Larry Cohen's "Bidding Challenge" puts the reader at the table in the world's most prestigious pairs tournaments. The author presents real-life hands as bridge bidding problems that you can try with your own favorite partner. Then you can read Larry's analysis of how each pair should bid the hand.
Learning to count the cards is a critical part of becoming a better declarer or defender. "Countdown to Winning Bridge" by Tim Bourke and Marc Smith teaches simple techniques for counting that will help you to improve by counting the points and cards and thus calculating probable distributions.
"Introduction to Negative Doubles: A Must-read for the Aspiring Player" by Marty Bergen. The most important convention in bridge. This book ntended for less-experienced players. For more experienced players, Marty has written the book 'negative doubles'
Marty Bergen covers the basics of Negative doubles in a style that even the beginner will understand; responses to the double are detailed as is the penalty pass and 'automatic' re-opening double. There are minor differences if you play Acol, and so Marty has also written "Negative Doubles for Acol Players " in association with Tim Bourke
(buy from Amazon.co.uk).
"10 Ways to Improve Your Bridge", by David Bird covers dozens of topics including bidding the opponents' suit, support doubles and redoubles, signalling, fit jumps and more. Each chapter contains a summary, quiz and answers. If you want an edge on your opponents this book is for you.
With "Introduction to the Law" Larry Cohen has brought out a more basic book on the Law of Total Tricks. Owners of "To Bid or Not to Bid"
(buy from Amazon.co.uk,) should not buy this unless they find that work completely incomprehensible. Suitable for the improving player.
Unavailable at Amazon.co.uk
"10 More Ways to Improve Your Bridge", by David Bird is a modern (2010) book covering both bidding and play. In the area of bidding, the Jacoby 2NT convention is described—the most popular way of showing a strong major-suit raise and investigating slam possibilities. When bidding slams, it is critical to identify the presence or otherwise of the six key cards—the four aces and the kingqueen of trumps. Roman Key-card Blackwood allows you to do this. Two important variations, Kickback Blackwood and Exclusion Blackwood, and the Lebenshol convention are explained. On defense, the important topic of disrupting declarer's communications is explained. The book will also show how to become an "awkward defender," the sort of player that no declarer likes to face. Finally, five important areas of declarer play are addressed: holding up in a suit contract, using the entries provided by the trump suit, how to block the defenders' suit at no-trumps, the various ways to avoid an adverse ruff or overruff, and how to overcome a 4–1 trump break.
In "There Must be a Way" Andrew Diosy has collected 52 bridge hands, graded into increasing levels of difficulty, where the obvious answer is usually wrong. As you look further into each hand, you find that there are more layers of complexity, as each move by declarer or the defense has its counter-move.
"You Have to See This" by Andrew Diosy and Linda Lee is another book of brilliant declarer play problems to test your skills.
"Better Signalling Now" by Mark Horton takes readers through the modern options in terms of defensive signalling, and allows them to construct a system that suits their own style. Based on a previous book by the same author, this revised edition incorporates numerous suggestions and improvements from experts Tim Bourke and Sandra Landy.
In "Bridge with the Blue Team" Pietro Forquet gives us a superb collection of great hands from the most famous team ever. Study the techniques used and apply them to your own games, or just read the hands for sheer pleasure. As a bonus you get system summaries of the bidding used by the Blue Team. Forquet's bridge style was rock-solid, and his writing style is clear and consise.
In "Play Duplicate Bridge at Home" Rijk van der Krol presents an ingenious system guaranteeing a replica of club competition from the comfort of your own home. You can immediately compare your scores with those of other partnerships. Playing in a small circle enables you to review each game which would not be possible in a multi-table competition.
Or buy from Amazon.co.uk.
"Tips for Better Bridge" by Bernard Magee will help you improve your game with 65 direct and simple tips for better play, defence and bidding. The advice is based on judgement, not a specific bidding system, so will appeal to players everywhere.
Bridge Cardplay: Attack and Defence
You may have noticed how some players always seem to know when to drop your doubleton queen or avoid taking a losing finesse.
Many of the techniques employed by the experts are not as difficult as you might imagine. "Bridge Cardplay: Attack and Defence" by Marc Smith shows how you can become one of those players who always seems to get it right.
Maybe rubber bridge is your game, or perhaps it's duplicate. Whatever your preference you can't fail to be enthralled by the goings-on in the 100 pounds (or even 200 pounds) a game at TGR's Bridge Club in London. Lose a 1,100 penalty and that's 1,100 pounds. If you think that is enough to make anyone a cautious bidder, you'd better think again. "The Big Game - Rubber Bridge in a London Club" by Robert Sheehan is as much about the characters and personalities of the game as the bridge itself. An enthralling account of the author's account of a life at the high stakes rubber bridge table. Follow the exploits of Zia Mahmood and others as they play for enormous stakes.
If you are not yet a life master, but have designs in that direction, then "Go for the Gold: Becoming an ACBL Life Master" by
Burt Saxon is for you. The author focuses on what you should be doing if you want to get that elusive gold card. Don't look for hands in this book - there aren't any. Don't look for bidding systems and conventions - there aren't any. Instead this book is dedicated to tips and advice on how to get those precious gold points that you need for to become a Life master. The author is especially emphatic on how important it is to find the right partner. In fact, he uses several pages to describe how his partnership with Steve Emerson grew to fruition over the years. Saxon also is very focused on reading, suggesting that about one-third of the time you devote to bridge should be spent reading. He offers a solid bibliography for beginners, intermediates and advanced players - the three groups to whom this book is addressed.
Drawing of Trumps and Its Postponement
Fred L Karpin
"Drawing of Trumps and Its Postponement" by Fred Karpin explains when it's best for declarer to draw trumps and when it's best to leave it for a while (or never). Sometimes you need to set up a side-suit first, or perhaps ruff something first, or maybe it's a simple cross-ruff hand.
"Countdown to Better Bridge" by Hugh Kelsey
teaches the reader how to count the distribution and high cards in the hidden hands - the secret to all expert defence and declarer play. The book is designed to sharpen your perception of what is occurring at the table, by getting you in the habit of correct patterns of thought.
"Bridge: Adding Precision and Pre-emption to Two-over-one and Acol" by Matt Smith allows the reader to pep up his system in both constructive and destructive bidding.
"How to Win at Duplicate Bridge" by Marshall Miles and William Hanna is a classic must read for any serious matchpoint player.
"Get Smarter at Bridge" by Phillip Alder starts with a description of duplicate, including a few of the conventions used by most tournament players in North America. But the main bulk is built around my newspaper column, comprising numerous quizzes.
"Defense Strategy in Bridge, Featuring Suit-Preference Signals" by Hy Lavinthal and George Coffin is the basic workbook for those playing Lavintal (aka McKenny) suit preference signals, which were devised way back in 1934 and are still extremely popular.
"Picture Bidding" by Al Roth is a great bidding classic. I can do no better that quote the author - 'As you may be aware by now, I do not pay too much attention to
points. Good hands are based on a fit, distributional values and aces and kings'.
There are two schools of thought about the appropriate behavior for dummy. Some ignore the play, relaxing in preparation for the next deal. Others watch every move like a hawk so as to be better prepared for the post-mortem.
''Bridge for Ambitious Players'' by Terence Reese is a gossipy collection of deals suitable for the second type of dummy.
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