Bridge – But Not The One In Brooklyn

September 2nd, 2009

Palm Springs, CA.   Spent Tuesday evening playing Bridge. Hadn’t played in almost 30 years. Found an instructor who tutors small groups and he was willing to give me a chance. There were 4 of us – that’s a good number for Bridge. We started at 6 p.m. and played for about 3 hours. Was really surprised at how quickly I recalled some of the game’s details.

One of the first memories to return was that of the most often used word in the game – PASS. I became quite good at using it. Thought about saying it different ways, using expressive tones, unusual delivery speed rates and even whispering. I refrained for it became evident the other players were more interested in the delay that occurred before I uttered the word. Apparently you’re supposed to rather quickly realize when you don’t have a bidding hand. In my defense, it was difficult to know whether to PASS or bid. You see, my evening of bidding hands didn’t include a genuine winner with which to compare the others. So I spent time wondering if the loser I was holding was a better loser than ones previous.

The instructor provided Cheat Sheets and I referred to one when calculating bidding points. Never had to count higher than 13. Didn’t have to do much adding and subtracting for the evening’s hands were filled with Jacks, Queens, single and double card suits, and one Royal Flush starting with the deuce of diamonds.

At one point my partner bid 1 Club – and that left me wondering how he knew that’s what I had. I responded by bidding 1 Heart which produced a scowl on his face. He responded by bidding 2 Clubs and won the bid. I became the Dummy – thought that would have been obvious when I walked in the door. He played, I watched, we lost.

Fortunately no scores were kept and the instructor said we’d cover that subject in the future. At this point my confidence level in my Bridge-playing skills is quite high. I expect to be ready to enter a Master Novice Tournament well before Christmas.

Bond Shands
Palm Springs
September 2, 2009