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Fundamental Game Play Discussion -Teaching Newbies
Fundamental Game Play
- as Declarer
- as Dummy
- as Defense

What do you explain to a beginner? Thoughts?
'd start with declarer play, because it's the basis for dummy play and defense. Dummy's job: help declarer's plan, or at least try not to hurt it. Defense: disrupt whatever declarer is trying to do.

To keep things simple first, in declarer play, I'd go with just teaching cashing, and looking for a signal from dummy. Lacking a signal...exit with a trump. This is correct often enough that it'll serve while they get comfortable with the basic procedures.

This starts them winning the tricks they should win. After that, you have to get into the more complex notion of "how can I make these LOSING cards productive?"
This is well explained.

Which signals do we give a newbie?

AG on an AG = rest of the aces or out of trump

JG or QG on partners AG

Is that simple enough or do we need more for a beginner to look for/look to use?
As I posted earlier: the Q isn't so much of an explicit signal as an implicit one. Definitely the Ace and Jack signals early on; leave the Q implication for a little later.
So after declarer play, what fundamentals do we want to give a newbie when on defense?


If you are 1st in after the declarer:

If you are 2nd in "":

If you are last to gain the lead:

Is it too much info for a newbie to talk about defense or to break it down that way?
I'd probably actually hold off on defense and just work declarer/dummy play. In fact, the best lessons might come from just teaching really, really simple defense that's wildly sub-optimal, while exercising the declarer play, because they'll see declarer, say, set up that AATTQJ side suit for 4 tricks, or get 2 ruffs from dummy with an AAQQJJ. THEN you go...ok, so what can we do about that, on defense?

I might've mentioned this before...but once they have points from play mastered, you might start actually using a duplicate bridge mechanism. In rubber bridge and pinochle, normally, the 4 cards are just gathered together. Not in duplicate, because that same hand is going to be played at a different table...each player keeps his cards in front of him, pointing in the direction of whichever side won the trick. (Note that this may actually be VERY useful in helping teach trick-taking strength anyway.) This lets you replay the hand...let them play everything normally, with all cards concealed, then you can play it again, with everything face up. Finally, it also lets you shift cards around, for "what if" variations.

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