Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Bridge» Forums » General

Subject: Best book to learn from? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Chris Rogers
Mexico
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've been looking around at teaching myself Bridge, and I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on what books might be good to learn from. I've seen "Bridge for Dummies" and the like, but I don't honestly have any idea what I should be looking for or if they are any good.

Any recommendations?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martins Livens
Latvia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Depends on how much cards you have played.
Learn the rules: https://web.acbl.org/LearnToPlayBridge/
take some basic book on bidding (system that will have partners to play if in USA probably it's sayc) and very basics defence.
For example: http://www.amazon.com/Standard-Bidding-Sayc-Ned-Downey/dp/18...
And start to play as soon as possible.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian White
United States
Clayton
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I originally learned from someone on a school trip, which is probably the best was to learn. But when I got home I bought "Bridge for Dummies" and recommend it. Kantar's books (including Bridge for Dummies) are pretty well-respected. Also, the bridge columns for the New York Times and the London Times will often recommend books (especially around Christmas, where they might list a gift list for people of all abilities)--so check the back columns. At one point the New York Times column recommended Bridge for Dummies as well, although he thought it was too long (something I didn't think we a problem).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Bankler
United States
San Antonio
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
"Keep Summer Safe!"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've heard the Kantar book (Bridge for Dummies) is good. I'd avoid the SAYC bidding book on general principles. I'm sure it's a fine book, but it's a bidding-only book (judging from the title). For someone self-teaching, I think you'd want a single book that covers everything. There are lots of copies to "Five weeks to winning bridge" by Sheinwold for a few bucks (+ S/H) from Amazon.

There's a big caveat to 5W2WB ... it teaches an older bidding system (4 card majors) and modern standard american bidding uses five card majors. But it does cover a lot of "Why" on bidding. For a BGG geek willing to self-teach, that's pretty decent.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Bridge is by someone whose name I don't recognize, but I've heard reasonable things about it, it should teach "modern" bidding, and it's dirt cheap from Amazon.

Audrey Grant's books (Club Series, Diamond Series, etc) are somewhat standard, but geared (IMO) towards teaching people who don't really play games, and you need the whole series. They looked, well, fluffy.

But Bridge for Dummies is $9. Probably the safest book. Well respected bridge player/author/teacher, reasonably comprehensive. Recent.

Most of these would be pretty reasonable titles that a library might have.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Johnson
United States
Milledgeville
Georgia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

I'd like to voice support for the other responders:

a GREAT software download, and FREE:
https://web.acbl.org/LearnToPlayBridge/

Eddie Kantar and Audrey Grant have the best beginner bridge books: Bridge for Dummies, Bridge Basics 1, 2, and 3

The timeless book on declarer play is Louis Watson's The Play of the Hand at Bridge.

The ACBL has a monthly magazine for members with lots of interesting articles.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Betty Dingus
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've spent the last three weeks learning Bridge, and here's what I've found.

Bankler wrote:
I've heard the Kantar book (Bridge for Dummies) is good. I'd avoid the SAYC bidding book on general principles. I'm sure it's a fine book, but it's a bidding-only book (judging from the title). For someone self-teaching, I think you'd want a single book that covers everything.


I bought both the Idiot's Guide and Bridge for Dummies (and a few others) but abandoned them the instant I got my hands on the ACBL's "Bidding in the 21st Century." [ACBL=American Contract Bridge League] Its title is misleading - it guides you into all aspects of bridge, how to play and bid. It's an absolutely clear, step-by-step, thorough introduction that explains exactly what you need to know and omits what you can learn later (which the other books throw in from the start). Originally by Audrey Grant then updated to mesh with the excellent free software mentioned above by David Johnson. The ACBL books are used in bridge lessons (8 chapters in 8 weeks) but are self-explanatory with all answers given in the text. There are many exercises and quizzes and practice hands - it's a spiral-bound workbook well worth buying even if the library has a copy.

Bankler wrote:

Audrey Grant's books (Club Series, Diamond , etc) are somewhat standard, but geared (IMO) towards teaching people who don't really play games, and you need the whole series. They looked, well, fluffy.

But Bridge for Dummies is $9. Probably the safest book. Well respected bridge player/author/teacher, reasonably comprehensive. Recent.


The Club, Diamond, etc. books have been renamed "Bidding in the 21st Century" [the first ACBL book] and "Play of the Hand" [the second], etc. (Grant's "Official Better Bridge Series" books are still available outside of the ACBL series -- I don't know what the difference is.)

I would definitely recommend starting with ACBL's software and Bidding in the 21st Century (under $14 - and Bridge for Dummies is $11.65 now, not $9): http://www.amazon.com/Bidding-21st-Century-Club-Bridge/dp/09.... The instructor's manuals are even online if you need more explanation of any points http://www.acbl.org/teachers/materials.html. This book is also the newest, updated in late 2007.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Nicholson
Canada
Brantford
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I found Bridge for Dummies to take me far enough down the path to allow me to play competently with non-hardcore players. I've never been much for memorizing "here's what to do in this situation" strategies - I would rather know the rules and a set of general heuristics, and enjoy actually playing the game, rather than just trying to match the situation to a memorized set of techniques to win.

My partner likes the game, so this has allowed me to be able to engage in the social experience of bridge at an appropriate level.


I still dislike the fact that one player doesn't play each hand. That's a big flaw in the game for me.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Betty Dingus
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ah, see I don't know anyone who plays socially so I had to get up to speed on the bidding or my duplicate partners (bless their hearts - they've been really understanding) couldn't communicate with me at all. If you can't find a good fit between your hands and end up in a bad contract, it's just not very fun.

So I must memorize and keep telling myself if they can learn it, so can I. I hate memorizing, but I do enjoy learning principles that are pretty specific, like forks and skewers in chess but not long openings. Chess is the only other game I enjoyed learning all about (and then quit). You could ask me my favorite 50 chess books.

And I like that I can invest in a game that I can play for years - besides the duplicate center, I think the Senior Center is the only place that's really hopping. They have bridge five days a week! If only I were 50 already.

I had another friend recommend the Dummies book today; I'll have to give it another shot. I'm trying to scare up a bridge group and people are afraid of how much there is to learn. The ACBL workbooks might intimidate them.

As for being dummy, I'm willing to sit out for 7 minutes, both for the mental rest (3 hours nonstop in duplicate) and for the pleasure of being able to see half the deck when you're playing.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.