3 Bridge Books You Should have in your Arsenal if you are a Beginner Bridge Player

So you have joined the bridge club and plucked up the courage to go forth and conquer – conquer your inner fears of not being good enough, conquer the abusive octogenarian couple at the bridge table, and conquer the language of bridge.

Well done!

We all have to start somewhere at this game.

If you, like me had a bridge teacher that had an Intel Pentium processor for a brain and the others in the class were still operating with abacuses, then you will understand how damned difficult the game is.

Learning the game of bridge is like learning ancient Greek – but a lot more fun.

It is also a lot more useful. Think of the mornings you can spend with Dilly the Duck and Harry the Hog at the bridge table silently wishing they would disappear into bridge heaven so that you can get on and play without the painful sighs.

It is difficult. But, take heed, it is not impossible. And if your brain is coming out of the dark ages and learning a new language – jolly well done I say. You will not regret it. (Nor too will your chosen partner!)

In this new language, which has a new a new alphabet to boot, you have to learn a million and one things; scoring one’s own cards – four for an ace, three for a king, two for a queen, one for a jack, understanding what a “balanced” hand is and so on and so on.

The best way of doing this in my humble, 1 Club opinion is to read good bridge books.

And here are some that I think will help you as a beginner bridge player learning to play bridge from scratch.

Bridge for Bunnies [Barnes/Jursevics]

If you need a helping hand at the bridge table because you are learning to play and are classified as a beginner bridge player, then this is for you. It is a guide for newcomers who have learnt 5-card majors and is divided into four colour-coded sections: Opener – Responder – Overcaller – Advancer. Identify your role in the auction and find the right bid. The bidding charts are easy to follow and will assist you in seeing the structure of your bridge auctions.

Five-Card Majors Flipper [Browne]

This is another specifically written to provide easy to understand advice on what to do at the bridge table. It will give you a convenient outline of Standard bidding and it is split into 10 flippable sections including a duplicate bridge scorer.


Five-Card Majors Strong No-trump Cheat Sheet [Marston]

We all need cheat sheets – the more the merrier I say. This will give you on the spot guidance.
Partner bid this … what do I do now?

When learning to play bridge it is difficult to remember what all the bids mean. This acts as an aide-memoire allowing you to work out what to call next. It helps in beginner’s bridge by allowing you to play a good game of bridge before you have committed all the bidding to memory.

The Books Sure to Help Your Game

The Bridge Book You Do Not Read Will Not Help You.

Simply put Dilly the Duck – if you don’t read some good bridge books you won’t be able to play bridge like a champion.

And my dear poor beginners of the game of bridge –yes I sympathise, it isn’t easy – you will have to read some books on Learn to Play Bridge or Beginners Bridge. Without them you are like a duck without water.

The first lesson for little ducklings is to get into the water as fast as possible – the same applies to learning to play bridge. Bridge books are your path to the water. Once you are in the water, there will be many perils awaiting you. That is when you advance to intermediate or advanced bridge playing and it goes without saying, you need to continue to read further.

Nobody wants to be the Ugly Duckling with No Sense of Direction at the bridge table.

Here are three bridge books that you should read in your journey of learning Beginners Bridge:

1. Introduction and Card Play Basics [Glandorf] $29.95

yes-no-or-maybe-introduction-and-card-play-basicsThis is one of those books that bridge boffins have been known to state: I wish this book had been around when I was learning to play bridge. I would love to call myself a bridge boffin of note – but I cannot tell a lie (that often). It is a superb book to learn to play bridge and I would suggest if you are a beginner bridge player then you should have this in your armoury.

Glandorf’s innovative approach goes against the grain in teaching beginners to count the points in order to bid properly. It starts off with covering the mechanics of the game of bridge, hand valuation, preferred contract and scoring principles. It also covers the basics in play and defense.

2. Introduction to Defender’s Play [Kantar] $24.95

introduction-to-defenders-play-kantarIntroduction to Defender’s Play will teach you the skills you need to have to play good defensive bridge. According to the maestro good defensive skills are based on logic and if you can defend well it is almost impossible to be the Ugly Duckling with No Sense of Direction at the bridge table.

About 80% of contracts are not defeated when in fact with good defense at least 50% can be! Harry the Hog – hope you are putting in an order?

Kantar claims that most bridge players are not well versed with the fundamentals of good defense and this book will teach you how to give your partner the maximum information he or she requires to defeat the contract.; whether to play attacking or passive defense; which suite to lead, how to judge what the opponents are up to etc.

3. Barbara Seagram’s Beginning Bridge [Seagram/Lee] $32.95

barbara-seagrams-beginning-bridge-seagramThis new book by Seagram is for complete beginners and is based on her material that she uses in her classes. Her book Conventions You Should Know is a best-selling bridge book and has sold more than 250 000 copies.

This new one covers every aspect in learning of play bridge. I loved it and it is fun to use.



Who or What is VuBridge ?

Some of My Best Friends Are Dummies. They Don’t Know Anything About Vu-Bridge

Well Shirley the Sheep and Harry the Hog this is what Vu-Bridge is:

It is an internet-based software programme, designed and is managed by Didier Lévy, which allows bridge players to play set hands. These hands are designed to improve bridge players’ bidding and play techniques.

At The Bridge Shop, you can play the VuBridge Hands of the Week. Each Saturday, two new Hands of the Week taken from recent V-Green or V-Blue newsletters are displayed for you to play and test your game. You can play hands interactively on-line and the best thing is that you are learning from the experts such as David Bird, Marty Bergen, Bobby Wolff and Phillip Alder.

Vu-Bridge Hands of the WeekThese Hands of the Week, for both intermediate and newcomer players, give you an example of what you can expect. They are great fun to play and they will seriously put you in your place. Priscilla the Passer – please explore further and Valery the Valkyrie, please make a Valiant Effort.






V-Green Electronic Newsletter – With this you will receive over 20 hands every two weeks, delivered electronically and in total over a year you will get over 500 instructional hands and tips from the bridge champions along the lines of: David Bird, Barry Rigal, Bobby Wolff, Philip Alder and more.
Each newsletter contains hands on all sorts of topics like No-trump play, Planning, Counting and Defence. A really great way of practice makes perfect in the game of bridge.


Defender – This monthly newsletter dedicated to defence will give you some much needed immunity. It is delivered electronically. The whole playbook is about defence, not so much about declarer play and a subscription will allow you to receive 18 hands, along with two opening lead quizzes.
This is where Ken the King will be asking you to be his partner after you have mastered this one.


Spotlight on Card Play

Spotlight on Card Play PlayBook – This one is designed to turn moderately good bridge players into expert players of the cards, in a novel and entertaining. You can play 69 hands interactively. The authors, both Hungarian, Robert Darvas and Paul Lukacs were ranked among the finest and original card analysts. Through a ‘question-and-answer’ method they demonstrate the way the expert mind tackles the playing of all types of hands. You learn to detect hidden snags in hands that may look simple and find solutions to others that are difficult.
It is as though they are spotlighting the expert’s psychological tricks of the trade by exposing insights into difficult bridge hands. This bridge playbook will enable you to be so much more confident and aware of hidden techniques when you next sit down to play with that Cruella de Ville at the bridge table.

The deals in this book are perfectly suited for the Vu-Bridge interactive format. Instead of just reading about a bridge hand you get to actually play it.

Hope you enjoy one or two of them – you won’t be disappointed.

The Bridge Shop Has Been Around Since 1974.

The Bridge Shop Australia was founded in 1974.

It was also the year Olivia Newton-John was declared Country Music Female Vocalist of the Year having won two Grammy awards for I Honestly Love You.

Our little store was opened in Northbridge, Sydney and began by importing books from the UK and the United States to meet the demands of the local bridge community. The Bridge Shop now boasts the world’s largest range of bridge giftware, knick-knacks and general paraphernalia.

That, my friends, is an astounding achievement – a bid and made 7 No Trumps!

Some other interesting tit-bits that happened in 1974:

  • A town clerk in the Randwick Council said that if women were to stand in the local elections, then the council could not meet on Mondays. This he explained, was because women did the washing on Mondays.
  • Alan McGilvray stated that he made his cricket commentary on Mondays simpler because then housewives who were listening and doing the laundry, could better understand.
  • And another liberated chap, Alan Renouf, stated that when stuck with the wife of an Australian diplomat, one would generally find that she could only really talk about children, holidays and shopping.

What have you been doing since 1974? Playing the Game of Bridge? Well?

I have and happily ever after. But, alas, one never stops learning. Nor for that matter shopping. Dang, aren’t we a liberated bunch of people in 2017 and don’t we deserve to be treated as such, even on Mondays.

I say to myself over and over again: “You need to stop this bad habit!” But then I find myself clicking the Add to Cart button!

Card HoldersAdd to Cart. Bridge GamesAdd to Cart. Continue to checkout.

If you have not found Card Holders nor the latest in Bridge Games online, then you have not really being doing it properly. And after all, is that what we are aiming for. The proper Bridge Game deserves the best equipment.

Card Holders or Card Disks come in a variety of shapes and configurations. They make a fab present for your Bridge Buddies, but then of course, only once you have a set to show off.

GOTO Bridge XV – latest bridge game for Windows

Try GOTO Bridge XV – the latest bridge game for Windows

GOTO Bridge XV is a new entrant into the bridge software market and it’s a good look product. Actually, it’s not that new – GOTO Bridge XV has been around for about fourteen years but only just translated into English. The developers have been selling about 5000 copies of GOTO Bridge every year for about 10-12 years – so they must be doing something right.

GOTO Bridge XVWe recently road-tested GOTO Bridge XV and it looks pretty impressive. But first, some important technical information:

1. GOTO Bridge XV is Windows only

2. At the moment, GOTO Bridge XV is only available as download (but it’s very straightforward).

So – what are all the features of GOTO Bridge XV ?

  1. Like other games, you can play random deals against the computer opponents, with the added bonus of GOTO offering you expert advice on your bidding and play.
  2. There’s a whole range of lessons for you on bidding and card play. These are lessons on topics like responding to overcalls, intervening over 1NT and card play technique focusing on defense and squeezes.
  3. Play tournaments incorporating hands from actual tournaments – and compare your results against the actual scores from those tournaments.
  4. Practice your bidding in specific bidding sequences or sharpen your card play in particular contracts (like slam hands or 1NT contracts).

Want more? There’s a complete list of all GOTO Bridge XV’s features here.

Classic Terence Reese Reprints

Classic Reprints by Terence Reese and Roger Trezel

There’s no doubt Terence Reese was one of the bridge’s finest players and writers. Some of his books, such as Reese on Play and Play These Hands with Me are regarded as essential in any bridge player’s library.

In the 1980’s, Reese collaborated with Roger Trezel, a french writer, on a series of eight books on particular aspects of card play. Long out of print, these books have just been re-released as two omnibuses – Accurate Cardplay and Imaginative Cardplay.

Accurate CardplayImaginative Cardplay

Accurate Cardplay is a collection of: Elimination Play, When to Duck, When to Win, Blocking and Unblocking Plays and Safety Plays.

Imaginative Cardplay comprises Those Extra ChancesMaster the OddsSnares and Swindles and The Art of Defense.

Both books are available as paperback or digitally. There are digital versions suitable for your iPad, Kindle or most other tablets. Click here to download a sample of Accurate Cardplay and click here to download a sample of Imaginative Cardplay.

New Playing Cards have arrived

New Playing Cards from Michel Design Works

Looking to update your playing cards for your home bridge games? Then you’ll love you these new items from acclaimed home decor designers Michel Design Works. The fabulous bridge sets including two decks of quality cards and two scorers. Click here for details or to order online. RRP $45.95 per set.

Peacock Bridge Sets and Playing Cards

Vanilla Palm Bridge Sets and Playing Cards Secret Garden Bridge Sets and Playing CardsHummingbird Bridge Sets and Playing CardsEnchanted Garden Bridge Sets and Playing CardsCurrant Bridge Sets and Playing Cards



With one scorer for “Us” and one scorer for “Them”, your bridge friends will admire your choice of bridge equipment. Rubber Bridge continues to be popular among home bridge games, despite the growing popularity of duplicate bridge in clubs.


Bridge players tend to love all sorts of mind games, be it sudoku, target, wordfind or crossword puzzles, to name a few.

We’ve developed our own interactive crossword app and with the re-release of Victor Mollo’s Bridge in the Menagerie, we are featuring Ray Lee’s homage to Mollo crossword – Bridge in the Fourth Dimension.

This is two puzzles in one – a British Cryptic Crossword and a US New York Times-style Crossword. You can attempt these puzzles online or print them out to solve away from your computer.

Bridge CrosswordsMore puzzles will follow in weeks to come – but if you cannot wait, why not try one of our new titles Bridge Crosswords by Jeff Chen.

Available as a paperback [22.95] or PDF download [$14.99].