Help me play my cards right.
July 2, 2012 11:31 AM   Subscribe

Resources for novice bridge player, please?

A friend has invited me to join a friendly regular bridge game, and she's teaching me and another novice as we play. Bridge players of MeFi, what web sites, books, and other resources can help me learn the game? Free would be great, but I'll consider paid sites or software.
posted by Wordwoman to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: (If it matters, we are using Standard American bidding.)
posted by Wordwoman at 11:35 AM on July 2, 2012

There may be better sources nowdays, but I learned by reading and instructional book by Charles Goren. He was a master of course and also had a syndicated column on bridge in most major newspapers. For what it's worth, I turned out to be very good. Best a lot!
posted by txmon at 11:40 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is free software that teaches a lot of the basics. From there the other software sold by BridgeBase can take you further but costs money, and BridgeBase Online is popular for playing online against other players or against robots. You can also set up teaching tables if you have a friendly better player and they can set things up for a teaching table where you can talk you through plays and so on, with the tutor position being able to see all the hands so they can help. The BridgeBase Windows software can also be persuaded to work on a Mac or Linux by the way using Wine, although it's not officially supported. Mail me if help is needed on that front. BBO is Flash-based and therefore quite cross-platform.

After you have the essentials down there's a wealth of bridge textbooks around, although I'm most familiar with those based on Acol bidding which is more common in the UK. The ACBL (see first link) should be a good resource for getting more information for you though.

Lots of other software is available, including some for the iPhone if you happen to be a user - I rather like Bridge Baron there, which is configurable for multiple bidding styles.

This is a bunch of bridge links you may find useful. I've never used it but it's linked by a professional bridge teaching friend of mine so I feel happy mentioning it blind.

Lastly play lots and don't be intimidated by any early complexity or odd bidding systems you encounter others using. It's a great game and I hope you enjoy it!
posted by edd at 12:50 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

By the way, have you seen previously and previously?
posted by edd at 1:07 PM on July 2, 2012

Just been in touch with my pro-teacher friend and checked if I'd missed anything. He said he'd heard good reports of BridgeDoctor. Hope that's of some use also.
posted by edd at 4:01 PM on July 3, 2012

Dover has republished a book I remember seeing at the library as a kid called Bridge For Bright Beginners. It might be worth looking at.
posted by wittgenstein at 5:36 PM on July 3, 2012

Shoot! I'm wrong; the book is out of print again. Sorry about that. I should have checked before posting.
posted by wittgenstein at 5:39 PM on July 3, 2012

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