W E
S
 8 7 6 4
 A 6 2
K73
Q5
QJ53
K873
85
98643
 A 10 9
 10 9 5
North East
South
West*
14+1
4+1
11(+1)
11
4
Pass 1 Pass 3
Pass 4 all pass
Summary
“When the opening bid is one of a suit, responder usually cannot be sure what the final contract should be,
so he makes a descriptive bid. With fewer than six points, responder passes. Otherwise, responder divides his
hand into one of the three ranges: minimum, medium or maximum. This defines the possible responses he
can make. If he is raising partner, then he raises to two with a minimum hand, three with a medium hand and
game with a maximum hand.
“There is more detail in Lesson 4 in your book. For homework, please read that chapter which includes material that you will learn in the next lesson.”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Responding to one of a Major Opening Bid
1) When you know there is an eight-card major suit fit —
You should raise your partner immediately and show your point range at the same time.
Points
Category
Raise to the
6-9
Minimum
2 level
10-11
Medium
3 level
12-16
Maximum
game
2) When you do not know if there is an eight-card major suit fit —
When partner opens a major and you do not have support, you have the following options:
A. If partner opens 1 and you have at least 6 points along with at least 4 spades, bid
B. If you cannot take the above action and have fewer than 10 points, bid 1NT. This is
a minimum hand that cannot bid a new suit at the one level or raise. It shows 6 to 9
points.
C. If you have more than 10 points, you can bid a new suit at the two level.
D. Jump to 2NT with 13 to 15 points and a balanced hand.
E. Jump to 3NT with 16 to 18 points and a balanced hand.
Remember: Get to game with a total of 25 points between both hands. Play in notrump if you
don’t have a major suit fit.
Figure 16a - Responding to One of a Major Suit
70
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Responding to one of a Minor Opening Bid
1) Bid a four+ card major suit at the one level.
This says nothing about points yet. Generally, bid your longest suit first.
A. With only four-card suits, bid up the line (lowest first). Since partner can also bid fourcard suits up the line, this makes it easier to find your fit at a low level.
B. With two five-card (or longer) suits, bid the higher-ranking one first.
2) Other options:
A. A minimum hand that cannot bid a new suit at the one level bids the catch-all 1NT
bid (6-9 points, any distribution; therefore not necessarily balanced). In responding to
partner’s minor-suit opening, it is standard to bid 1NT first in most cases before raising
partner’s minor.
B. Jump to 2NT with 13 to 15 points and a balanced hand.
C. Jump to 3NT with 16 to 18 points and a balanced hand.
D. With 10+ points, bid a new suit at the two level.
3) Responding to partner’s minor with five-card support —
A. Minimum hand raises to the two level.
B. Medium hand raises to the three level.
C. Maximum hand has to get to game — so bid 2NT (forcing) or a new suit.
Figure 16b - Responding to One of a Minor Suit
71
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
LESSON 11:
Responding to One of a Suit without a Major Suit Fit
Materials
• Decks of E-Z Deal Bidding in the 21st Century cards or pre-made boards – use Lesson 4, Deal 1,
then Lesson 5, Deals 3 and 4 (but rotate the hands 180 degrees on this last hand so everyone has
a turn declaring). Finish with Deal 4 from Lesson 4.
• Scoring sheets and pencils.
• Laminated table guidecards with NESW.
• Summary sheets from Figure 16 — Responding to One of a Suit, page 81.
• We do not use the book this lesson.
• (optional) Bridge poster. Add Figure 16 — Responding to One of a Suit, page 81.
• (optional) Wizard Tip Cards for the Lesson 4 and 5 deals from Appendix C.
Objectives
• Learn how to respond to one of a suit opening when you can’t raise.
• Learn the main bidding objectives.
“In this lesson, you are going to work some more on responding to your partner’s opening bid of one of a
suit. How many of you read all of Chapter 4 in the book? If your head is spinning, don’t worry; lots of practice will make it more understandable.
“Has anyone thought about what your purpose in the bidding is? (Getting to a makeable contract that scores
well.) There are two objectives to keep in mind when you are bidding:
• Find out if you have the 25 points you need for game.
• Discover any eight-card or longer major-suit fit.
“In the last lesson, you learned to raise when there is a fit. When you don’t have a fit for the suit opened,
make a descriptive bid to start a bidding conversation. The bidding will continue until one partner or the
other knows enough about the points and the suit fits to decide on the final contract.
“When you have a minimum hand, your actions are limited. You are only allowed to bid at the one level unless you know that there is an eight-card fit in the suit partner opened. So 1NT becomes a catch-all bid, saying that you have 6 to 9 points and no four-card or longer suit to bid at the one level. It does not promise a
balanced hand by responder.
“With a medium or maximum hand, make the descriptive bid of your longest suit at the one or two level.
With only four card suits, bid the cheapest one. If you have a balanced maximum-responding hand with no
major, you may jump to 2NT. (You may prefer to leave this last bid out for now. Some students may notice
that this is not consistent. 2NT should be medium and 3NT should be maximum. Explain that many play this
way, but that uses up a lot of room, better to bid a suit first with a medium hand.)
72
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
“Here is a sheet (pass out copies of Figure 16a and 16b — Responding to One of a Major and a Minor Suit.)
with the guidelines for responding to your partner’s opening bid. Use it to figure out what responder should
bid on the four deals in this lesson. After the opening bid is made, the partner of the opening bidder, the
responder, decides what to bid and puts the hand down like a dummy. Then the whole table figures out as a
team what the responding bid should be. At the end of the auction, if the responder ends up being declarer,
pick that hand up and have responder’s partner (opener) put that hand down as the dummy.”
We are really glossing over all the various responses. It is too much to introduce all at once, so play the
deals and have the students use the sheet to figure out the responses. Encourage them to read about responses in the text.
Deal 1 (Lesson 4, Deal 1): North is the dealer and passes, as does East. South should open 1. The North
hand is minimum and has no suit that can be bid at the one level, so the proper response is 1NT. Discuss
that this is the catch-all bid with a minimum hand that has nothing else to bid, so it does not promise a balanced hand. On this hand, opener would pass 1NT, because there cannot be enough points for game and the
hand is balanced. East will lead the Q. In order to make this contract, North has to set up an extra trick in
the eight-card club fit.
E-Z Deal Cards: #4, Deal 1
Dealer: North  8 5 4
 A 10 5
974
A952
 7 6 2
 K Q 9 7 WN E
 Q J 10 8
S
 Q 10
AK3
62
A652
K763
 Q J 10 9
J843
K3
J84
E-Z Deal Row 4, Deal 1
North*
East
South
West
8
8
14
10
73
1NT
Pass Pass 1 Pass
1NT all pass
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 2 (Lesson 5, Deal 3): East should open 1. Many East players will want to open 1NT or 2NT. Explain
that they will show their strength on the next round of the bidding. After the response of 1, opener knows
that there is an eight-card major suit fit in hearts and that there are enough points for game. Therefore opener should rebid 4. To make this contract, West must take the spade finesse. There is also a diamond finesse
that should fail at trick one if North leads the top of the sequence in diamonds.
E-Z Deal Cards: #5, Deal 3
Dealer: East  K 10 7 4
952
 Q J 10
 10 9 8
 5 2
N
 Q J 10 8
W E
 7 6 2
S
 A Q 7 2
J9863
74
A983
J3
AQ
AK63
K54
K654
E-Z Deal Row 5, Deal 3
North
East*
South
West
6
19 (+1)
6+1
9
74
4
1 Pass 1 Pass
4 all pass
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 3 (Lesson 5, Deal 4): Rotate this deal 180 degrees so that North has the big hand. Again, many will
want to open 1NT or 2NT. Explain that they will show their strength on the next round of the bidding. After the response of 1NT, opener knows there is no eight-card major-suit fit and there are enough points for
game. Therefore opener should rebid 3NT. The play requires a repeated finesse, leading toward the K and
Q twice (provided East ducks the first time).
Note that the deal is not rotated in this diagram, this is how the E-Z Deal cards deal it:
E-Z Deal Cards: #5, Deal 4
Dealer: East  10 7 3
K75
743
A632
 K Q 8 5
 6 4 WN E
 J 10 9 6
S
 10 8 5
A6
A83
KQ52
KQJ7
J942
 Q J 10 9 2
A8
94
After the cards have been dealt, have North and South exchange hands and have East and West exchange
hands. This will allow South to have a turn as declarer and the deal will look like this:
Dealer: East  A 6
A83
KQ52
KQJ7
 J 9 4 2
 Q J 10 9 2 WN E
 A 8
S
 9 4
 10 7 3
K75
743
A632
KQ85
64
 J 10 9 6
 10 8 5
E-Z Deal Row 5, Deal 4 rotated
North
East*
South
West
19 6
7
8+1
75
3NT
Pass Pass Pass 1 Pass
1NT Pass 3NT all pass
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 4 (Lesson 4, Deal 4): West should open 1. East has 13 points and a balanced hand with no four-card
major. The bidding sheet will tell the students to bid 2NT, showing a balanced 13 to 15 points. If they want
to bid 3NT, let them if time is short. This is not a bidding issue worth belaboring. If they do bid 2NT, which
gives room for opener to further describe the hand, then West, with a balanced 13, should place the contract
in 3NT, since there are enough points for game but no major-suit fit. The play requires setting up the eightcard-club fit for a winner with no high cards in the suit.
E-Z Deal Cards: #4, Deal 4
Dealer: West  5 4 2
8754
Q875
KJ
 K 7 3
 A Q J WN E
 K 9 2
S
 9 8 4 2
 J 10 9 6
963
J43
 A Q 10
AQ8
 K 10 2
 A 10 6
7653
E-Z Deal Row 4, Deal 4
North
East
South
West*
6
13
8
13
3NT
1 Pass 2NT Pass
3NT all pass
Summary
“There is a lot to know about responding. Fortunately, you can use the bidding sheet throughout these lessons. Also, keep the following two key questions in mind. When you know the answers to these questions,
you can place the contract:
“The questions are: (call on them to answer if you have time)
• Do you have the 25 points you need for game?
• Do you have an eight-card or longer major-suit fit?
“Please do as many of the exercises at the end of Lesson 4 as you can. The answers are in the book. If you
“If you want to look at the deals you played this lesson, they are in the book. Some are at the end of Lesson
4 and the rest are at the end of Lesson 5.”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
LESSON 12:
Overcalling (Row 7 Deals)
This is the Bidding in the 21st Century – Lesson 7.
Materials
• Decks of E-Z Deal Bidding in the 21st Century cards or pre-made boards – use the deals from
Lesson 7.
• Scoring sheets (or use travelers) and pencils.
• Laminated table guidecards with NESW.
• Bidding boxes.
• Books are required this lesson.
• (optional) Bridge Poster.
• (optional) Wizard Tip Cards for Row 7 deals from Appendix C.
Objectives
• Learn that both sides can bid.
• Learn that overcalls aren’t the same as opening.
We have found that young students get bored when the other side opens the bidding because they quickly
learn that the other side will have the decisions. Therefore, we do competitive bidding before completing
opener’s and responder’s rebids, in order to keep their interest. We also start using boards and traveling
score sheets at this point, which add a little element of competition (what happened at the other table(s)?).
Competitive Bidding and Penalty Doubles
“So far in your lesson deals, only one side has been bidding. In real life, about half the time, both sides get
to bid. We call that a competitive auction. When your opponent has opened the bidding, you have less safety
coming into the auction. If opener’s partner has a good hand, he may be able to double you for penalties and
get a good score that way. If the last bid of the auction is “Double,” then the penalty for going down or the
score for making the last bid contract becomes at least twice as big. An opponent would use this bid when
they think the chance of your contract going down is much more likely than the chance your contract will
make. Look at the back of the double card for scoring details. We will talk more about it later.
“Because you might get doubled, you don’t always make a bid just because you have an opening hand. Also,
with a good suit, you might bid it at the one level with just less than an opening bid, because you want partner to lead that suit if the opponents end up playing the contract. Another benefit to bidding is that, if your
partner has a fit with you, your side may get to play the hand in that suit.
“Let’s turn to page 250 in your text and read the rules for overcalling. (Let each student read one line. Discuss why the overcall of 1NT needs some strength in the suit the other side opened).
“You respond to an overcall the same way as you do to an opening bid. The only difference is that if partner
overcalls a suit at the two level, you must pass with a minimum hand since the raise to three shows a medium hand, as usual. (With an advanced class, mention that a maximum overcaller starts with a different bid
that will be learned in a later lesson.) The term for the player who makes an overcall is the overcaller and
his partner is known as the advancer.”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Counting Losers
The lesson on play in this lesson is discarding your losers on dummy’s winners. Show the students how this
works as it comes up. You might also say something like the following:
“So far you have been counting your winners to see if you have enough to make your contract. It is also important to count your losers to make sure you do not have too many! A loser is a trick that must be lost. If
dummy has all small cards and you have the ace and two small cards, those two small cards are losers. When
you have too many losers, you must look for a way to dispose of them. How many tricks can you lose in 3NT?
(4) And in 4? (3). As you play today’s hands, count your losers and look for ways to get rid of them.”
Deal 1: East overcalls the opening 1 bid with 1. With a maximum hand West raises to four (the text discusses using cuebids, but most students are not ready for that yet). You can make the hand a better lesson
by trading the J in West for North’s 5; then West is medium and raises to 3, and East must realize
there is enough for game and bid it. Since there are three immediate diamond losers, East must get rid of
their heart losers by throwing them on the club winners in dummy.
E-Z Deal Cards: #7, Deal 1
Dealer: North  5 3
KQ73
AKQ3
965
 K J 10 6
 10 8 WN E
 6 5 4
S
 A Q J 3
42
J652
 10 9 8
 10 8 7 2
AQ987
A94
J72
K4
E-Z Deal Row 7, Deal 1
North*
East
South
West
14
14+1
1
11(+1)
4
1 1 Pass 4
Pass Pass Pass
E-Z Deal Row 7, Deal 1 (with card changes)
North*
East
South
West
14
14+1
1
11(+1)
78
4
1 1 Pass 3
Pass 4 All Pass
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 2: South overcalls the opening bid of 1 with 2. West, holding a minimum hand with no fit for partner’s spades, must pass. North has a diamond fit and a minimum hand, so North passes. East, with a minimum opening bid, has nothing additional to say, and also passes. To make this contract, South has to discard
a spade loser on dummy’s clubs. If the opponents knock out the A, this must be done before trumps are
drawn.
E-Z Deal Cards: #7, Deal 2
Dealer: East  9 5 2
J87
964
 K Q 10 2
 8 6
 A Q 4 2 WN E
 5 3 2
S
 J 9 6 3
 A 10 3
 10 9 3
 K Q J 10 8
A5
KQJ74
K65
A7
874
E-Z Deal Row 7, Deal 2
North
East*
South
West
2
6
13+1
14+1
7
1 2 all pass
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 3: Even though this hand is a point short of an opening bid, West should overcall with such a good suit.
If East remembers dummy points and counts three for the singleton, then East will raise to game. The play
requires pitching a diamond loser on the second spade winner in dummy.
E-Z Deal Cards: #7, Deal 3
Dealer: South  Q J 5 4
72
86
97632
 8
 K Q 10 9 8 WN E
 7 5 3
S
 K Q J 10
 10 9 6 2
A3
 K Q J 10
A84
AK73
J654
A942
5
E-Z Deal Row 7, Deal 3
North
East
South*
West
4
3+1
12(+3)
14
11+1
1 1 Pass 4
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 4: North has a balanced 16 points with a good holding in hearts and should overcall West’s opening
1 with 1NT. The Advancer has nine points with the five-card diamond suit and should invite game by bidding 2NT. The Overcaller adds 16 points to 8 or 9 points and, seeing that game is not possible, passes. To
make this contract, declarer has to set up the diamond suit by knocking out the A and the K. The Defenders will get the heart suit set up and will take three hearts and two diamonds.
E-Z Deal Cards: #7, Deal 4
Dealer: West  A 8 3
AK32
753
KQ6
 K 10 6
 Q J 10 9 7 WN E
 A K
S
 10 7 5
J42
86
 Q J 10 9 2
A84
Q975
54
864
J932
E-Z Deal Row 7, Deal 4
North
East
South
West*
16
3
8+1
13+1
2NT
1 1NT Pass 2NT
all pass
Summary
“Today you learned about competitive bidding. About half the time, in the game of bridge, both sides will
bid. For homework, please be sure to do Exercise 1 at the end of Chapter 7 on page 254 in your text. Do the
rest of the exercises in that chapter if you can. The deals you played today are at the end of Chapter 7.”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
LESSON 13:
Opener’s (and Overcaller’s) Rebid
This is the Bidding in the 21st Century Lesson 5.
Materials
• Decks of Play of the Hand in the 21st Century E-Z Deal cards or pre-made boards — by now we
have played the Lesson 5 Deals twice, so use Deals 1 and 2 from Lessons 2 and 3 in the Play of
the Hand in the 21st Century text. You can also use Lesson 5 Deals again if you have to.
• Score pads (or use travellers) and pencils.
• Laminated table guidecards with NESW.
• Summary sheets for Opener’s rebid from Figure 17 — Opener’s Rebids (put Figure 18 — Re sponder’s Rebids on the back side of this sheet, particularly if you are going to skip the next lesson.)
• (optional) Bridge Poster — add the sheet with Opener’s minimum, medium and maximum ranges.
• (optional) Wizard Tip Cards for the Play of the Hand in the 21st Century deals from Appendix C.
• (optional) Copy the Play of the Hand in the 21st Century analyses if the students are looking at
the deals in the text outside of class.
Objectives
•
•
Learn opener’s minimum, medium and maximum ranges
Review the two objectives:
• Do you have 25 points?
• Do you have a major suit fit?
Do not go through every bidding detail with the students. Give them some general principles, and then hand
out the summary sheets. The idea is for them to use the sheets to figure out the bids as they come up. The
ones who are really interested will also read the book.
“Today you will work some more on the later bidding in suit auctions. First of all, when partner raises you,
add your points to their minimum and maximum points to see if game is certain, probable or not at all possible. If game is certain, bid it. If game is possible, pass the buck back to partner if there is room. For example, if you open 1 and partner raises to 2, bidding 3 gives the message, ‘Partner, if you have the top
points for your bid go to game.’ If game is not possible, pass. You get the same score for playing 2 making
three as for 3 making three, so there is no point bidding more unless game is possible.
“If partner doesn’t raise you, continue the bidding conversation according to the guidelines in this lesson’s
sheet. First of all, when partner responds to your opening bid, how many points do you need to be sure there
is a game? (19.) So you will consider opener’s hand of 19-21 points to be a maximum hand. In other words,
a maximum hand is one where game must be reached. Since a medium hand is just less than a maximum,
what would opener’s medium hand be? (17-18.) And opener’s minimum? (13-16.) These same ranges apply
to the overcaller.”
Do not worry about the fact that the overcaller may have less than an opening bid. After all, knowing that
most of the points are in opener’s hand will make the play easier, and the finesses will be working.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
“Whenever it is your turn to bid, ask yourself the two key questions. Who can tell me what they are? (Call
on someone — the questions are: Do you have an eight-card or longer major suit fit? Do you have the 25
points needed for a game?) And who can tell me the other one? (See previous comment.)
“The sheet that I am handing out (hand out Figure 17- Opener’s Rebids) has the guidelines for opener’s or
overcaller’s rebid. It will help you use the two key questions to select a bid. After you play each of today’s
deals, lay all the hands out and decide if the bidding was correct.”
If you have extra time, say a two-hour class, you can go through the details of the sheet with them. Have
them take turns reading a line. Most young students want to get to the play as soon as possible though, so
it’s a good idea to let them learn by doing.
Deal 1: In order to make this contract, North has to be careful not to win the first spade trick in dummy.
That entry is likely to be needed to cash winners in the heart suit. Having won the spade in his hand, North
must play hearts by starting with the J from his hand (high card from the short side early).
E-Z Deal Cards: #2, Deal 1
Dealer: North  A 7 6 5
J4
A764
A983
 9 4
 A 7 6 WN E
 Q J 9 8
S
 K J 10 5
K82
 K Q 10 3
 10 5 2
642
 Q J 10 7 3
9852
K3
Q7
Play of the Hand E-Z Deal Row 2, Deal 1
North*
East
South
West
13 8+1
8
11
83
1NT
1 Pass 1 Pass
1NT all pass
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 2: The bidding principle here is that when opener can raise responder: a minimum hand raises to two,
a medium hand to three, a maximum hand to game. East, the opener, has a minimum. The play in 4 is
fairly straightforward. West needs to draw trump and then knock out the A.
E-Z Deal Cards: #2, Deal 2
Dealer: East  9 2
KQ652
 10 6
 10 8 4 3
 A K J 4 3
 10 3 WN E
 Q 9 7
S
 K 7 2
87
A97
A8542
J95
 Q 10 6 5
J84
KJ3
AQ6
Play of the Hand E-Z Deal Row 2, Deal 2
North
East*
South
West
5+1
13 9+1
13
84
4
1 Pass 1 Pass
2 Pass 4 all pass
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 3: (Note that the dealer is in a different seat from the Play of the Hand in the 21st Century, because
this is a Deal 1 being played as Deal 3). We are back to competitive bidding. West may well want to open
this 12-count hand and nothing bad happens if they do open 1. Game in hearts should still be reached by
East. In most cases, the bidding will be opened 1 by North. East will overcall 2 and West will put the
partnership in game. In 4, declarer has to be careful to ruff the fourth round of spades high, draw trump
and take a diamond finesse.
E-Z Deal Cards: #3, Deal 1
Dealer: South  A K Q 10 6
83
KJ4
952
 9 8 7 2
J43
N
 K 9 6 5 W E
 A Q J 10 2
 9 7
AQ
S
 A K Q
 10 4 3
5
74
 10 8 6 5 3 2
J876
Play of the Hand E-Z Deal Row 3, Deal 1
North
East
South*
West
13+1
14+1
1+2
12(+1)
85
4
Pass Pass 1 2
Pass 4 all pass
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 4: (Note that the dealer is in a different seat from the Play of the Hand in the 21st Century, because
this is a Deal 2 being played as Deal 4). South has a 1NT overcall of the 1 opening by East. North with 10
points and no major should raise to 3NT. With no suit of his own, West should lead partner’s suit, diamonds.
To make this contract, declarer has to finesse in spades twice.
E-Z Deal Cards: #3, Deal 2
Dealer: West  10 8 4
AJ3
942
KQ92
 7 6 3 2
 Q 7 6 WN E
 8 6
S
 10 8 5 3
AQJ
952
A73
AJ64
K95
 K 10 8 4
 K Q J 10 5
7
Play of the Hand E-Z Deal Row 3, Deal 2
North
East
South
West*
10
12+1
16
2
3NT
Pass Pass 1 1NT
Pass 3NT all pass
Summary
“In today’s lesson, you learned how to make your second bid, known as a rebid, when you have opened the
bidding or overcalled. When you don’t yet know enough to place the contract, you make a further descriptive
bid, so perhaps, partner can make the decision. You also learned how to categorize an opening hand as minimum, medium or maximum; and you learned how those ranges affect what bids you can make next. (Quiz
them on these ranges if it seems appropriate.)
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
OPENER’S REBIDS after the response to a one of a suit opening
Point Range
Category
13-15
16-18
19-21
Minimum
Medium
Maximum
Opposite a
minimum raise
When raising
responder
pass
invite
game
2 level
3 level
Game
REBID QUESTION LIST (if partner hasn’t raised you)
1) Is there an eight-card major suit fit? The priorities, in order, are: raise partner’s major
with four-card support, bid a new major at the one level or raise yourself with a six-card
• Raise to 2 with a minimum hand.
• Raise to 3 with a medium hand.
• Raise to game with a maximum hand.
2) Is your hand balanced? If so then:
• With a minimum hand (13-14), rebid the cheapest number of notrump or pass partner’s 1NT response.
• You cannot have 15-17 since you did not open 1NT.
• With a hand that was too strong to open 1NT (18-19), jump in notrump or raise
partner’s 1NT bid one level.
3) Your hand must be unbalanced, therefore bid a new suit if possible.
• A minimum hand can only bid a new suit when it can be bid below two of the suit
that was opened. Sometimes a minimum hand has to rebid a five-card suit; usually
this will be a minor.
• A medium hand makes its natural rebid of its second suit. Note that a reverse (bidding a new suit higher than two of the suit opened, for example 1–1–2)
promises at least medium strength values.
• A maximum hand must force to game. Therefore a maximum must either jump in
a new suit (strong jump shift) or reverse and then follow with another strong bid or
bid game.
Figure 17 - Opener’s Rebids
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Responder’s Rebids
By the fourth bid of the auction, it is usually possible to place the contract or make a bid that lets partner
place it. Responder first figures out what point range Opener has shown and adds those points to his own.
Not enough points for game? Then look for a safe place to play:
• Pass partner’s last bid.
• Make the minimum bid in an old suit.
• Do not bid 1NT with fewer than 8 points. It won’t be a good spot to play.
Maybe there is a game?
• With a good minimum hand (8 to 9 points) make a descriptive bid:
• Raise partner’s last bid with a fit.
• Bid the minimum number of an old suit (note, this is 6 to 9 points).
• Bid 1NT with the unbid suit(s) stopped.
• With a medium hand (10 to 11 points) make an invitational bid:
• Jump raise partner’s major with a fit.
• Bid a new major at the one level (1-1-1-1).
• Jump in a previously bid suit.
• Otherwise bid 2NT. If partner did not bid 1NT, this promises stoppers in the un-
bid suit(s). This is invitational even when it is not a jump.
Game is certain? Then either bid a game or make a forcing bid:
• Bid game in a known eight-card major-suit fit.
• Bid a four-card major that has not yet been bid.
• Bid game in NT with the unbid suit(s) well stopped.
• The only forcing bid is a new suit. Bid a new suit even with only three cards in it,
when you don’t know what game to play in. Responder’s new suits are forcing unless opener’s last bid was 1NT.
Figure 18 - Responder’s Rebids
88
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
LESSON 14:
Responder’s Rebid (Row 6 Deals)
This is Bidding in the 21st Century Lesson 6.
Materials
• Decks of E-Z Deal Bidding in the 21st Century cards or pre-made boards.
• Score pads (or use travellers) and pencils.
• Laminated table guidecards with NESW.
• Summary sheets for responder’s rebid from Figure 18 – Responder’s Rebids — this should be on
the back of the previous lesson’s summary sheet.
• (optional) Bridge Poster — add the sheet with responder’s rebids.
• (optional) Wizard Tip Cards for row 6 deals from Appendix C.
Objectives
• Learn responder’s rebids.
• Learn the concept of a forcing bid.
• Learn to take ruffs in dummy.
• Learn combination and repeat finesses.
It is likely that you will have to skip this lesson if earlier classes went slowly or were stretched into extra
classes. Do not skip the next lesson, which is on doubles.
“By the fourth bid of the auction, it is usually possible to place the contract or make a bid that lets partner
place it. The Responder must first figure out what point range opener has shown. (Quiz them orally on Figure 18 — What Opener Has Shown, which can be added to the poster.)
“Next the Responder adds the minimum and maximum points for opener’s hand to the points in his own
hand. This determines whether game is possible, and therefore what to do next.
“As long as there could be enough points for game, the auction is forcing. The term forcing means that you
must bid again. Conversely, once you know there cannot be enough points for game, the auction is no longer
forcing and you may pass.”
You may want to put the diagram (See page 90) on the board or the bridge poster for them to refer to. In a
longer class. you can quiz them and write it on the board interactively.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Opener’s Rebid
Point Range
Hand Category
1NT
A new suit
2NT
Reverse
Jump in an old suit
Jump in a new suit
13-14
13-18
18-19
17-21
16-18
19-21
Minimum
Minimum or Medium
Medium+
Medium or Maximum
Medium
Maximum
Figure 19 - What Opener Has Shown
“When the Opener has rebid 1NT, the Responder’s bids are similar to what they are after partner opens 1NT.
That is to say, suits at the two level are to play (unless they are reverses), jumps to the three level in new
suits are forcing and 2NT and jumps in old suits are invitational.”
Deal 1: This bidding is an example of the Opener, North, raising the Responder to the two level with a minimum hand. South, with a maximum responding hand should go to game. Remind the students to remember
whether they are the Opener or the Responder throughout the auction, so they know which set of ranges to
apply to their hands. To make this contract, South has to ruff a diamond in dummy. There are three heart losers, and trumps can be drawn before taking the ruff.
E-Z Deal Cards: #6, Deal 1
Dealer: North  Q J 9 3
753
K3
AK62
 8 4
N
 K Q 8 4
W E
 8 7 5 4
S
 Q 10 9
 A K 10 7 5
J62
A92
84
62
 A10 9
 Q J 10 6
J753
E-Z Deal Row 6, Deal 1
North*
East
South
West
13 (+1)
8
12+1
7
90
4
1 Pass 1 Pass
2 Pass 4 all pass
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 2: This auction is the classic major-suit raise auction. West adds his points to partner’s minimum and
maximum possible points, leading West to stop short of game. To make this contract, East has to give up a
club trick so that a club can be ruffed in dummy. Trump can be drawn first.
E-Z Deal Cards: #6, Deal 2
Dealer: East  K 6 3 2
8
J64
KQ764
 Q 9 8 5
 10 9 7 5 WN E
 A 9 3
S
 5 2
 A 10 7 4
62
KQ75
J83
J
AKQJ43
 10 8 2
 A 10 9
E-Z Deal Row 6, Deal 2
North
East*
South
West
9+1
15+2
10
6(+1)
91
3
1 Pass 2 Pass
3 all pass
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 3: This is the most complicated auction we have had so far. East shouldn’t overcall 2 on a good 11
points and a nice diamond suit, because an overcall at the two level promises an opening bid. South should
rebid 2 and North should make an invitational jump in spades. The trick here is to ruff a diamond in the
dummy before drawing trump. Best play, but not essential, is to ruff with the A so a trump can be led to
declarer’s hand to draw trump.
E-Z Deal Cards: #6, Deal 3
Dealer: South  K Q J 10 9 8
62
K43
82
 5 2
643
N
 K J 9 8 W E
A4
 9 8 6
 Q J 10 7 5
S
 Q 10 9 7
K53
A7
 Q 10 7 5 3
A2
AJ64
E-Z Deal Row 6, Deal 3
North
East
South*
West
9+2
10+1
15 (+1)
6
92
4
1 Pass 1 Pass
2 Pass 3 Pass
4 all pass
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 4: West may try to open 1NT, but technically, the hand is too strong. West should show the hand’s
strength by jumping in notrump on the second round of bidding. East adds the points together, knows there is
game and bids it. To make this contract, West has to cross to each of dummy’s aces in order to take the club
finesse twice.
E-Z Deal Cards: #6, Deal 4
Dealer: West  Q J 10 9
J92
973
985
 A 7 3
N
 K 6
W E
 K Q 10 8
S
 A Q J 2
K64
 Q 10 8 4
J5
 K 10 6 3
852
A753
A642
74
E-Z Deal Row 6, Deal 4
North
East
South
West*
4
8
9
19
3NT
1 Pass 1 Pass
2NT Pass 3NT all pass
Summary
“Today you finished learning about bidding in auctions that start with one of a suit. The exercises you will
do for homework and the deals you played today are at the end of Chapter 6 in your text. Please do as many
of the exercises as you can.”
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
LESSON 15:
Doubles (Row 8 Deals)
This is the Bidding in the 21st Century Lesson 8.
Materials
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Decks of E-Z Deal Bidding in the 21st Century cards or pre-made boards.
Score pads (or use travellers) and pencils.
Laminated table guidecards with NESW.
Bidding in the 21st Century texts required this lesson.
(optional) Blow up of the hand at the top of page 274 of Bidding in the 21st Century text.
(optional) Bridge poster.
(optional) Wizard Tip Cards for row 8 deals from Appendix C.
Objectives
• Learn about doubles and redoubles and how they affect the score.
• Learn takeout doubles. Note that this lesson teaches low level negative and reopening doubles
as part of takeout doubles which deviates from Bidding in the 21st Century. The idea is not
developed in any detail, however, and can be left out if you prefer.
• Learn to take a ruff in dummy.
If you don’t have a blow up of the hand on page 274 of the Bidding in the 21st Century text, write it on the
board before class starts.
KQ98
3
 A 10 7 6
KQ42
“Today you will learn how to deal with hands that want to compete when the opponents open, but don’t
meet the requirements for either 1NT or a suit overcall. (In longer classes, quiz them on what those requirements are — a hand that would open 1NT with some strength in the opponents suit and a hand that would
open the bidding with a five-card suit. Note that with a good suit they can shade the points for a one-level
overcall, a little.)
“Have a look at this hand (the blown up hand or the hand on the board). Wouldn’t you want to bid something when your opponent opens 1? But your rules don’t allow that. Any ideas?
“Top bridge players figured out a long time ago that penalty doubles at low levels are rare. It is hard to be
sure you can take seven tricks all by yourself when your opponent opens the bidding. So you use the bid
‘double’ to mean something different here. It asks partner to pick one of the other suits. That’s just what you
want to do on this hand. This is called a takeout double. A takeout double promises support for all unbid
suits. Support means at least three cards, preferably with an honor, in every unbid suit.
“Since you expect to be dummy when you make a takeout double, count dummy points — short-suit points
— rather than long-suit points when you count your distribution points.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
“Now you can’t just say “takeout double,” rather than “double,” so you need a good set of rules for when a
double is for takeout as opposed to when it is for penalties. Here they are:
Double Is for Takeout When . . .
1. It is the first time your side has bid in the auction and the opponents have just bid a suit.
2. The opponents are in a suit at the two level or lower, and your side has opened the bidding one of a
suit but has not yet made any other bid. (With a sharp class, bring up that this type of takeout double
is called a negative double by responder.)
“For example, look at this hand on the board (or the blow up). Would you double an opening bid of 1 for
takeout holding this hand? What if you got to open this hand? What would you bid? (1.) Suppose that you
open 1, your opponent overcalls 1 and the auction comes back to you after two passes. What would you
bid? (The students will want to bid 1. Show them that they can make a takeout double.)
“Turn to page 292 in your Bidding in the 21st Century text. Let’s do Exercise 1. (Go through the answers
with them, calling on one at a time. Note that questions 3 & 4 illustrate penalty doubles and 1 & 2 illustrate
takeout doubles. Tell the students that part of learning the game is to be able to distinguish between these
situations.) “Ready to play the hands? Let’s go!”
Deal 1: If making boards, swap the South’s K with West’s J, so South won’t want to bid 2 in the competitive auction. East has to give up two diamond tricks before drawing trump in order to ruff the third diamond in dummy.
E-Z Deal Cards: #8, Deal 1
Dealer: North  9 7 6
 K Q J 10
AQ87
QJ
 J 5
N
 8 6 2
W E
 J 9 3
S
 K 9 6 5 3
 Q 10 4 2
74
K652
 10 8 4
AK83
A953
 10 4
A72
E-Z Deal Row 8, Deal 1
North*
East
South
West
15
15(+1)
5
5+1
95
2
1 Dbl Pass 2
all pass
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 2: Since the club finesse loses, North takes two ruffs in dummy before drawing trump to make this contract.
E-Z Deal Cards: #8, Deal 2
Dealer: East  K Q J 6 5
J43
KQ6
53
 9 8 2
 9 6 5 2 WN E
 10 9
S
 A 9 7 6
 A 10 7 3
7
A753
K842
4
 A K Q 10 8
J842
 Q J 10
E-Z Deal Row 8, Deal 2
North
East*
South
West
12+1
13+1
11(+3)
4
4
1 Dbl Pass 4
all pass
Deal 3: This hand has a combination finesse in spades. The students have not seen this before and usually
need help to get it right. So show them after the hand.
E-Z Deal Cards: #8, Deal 3
Dealer: South  Q 8 6
74
9842
7653
 A J 10 2
N
 J 9 8 3
W E
 A 6
S
 A 8 4
K94
A5
 K Q J 10 7
 J 10 9
753
 K Q 10 6 2
53
KQ2
E-Z Deal Row 8, Deal 3
North
East
South*
West
2
10+1
14+1
14(+1)
96
4
1 Dbl Pass 2
Pass 4 all pass
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Deal 4: South has to lead toward the K and Q twice in order to make this contract. This is hard for the
students to do at this stage.
E-Z Deal Cards: #8, Deal 4
Dealer: West  K Q 3 2
95
KJ6
AKQJ
 A 10 8
 A K Q 6 3 WN E
 10 9 8
S
 J 9 5 2
9764
J4
AQ3
8742
J5
 10 8 7 2
7542
 10 9 5
E-Z Deal Row 8, Deal 4
North
East
South
West*
19(+1)
1
7
13+1
4
1 Dbl Pass 1
Pass 3 Pass 4
all pass
Summary
“Congratulations! Now that you have learned the takeout double, you are ready to play bridge! Next week
we will have a competition with bridge T-shirts for all and trophies to the winners.
“The homework is to do the exercises at the end of Chapter 8.
“Please review everything you have learned, particularly responding to a 1NT opening bid, since you studied
that so long ago.
“You can now try playing online with random other players. Yahoo, MSN and Bridge Base are all fine places
to play free of charge. Play at a beginner or novice table since you have just started playing bridge.
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LESSON 16:
Final Week - Hold a Competition
Materials
• Boards (pre-duplicated with analysis sheets if possible).
• Bidding boxes.
• Table guidecards (with the movement if this is to be a Howell).
• Duplicate scoring sheets.
• Know the movement for the various expected numbers of tables.
• T-shirts for graduates and trophies for winners supplied by the ACBL.
• (optional) Bridge Poster.
• Be sure to have some extra people available to fill in.
Objectives
• Learn to play with bidding boxes if you haven’t already.
• Learn to play duplicate-style.
• Have fun!
The ACBL will send you guidelines on how to offer a mini-tournament at the end of the lesson series. We
have two sets of 12 pre-analyzed hands that we have used in our competitions. One set was originally played
in the Culbertson Bridge Club in New York City, first in the regular game then in the newcomer game. Those
matchpoints are included in the brief write-up (the last two are the newcomer game). The second set was
played at a San Diego Regional in 2003 by a 0-50 point group. Matchpoints are included, so you can use
“instant” matchpoints if you have only one table. E-mail [email protected] for a copy of the preanalyzed hands that you want.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Board North
Dealer

Vul:



West




South




Board North
Dealer

Vul:



West




South




Score Sheet: Ctrct
#
NS
EW
MPs
East




Auction:
North
Score Sheet: Ctrct
East
#
South
NS
EW
West
MPs
East




Auction:
North
Figure 20 - Hand Record Template
99
East
South
West
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Appendix A:
Exercises for Younger Children - Lesson 1
Materials
• Six to eight decks of cards, have them already separated into suits.
• Name tags.
• Card holders (you will find out this lesson if you will need them every week).
• No pencils or papers needed for this lesson.
Objectives:
• Recognize the four suits.
• Recognize the relative rank of cards.
• Deal, shuffle and sort the cards.
• Understand how a trick is won at notrump.
Exercise 1: Rank of the Cards
In this exercise, we discuss the rank of the cards via questions and answers with one suit face up at each
table, so that the children can see what we are discussing. Use one deck of cards for each table, since by the
end of the lesson, each table will have a full deck. Give them each a different suit so that you can call on the
‘spade table,’ ‘heart table,’ etc. Keep the remaining decks separate in piles on the teacher’s desk or a bookshelf. Keep one deck aside so you can later demonstrate how to shuffle and hold the cards.
“For your first exercise, each table will use one suit. I am going to give a suit to the student at the side of the
table closest to me. I want that student to take the cards and spread them face up in the center of the table.
Face up means that the rank and suit of the cards can be seen. Face down means that only the backs can be
seen. You will be learning a lot of new terminology in this lesson, so please raise your hand any time I use
a word that you do not understand. For example, the term rank refers to how high or low a card is. Is it an
ace or a two? (Pass the suits out. If the students did not all know the suit names, have each table raise their
hands when you call their suit out —“Raise your hands, Table with the spades, you are Table 1. Table with
the hearts — you are table 2, etc.”)
“Do you all know the rank of the cards? Which card beats all the others? (Call on someone to answer this.)
What is the next highest card? And next? (I usually make some kind of joke here, as per Audrey Grant in
Bidding in the 21st Century, like why shouldn’t the queen be higher than the king? After all England and
Denmark have queens and no kings at all.) And after that? What is the lowest card? Does anyone know how
many cards are in a full deck? (Call on someone to answer this.) All right now how many cards are there in a
suit? (If no one raises their hand, give them a hint — 52 divided by 4 is?)
“You all seem to know enough about cards to start playing now, so let’s get started!”
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Exercise 2: Taking Tricks
In this exercise, we play out a few deals with one suit to get the feel of trick-taking. We learn to put the cards
on the edge of the table and turn them duplicate-style.
“OK, students to the left of the one to whom I gave the cards, it’s your turn now. Put the deuces (that’s a
fancy word for the card with a two on it) on the edge of the table for me to collect and turn the other cards
upside down in the middle. Then mix them up well. (Collect the deuces while they are mixing.)
“Now, the student to the left of the one who mixed the cards, it is your turn. While the cards are still face
down, you are going to give each player three cards. When you give out the cards, start by giving one to the
player on your left. Do this going around the table in turn. Going around in that direction is known as going
clockwise. Raise your hand if you already know that term. Does anyone know why starting on your left and
going around is called going clockwise? (Call on someone to answer this.) The person who gives out the
cards in a card game is known as (make this a question with players who seem to have little playing experience) the Dealer. Mixing the cards is known as the shuffle. There should be no cards left over. Why? (Call
on someone to answer this if it seems appropriate.)
“Everyone now has three cards face down in front of them. Pick up your cards without showing them to the
other players and hold them in one of your hands. We are about to play cards. Is everyone ready? The player
(notice that you are all card players now) to the left of the dealer is going to make the first play. Remember,
this is just an experiment. Take one of your cards, any card, and place it face up in front of you. This is called
leading. Don’t put it in the middle like you would for other card games. Put it on the edge in front of you.
Now, the player to the left of the opening leader, play a card in front of you (yes, the first lead is called the
opening lead). Then every other player place a card in front of you, in turn, going clockwise.
“Raise your hand if you played the card with the highest rank. Congratulations, you have won the first trick.
A trick is when everyone has played one card. Turn the card you played face down in front of you slightly
to the left. Players who lost the trick, place your card so that the long side is along the table’s edge; in other
words, parallel to the side of the table. The player who won the trick, place your card the opposite way, so
that it points to the middle of the table and to you. Since you won the trick, you get to lead to the next trick,
so lead any card. (Wait for the next comment until after the trick is played.)
“Now that everyone has played a card, turn your cards over, overlapping a little more than half of the first
card on the right side of it. Again, the winner turns their card so it points to the middle. Since you won the
trick, you get to lead to the next trick, so lead any card. Your objective is to win as many tricks as you can.
“When everyone has played a card, turn your cards over, face down, to the right of the first card. Again, the
winner turns his card so that it points to the middle. At this point, everyone should have just one card left.
The winner of the last trick leads again. Everyone still plays in order and then turns the cards over.
“Now let’s look at the cards that won tricks. Turn the winning cards face up. The player who first got the
cards at each table, tell me what cards won tricks at your table. (Table 1 report. Table 2 report, etc.) Turn over
the cards that didn’t win a trick. Player to the left report. (Table 1 report. Table 2 report, etc.)”
Play another deal if it seems necessary, but usually move on. While the students are reporting on their losers, hand out a second different-colored suit, missing the deuce, to each table’s “next” player.
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Exercise 3: Following Suit and Sorting
In this exercise, we play a few deals with two suits to do our first suit sorting and to get the feel of following
“I have given the next player at each table a second suit which is also missing the deuce. I want that player to
put all of the cards face down in the middle of the table and mix them well. There are more cards now, so be
careful to keep them on the table. Collect the cards together, still face down, and hand them to the player on
your left who will deal them out one at a time. How many cards does everyone have? (Hopefully six, else we
will learn about misdeals.) It’s a good habit to count your cards before you pick them up. That way, if there
is a problem with the deal, the person with too few cards can just pick a card from the one with too many.
Does everyone have the right number?
“Pick up the cards. Now that you have two suits, it will be easier if you separate them from each other in
your hand, so that you can see better what cards you have in each suit. This will be even more important
when you have all four suits. Put the black suit cards on the left and the red suit on your right in order, high
card to low card.
“Player to the left of dealer, lead a card. Now there are a few new rules. First of all, the card that wins the
trick will be the highest card in the suit that has been led. Second rule is that you must play a card in the suit
that has been led if you have one. This is called following suit. When you can’t follow suit, you must play a
card of the other suit and it cannot win the trick. That is called discarding. Turn your cards over and place
them along the edge after each trick, the same as before. Whoever wins the trick gets to pick a card of either
suit to lead to the next trick. Your objective is to win as many tricks as you can.
“Now let’s look at the cards that won tricks. Turn the winning cards face up. The player to the left of the
leader, tell me what cards won tricks and what cards lost tricks at your table. (Table 1 report. Table 2 report,
etc.) Next player to the left, what was different about having two suits? (Table 1 report. Table 2 report, etc.)”
Do this exercise again. Since there are five jobs — shuffle, deal, lead, first report, second report — the deal
will rotate normally to the left. Now give them a full deck and continue into Lesson 1, Exercise 3, on sorting.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
These hands were dealt in a game of MiniBridge. The dealer was West.
A K 6
9632
A Q 4
K42
 Q 97 4
N
 7 5
W E
 J 10 6
S
 Q J 9 7  10 5 3 2
A K 4
K83
A 5 3
1.
How many points does each player have?
West = 6
North = 16
East = 4
South = 14
2.
Who announces the points first?
3.
Which pair is the declaring side?
4.
Which pair is the defending side? East-West
5.
Who is declarer? North
6.
Which player makes the first lead? East
7.
How many tricks can declarer make? 9
8.
Who will be the dealer for the next hand? North
J 8
 Q J 10 8
9752
 10 8 6
West
North-South
Who is dummy? South
EBU MiniBridge Worksheet 1
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
These deals were dealt in a game of MiniBridge. The dealer was North.




 Q 7 4
 K Q 7 6
 J 10
 Q J 9 7 



AK6
932
AQ64
542
N
W E
S
 J 10
 A J 10 7 4
975
 10 8 6
98532
8
K832
AK3
1.
How many points does each player have?
West =
11
North = 13
East =
6
South = 10
2.
Who announces the points first?
3.
Which pair is the declaring side?
4.
Which pair is the defending side? East-West
5.
Who is declarer? North
6.
What should the contract be? 4
7.
Which player makes the first lead? East
8.
How many tricks can declarer make? 10
9.
Who will be the dealer for the next hand? East
North
North-South
Who is dummy? South
MiniBridge Worksheet 2 (not EBU)
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
SCORING MINIBRIDGE
Sarah and David play Kim and Jason at MiniBridge. The table below summarizes what happens. What are
the scores for each partnership on each deal?
Hand
Declarer
Contract
Score S & D
K&J
1
Kim
game in 
10
420
2
David
partscore in 
11
230
3
David
game in NT
8
4
Sarah
partscore in 
8
90
5
Kim
partscore in 
6
50
6
Sarah
game in 
11
400
7
Jason
game in NT
9
400
8
Kim
partscore in 
9
140
9
Jason
game in 
12
420
10
David
partscore in NT
7
90
11
Sarah
game in 
9
50
12
Kim
partscore in 
9
110
Scoring: EBU MiniBridge Worksheet 2 (Answers)
105
50
ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
How many tricks can be made in the suits shown below?
Declarer
Dummy
Number of Tricks
1.
A 4 2
2.
A K 5
7 6 3
1
7 3 2
2
3.
A 3 2
K 7 5
2
4.
A K Q
7 6 3
3
5.
A K
Q 7 6
3
6.
A
K
1
7.
AQ54
K J 3 2
4
8.
Q J
A K
2
9.
K Q 2
J 9 7
2
10.
Q 10 9 4
J 7 3 2
2
11.
A 10 7 5 4 3
98
4
12.
9 8 7 6 5
4 3 2
2
EBL MiniBridge Worksheet 3
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
These deals were dealt in a game of BridgeIt. The dealer was North.




 K 7 4
 Q 7 5
 J 10 6
 Q J 9 7 



AQ6
9632
AQ4
542
N
W E
S
 98
 A J 10
97532
 10 8 6
J 10 5 3 2
K84
K8
AK3
1.
How many points does each player have?
West =
9
East =
5 South = 14
2.
What suit does each side have an eight-card or longer fit in?
3.
Which pair will be the declaring side?
4.
Which pair will be the defending side? East-West
5.
Who is declarer? South 6.
What should the contract be? 4
7.
Which player makes the first lead? West
8.
How many tricks can declarer make? 11
9.
North = 12
East/West Diamonds
North-South
Who is dummy? North
Who will be the dealer for the next hand? East
Modified EBL Worksheet 5 — Finessing
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Appendix C:
Wizard Tip Cards
Row 3 to 6 deal tips by Audrey Grant
Rows 2,7,8, new deals and Play of the Hand in the 21st Century tips by Felicity Moore
Row 2 Deals
Row 2, Deal 1
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
How many tricks do you need? Take your tricks and run!
Row 2, Deal 2
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
When cashing a suit, always play the high card from the short side first.
Row 2, Deal 3
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
How many trumps do the opponents have? Make sure that you draw them all and then you
can use your small trumps to beat their high cards.
Row 2, Deal 4
Hint for the Bridge Wizard
Make sure you draw those trumps from the opponents otherwise they may use them to beat
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Row 3 Deals
Row 3, Deal 1
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
The treasure is in diamonds. Play those diamonds as soon as you can.
Row 3, Deal 2
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
Play the spades as soon as you get the lead and keep playing spades until the defenders have
no spades left. Then play hearts. Finally take tricks with your high cards.
Row 3, Deal 3
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
The treasure is in diamonds. Play that suit as soon as you get the lead. But be careful. Play
the Q first.
Row 3, Deal 4
Hint for the Bridge Wizard
The treasure is in diamonds – it’s a hidden treasure. Keep playing the diamonds and you’ll
find three tricks.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Row 4 Deals
Row 4, Deal 1
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
Win two tricks with the A and the K. Then play a third club, which the defenders will
win. When you get the lead again, your last club is a winner and has as much power as an
ace.
Row 4, Deal 2
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
You are going to be lucky on this hand. Play spades as soon as you win a trick. First play the
A and then a low spade. The defenders take this trick, but after that your three low spades
are winners.
Row 4, Deal 3
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
After you get the lead, play hearts twice so that the defenders have no hearts left. Next play
the diamonds. Even though you will lose two tricks in the suit, you will establish the last diamond as a winner.
Row 4, Deal 4
Hint for the Bridge Wizard
Patience, patience! Play the clubs as soon as you get the lead and keep playing them until the
last club is a winner. You’ll lose three tricks, but you’ll gain one. Try it and see!
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Row 5 Deals
Row 5, Deal 1
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
Lead the 3 from your hand. Play your K if East plays low. If East plays the A, play a
low club.
Row 5, Deal 2
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
Play the A first and then the 2. Play the Q if your left hand opponent plays the J or
10.
Row 5, Deal 3
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
The Q can bring victory. Play the 2. If your left hand opponent plays low, play the Q.
If your left hand opponent plays the K, take the trick with the A, and your Q will be a
winner on the next trick.
Row 5, Deal 4
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
Protect your K and Q. Lead toward them and don’t play one of these high cards until the
player on your left has played first. If East plays a low diamond, play the K or Q. If East
plays the A, play a low diamond.
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ACBL School Bridge Lesson Series Teacher Manual
Row 6 Deals
Row 6, Deal 1
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
When you get in, draw out the enemy trumps but don’t play more trumps than you need to.
You will need a spade to ruff a diamond later on.
Row 6, Deal 2
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
When you get in, draw out the enemy trumps but don’t play more trumps than you need to.
Now play clubs, you will have to lose one club, but you will be able to ruff the third club.
Row 6, Deal 3
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
When you get in, don’t draw trumps until you have ruffed a losing diamond. Play the A
and the K and then ruff the third diamond.
Row 6, Deal 4
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
Win the first trick and then go over to the A in dummy. Now lead a low club. If South
plays low, play the Q. If the Q wins, you can go over to the A and repeat the finesse.
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Row 7 Deals
Row 7, Deal 1
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
How many trumps do the opponents have? Make sure that you draw them all out before
cashing your high cards. Remember “high card from the short side.”
Row 7, Deal 2
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
How many tricks can you allow the opponents to win? If the opponents win the ace of
trumps, how many can they cash? Use the clubs to get rid of one of your losers before giving
them the lead. Remember “high card from the short side first.”
Row 7, Deal 3
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
You need to make 10 tricks, so the opponents cannot make more than 3. If you surrender the
ace of trumps, how many can they cash? How can you get rid of one of those losers before
drawing trumps? Spades are the key.
Row 7, Deal 4
Hint for the Bridge Wizard
How many top tricks do you have? How many do you need? The extra tricks can come from
your long diamond suit, but you must get started right away before playing your other high
cards.
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Row 8 Deals
Row 8, Deal 1
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
How many losers in your hand? One too many? You should plan to ruff a diamond in dummy before you draw trumps, so surrender two diamond tricks before drawing their trumps.
Row 8, Deal 2
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
You will need to ruff those two losing hearts in dummy, so do that first before drawing the
opponents’ trumps.
Row 8, Deal 3
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
To make 10 tricks, you will need to make 2 tricks in spades. To do this, you must always lead
the spades from your hand and play the jack or the ten. If your left hand opponent has either
the king or the queen, you will win 2 tricks. Try it!
Row 8, Deal 4
Hint for the Bridge Wizard
To make your contract, you need to make 3 tricks in spades. Where do you hope the A is?
If it is where you hope, you must make sure your opponent plays it before you play your K
or Q. Play a small card towards the high cards each time you play spades.
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Deal 3
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
Where is the K? How can you trap it?
Deal 4
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
Where is the missing Q? How can you prevent it from winning a trick?
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Play of the Hand in the 21st Century Deals for Lesson 13
Deal 1
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
Your extra tricks will come from hearts. Remember to play the high card from the short side
first or you may find yourself a trick short.
Deal 2
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
Your extra tricks will come from diamonds. Make sure that the opponents don’t ruff your
winners.
Deal 3
Hint from the Bridge Wizard
Be careful when winning that fourth spade with a trump. Also, where do you hope the K
is?
Deal 4
Hint for the Bridge Wizard
How can you trap the K? You may have to do it twice.
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