This Playing Better Initiatives category of the website houses articles for and by players who are focused on developing their competitive bridge bidding and play.

These articles and challenges may include:

  • Discussion of strategies to improve bridge bidding and play
  • Articles on non-standard conventions
  • Wraps of major congresses
  • Quizzes players can use to test and improve their bidding, declarer play and defense play
  • Other resources

Plan your play as South playing 6H after an uncontested auction and a SQ opening lead:

Those who attended Derrick Browne's pre-session talk before the Swiss Pairs on Tuesday 24 April may have an advantage. 

Adventures in Bridge logo

This Week in Bridge looks at overcalls in short articles suitable for club and congress level players.Try these for some good ideas, reinforcement or just a point of reflection:

Photo of Derrick Browne

How do you feel when your opponents steal your game contract? Want to be a better stealer yourself?

Come on Tue 24 Apr and learn from accomplished teacher Derrick Browne about the art and science of sacrificing when the opponents have a game on. And equally importantly learn how to respond when opponents try to steal your games.

Check the details and how to register in the calendar event.

Photo of Derrick Browne

On pages 6-8 of the Trumps Bridge Centre's June quarter 2018 newsletter to their members, Derrick has included a great three page article on bidding (and overcalling) preempts in the modern style.

He discusses how trends have changed and the merits of various guidelines for determining whether and at what level to bid.

Decisions remain one for each player or partnership but this short article would repay close reading.

Points to IMPs conversion scale

If you're interested in your score, then you need to know that playing IMPs (such as in most Swiss pairs and teams events) is different to playing normal matchpoint-scored duplicate sessions. Here is a summary of tactics for Swiss pairs/teams (ie IMP scoring) summarised from several internet sources:

  1. Make your contract. Play as safe as possible to make your contract and don't play for overtricks. Overtricks are not as important as in matchpoints where they are everything. If you’re in the right spot, it usually works in your favor. Trust your bidding system.
  2. Stretch to bid a game. If vulnerable, 40% games should be bid, such as 3NT with 24 points. If not vulnerable, 50%. You’ll pick up ten imps for a vulnerable game the field didn’t bid (+620 – 170 = +450 = +10 imps), whereas you lose only six if you fail in a game they didn’t bid (-100 -140 = -240 = -6 imps). Go for it.

Adventures in Bridge logo

This Week in Bridge is looking at modern bidding tools for responder and/or advancer to continue the bidding after partner has bid in short articles suitable for club and congress level players.Try these for some good ideas:

  • "New Minor Forcing fundamentals" - useful 5 page coverage of one of responder's important tools on the second round of the bidding (along with 4th Suit Forcing) for finding out more about opener's hand - a different version of the "2C/3C checkback" often played at our club.
  • "Preempt Keycard" - useful 3 page coverage of an advanced responder tool for exploring slam after partner opens the bidding with a 2-level or 3-level preempt.
  • "Meckstroth Advances" - 3 page coverage of an advanced approach for advancer to use to show a range of hands after partner has made a Michael's Cue-bid over the opponent's 1 major opening.
  • "Modern Lebensohl or Modern Transfer Lebensohl" - a good 3 page article for advanced partnerships looking to improve their Lebensohl convention
Image of the hand as known

You are West. South is in 4S. Your partner, East, bid hearts and you lead the H6.

East plays the HK, the HA, and then the HQ. On the third heart South ruffs with the SJ. 

What do you do?



Image showing bridge competition

We are reviewing the 2017 Tuesday night initiatives and considering possible 2018 initiatives for members who wish to improve their competitive play.

If either you attended Tuesday night over the past six months or you are interested in collaborative initiatives to help you improve your competitive play, then this is for you.

Please spend five minutes to complete the simple three page survey below. (A paper version is available should you prefer it - contact David Farmer on 0415 715 743 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)


For articles on how competitive players can improve

For items that challenge or can help you improve your bidding

Articles on how to practice and improve your partnership bidding

For articles about how to practice and improve your declarer play

For items helping players improve their defence play