Improve Your Game: Watch the Greats Play It

Bridge may not play well on TV but you can find all recent major championships in stored online movies and you can watch online with expert commentary as they are played, using the BBO vugraph interface. The term for watching bridge is “kibitzing,” although a bridge kibitzer is expected to remain silent at all times.


These are not movies with people’s faces but screens which show all four hands, the bidding, and the cards played in order by clicking next.

If you do not have an id at BBO sign up now! The USBF senior and women’s championships start tomorrow, Friday July 12, in Florida and they will be vugraphed starting Saturday. Click here for the vugraph schedule. Of course you can also play bridge at the BBO site …

To find old play records as “movies” you can go to the BBO archives or you can go to the USBF site and look at results of recent tournaments.

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Husband and Wife Bridge: A Special Thanks to Coach Matthew

It is both difficult and rewarding to play with your spouse. Difficult because the emotions and anger tend to be overwhelming. “If you loved me you would have given me my ruff!” One tends to take partner’s errors personally when you are married to him. The rewarding part of playing with your spouse is having a great bidding system because you can talk about bridge any time of day or night and bid the monthly Bulletin and Bridge World hands together. “Did you see that article on the Lebensohl variation, shall we play it?”

Steve and I  were so angry at each other after the last regional we played that we were ready to quit playing with each other. So I contacted good friend Matthew Granovetter of Bridge Today and asked him for some coaching help. Who better than the author with his wife Pam of the ACBL Bridge Bulletin bridge column showing both sides of an issue?

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Tournament Game Times, What’s Your Opinion?

The use of morning and afternoon game times instead of the traditional afternoon and evening game times at the recent Philadelphia Nationals generated a heated debate on the Bridge Winners website at as well as many comments on Facebook and other social media.

Please contribute your opinion if you have ever played in a tournament to our online survey on our polls page. Warning, the survey does not work properly in Safari (on an Ipad or mac) where it will tell you that you have already done the survey.

Suggestions for Teaching Kids Bridge

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I recently received an email with a great suggestion from reader Erin for a game to use when teaching bridge to kids. I would love to hear other useful suggestions and experiences in the comments to this article. Share what worked for you with other teachers.

Erin said “I came across a game a long time ago which is useful to teach to kids before they learn bridge. It’s very simple.

Take the honours out of a deck of cards (AKQJT), shuffle them, and deal them between two people. Someone leads a card and the other must follow suit. The winner leads the next card. If you want you can keep a cumulative score that is tricks won over 5, and the winner might be the first to, say, 10 or 20 points.

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More on Basic Bidding

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These days most of my bridge writings are published in the District 17 newsletter which my husband and I edit. Our columns from the newsletter are also online at the District 17 website. My Basic Bidding series there is mainly a reworking of the materials here without the drills.

But there are several articles there that are not previously published here that are of particular interest to the advancing player:

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Seattle Nationals!

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For serious bridge players, the arrival of Thanksgiving means that it is time for the Fall National Championships. This year they are to be held in Seattle; details available from the ACBL web site. There are plenty of bridge events for all levels of players, as well as lectures and entertainment. A national bridge championship is always great fun for everyone. Yes it is cool and rainy here, but at least it is not snowy, and bridge is an indoor event anyway!

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USA loses World Championships!

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It is sad for us USA players to see our country losing its dominance in world bridge. We have the largest tournament bridge playing population (142,592 out of 312,520,000 or .045%) of any country. However as a proportion of the total population, both France (104,097 out of 63,396,000 or .164%) and the Netherlands (88,641 out of 16,721,000 or .53%) are beating us. So what are they doing better than we are? Aside from winning gold medals in the recent World Championships.

Note these numbers are only the players are members of the national organization that runs tournaments (the ACBL in our case). The actual bridge playing population, not just tournament players, is estimated at 25 million Americans by the playing card industry according to a blog post at
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