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Updated   10th June 2024

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For the last 32 years I have been teaching people to play bridge and have taught over 6000 courses. Over this period I have picked up ideas on teaching certain subjects with visual aids, mnemonics, and of course innuendo the most important element of teaching adults!!

I would like to use this page as a forum for teachers like myself to offer tips on teaching to help their students to absorb this most prestigious of card games.

  • suit establishment (by Harold Schogger) In order to teach suit establishment the key is to use a pack of cards at the table. The students extract just ONE SUIT and dishes out the suit as follows

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85   J109

Show that initially there are only three tricks for North South but as the suit plays 3 more tricks develop.

AK9   83  

Show that initially there are NO TRICKS but then after the Ace has gone 5 further tricks will eventually be made. .

The key is to use ONLY ONE SUIT per table, leaving the other 39 cards aside.

  • entries (by Harold Schogger) The biggest problem with new players is that they want to play off all their high cards and then they run out of steam. This time we must use all fifty two cards, which are dished out in equal shares (13 each if you please) and the students are asked to throw into the middle of the table the cards that they think are entries. ie ACES, KINGS ands QUEENS. (not small cards) These cards are then shown to be the most important cards and are NOT TO BE SQUANDERED. EMPHASIZE that there are indeed 3 types of entry
    • card to enable you to go from dummy to hand
    • card to enable you to go from hand to dummy
    • card that allows you to regain the initiative from the opponents. It is all well and good establishing a suit. If you can't get back into the game because you have squandered all your other high cards then you will have to give up !!
    • LEADING PARTNER'S SUIT (by Harold Schogger) A lot of students seem to learn from the cradle that you lead the 4th highest card of your longest suit regardless. This rule is OK used SPARINGLY and in the right place. The emphasis should definitely be laid on LEADING PARTNER'S SUIT IN ALL SITUATIONS AGAINST SUIT CONTRACTS AND ESPECIALLY AGAINST NO TRUMP CONTRACTS
      • Before commencing the lesson ask the students to guess what ALPS might stand for
      • One group I taught some years ago decided that it might stand for Always leave partner in the Shit. This can be used to prove that if you don't lead your partner's suit you will indeed be in the shit.
      • One group of Singles suggested it might stand for Always Leave Partner Satisfied. This particular idea really appealed and works very well at the bridge table if you have led your partner's suit.

  • After the dummy has been exposed students should be encouraged to stop and think it through. However this is not as easy as it sounds and most inexperienced students won't have a clue as to what they should be thinking about. Therefore the following well known phrase (or saying) should be committed to memory with the appropriate tag:-
    • WE winners
    • LOVE losers
    • EVERYONE entries
    • PASSIONATELY points
    • FOR finessing
    • DOING drawing trumps
    • RIGHT ruffing ??
    • EVERY TIME establishment of suits

Alternatively students can make up their own mnemonics and they may come up with WELFRED for above or one group (when it was topical) came up with the following :

We Loathe Edwina Passionately For Damming Rotten Eggs



by Harold Schogger

Anywhere that you can introduce sex into a teaching point will help students to remember the item.

A good example of this is teaching about a

GAME FORCING OPENING BID by telling your students that "IF YOU WISH TO AROUSE YOUR PARTNER TO GO ALL THE WAY (to game)" then you open 2C.

After many years of teaching this notion to my students one student suggested that the 2D bid was a means of saying "I'VE GOT A HEADACHE!!"

Also at this stage you might like to


(this always gets a chuckle)

If you would like to contribute to this page you can E-Mail me your ideas and I will be delighted to publish them on this page with a credit.

This page will be regularly updated.

Please send me your best tips for others to share