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Teaching Complete Newbies
Xox, please, this a "family oriented" site. I would appreciate it if you would watch your language.

And this thread is about -teaching- rookies.
Rick Hall
(01-17-2013, 09:31 PM)richardpaulhall Wrote:  I took beginner bridge lessons many years back.
I would suggest you look at some of the bridge teaching systems.

Cards are played for fun. The fun is playing the hand.
Make the lesson fun by playing hands as quickly as possible.

0 Suits - What is a trump suit, what is an off suit, how they differ.
1 Playing the Hand - The "Musts" (Must follow suit, must play to win the trick, must trump when out of the suit, etc.)
2 Counters/Non-Counters - Turning tricks into points as points are needed to win.

With that put some very simple situations up for the students. 1 suit, 1 or 2 card examples. Second Hand Low, Third Hand High, Trapping cards
This is fun for those who want to play cards.
The students see small examples how correct play maximizes tricks/counters and how other choices lead to fewer points.

Now the students can play Baby Pinochle. The students get a hand and are told who is on opening lead, what is trump, and how many points Declarer and Partner need to rake in. They will not be able to remember the other hands so a hand cam b e replayed to teach fundamentals.

Students who like to play cards will have fun with this limited form of the game. And have questions on how the real game is played.

Now you can start mixing in bidding and hand evaluation. Without some idea about how suits and cards work, the minutia of bidding will appear pointless. Watch the faces of the defenders the first time Declarer and Partner run off a long suit. Then give the Defenders a Cross-Ruff to run. Now everyone starts to see the real value of long/short suits.


Good post Rick. Now while you have great advice for playing in person, my goal in teaching a newbie would be to create a system/book/website
that can be effective in teaching a person who doesn't have an opportunity to learn in a room with other people. Of course, I would hope that the community here could help answer specific questions etc.
Teaching live has to be so much better. However it is tough to put a class together, or to get 2 other players to sit in while the teacher shows the student all this stuff, over many lessons.

Real life is a book. But much of the same can be handled in the lessons. Have the student deal several specific 1 suited 2 and 3 card 'hands' to the 4 seats and the text can show him/her what works and what does not.

Real play is all important for new players. I've read up on dozens of games out of books but playing gets it to make sense. Then again, playing -any- trick playing card game would be a good skill to bring to a pinochle class.

Years ago one guy in my circle of card playing friends started teaching us a number of different games. Being the 4th weakest out of the 5, I would always do very well the first 2 or 3 sessions of a new game. I was able to find commonalities across the games quicker than the 3 good players. Remarking on this one night, one player asked me how I did so well at new games. I was able to show the parallels for the new game from past games, the 3 good players took my advice and trounced me.

Too much book learning is almost dangerous. I played once, and only once, at the Yale Bridge Club. A small game, some really good players, but I had played in tournaments. I wasn't strong, but I wasn't intimidated. One lunatic partnership was trying to bid with the book for that bidding system in their laps. Tho I complained, it was allowed. They made a mockery of the session. They really couldn't even play Bridge let alone learn to bid "Precision" out of a book.
Rick Hall
GAH!!! Precision from a book? Nightmare.

But I agree that live teaching is better. If you have 1 student only, then start by playing 2-handed as partners, without the annoying interference from the opponents. There's a lot that you can show in this approach. If you have 2 students, it can be even better: they're playing as partners, you talk through things while preparing the next lesson hand.

Note that this works for bidding or play, or mixing the two. For example, a play problem hand might be "trump management" with declarer holding


and dummy holding

If declarer starts AD,AD,QS, have the defense attack spades and deny dummy any spade ruffs. If declarer plays QD at trick 3, bingo! The spade ruffs are ready to go.

BTW: you probably don't need to count points, especially here where you don't have all four hands explicitly laid out. Just count tricks; it's a very easy corollary between the two, and they should readily understand that maximizing tricks will maximize points. (AND, this should bring in some small but useful, give dummy ADKDQD. It's clear to play the KD on declarer's first ace...but if you focus on tricks, NOT points, you'll drive home the point to play the QD on the 2nd AD. You can bring up points such as a KG lead to force a TG, to get the extra point, but I think that's something you can introduce indirectly, yet still effectively.
I am in the right place, thanks

(11-30-2012, 01:24 AM)rakbeater Wrote:  Have you ever noticed that if you want to learn about something, you can go to google and find that info? If a person is interested in learning how to play double deck pinochle, there is no place to go online to learn. So we have decided to be the online site to share this knowledge. However, we have to create a system that will allow a complete newbie to the game of double deck pinochle to learn. So I am looking for input and discussion on the foundation needed to do so.

Break it down to the two phases of the game:

- Bidding/Meld Counting phase 1
- Hand Playing phase 2

About Phase 1:

- Teach Meld Counting and what Trump is and how it works
- Teach bidding order and explain how it relates to both phases of the game through the scoring
- Teach Trick Counting
- Teach a basic bidding system

About Phase 2

- Teach game play order and rules
- Explain Counters/Non-counters and last trick

That is off the top of my head. Discuss what order to teach these things and what else to teach or what not to teach right away. Remember to assume that we are teaching a person that may not have ever played a partnership card game with trump. I'm looking forward to the discussion. Thanks.
(12-01-2012, 10:59 PM)rakbeater Wrote:  So how does this order look:

Phase 1:

Meld Counting
Bidding Mechanics (just how to, not what bids represent)
Points = Counters and Non-Counters + Last Trick
Meld + Points = Making The Bid
Rule of 20
Playing the Hand - The "Musts" (Must follow suit, must play to win the trick, must trump when out of the suit, etc.)

Phase 2:

Trick Counting
Basic Bidding System
Fundamental Game Play
- as Declarer
- as Dummy
- as Defense

More thoughts/discussion please.
as a new player
Bidding Mechanics (just how to, not what bids represent)
please include what the bid represents.
Here in Gainesville your meld + give partner 10 + 20 you must take = how high you can bid, does that sound ok?
Don't understand rule of 20
One of our teacher says count losers then he uses a formula that non of us can grasp.
We all can count the losers but after that we are lost , we cant get to how to how high to bid part
When I get a chance, hopefully tomorrow, I will respond to a lot of these posts. I was away for the weekend with family.
The Complete Guide to Double Deck Pinochle Is this book worth buying based on the questions I have been asking
Wow, I didn't even know that existed and I have been looking for books on pinochle for 15 years. I'm going to check that out.
Hadn't seen this one either, and I looked pretty hard a couple years ago. Amazon is showing NEW copies, from the author for $21 total, which isn't bad; games books don't come cheap any more. I don't know how good it is, but...bridge books with titles like this are usually targeted at the complete novice to beginner level. That means they may well help you, mary. rak, if you're still hoping to get your book out, you probably want a copy just for comparison purposes.

What the hey...$21 isn't a problem. And I'm curious.
<goes to Amazon>

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