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Bridge For Dummies Paperback – September 25, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"For the beginner or near-beginner, the revised Bridge for Dummies  by Eddie Kantar is the best choice." (The New York Times, December 16, 2006)

From the Back Cover

Find out how to strategize with your partner

Hone your bridge skills and trump your opponents in no time!

Bridge isn't a game for wimps, but this helpful guide opens the door to understanding bridge with plenty of illustrated example hands, the latest bidding techniques, and an updated resources list. Bridge champion Eddie Kantar demystifies the strategies you need to succeed at this challenging game.

Discover how to

  • Understand bridge terms
  • Count and take sure tricks
  • Strategically rank, decode, and respond to bids
  • Find ways to double and redouble
  • Keep score using different styles
  • Search for bridge resources

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (September 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471924261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471924265
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eddie Kantar, a transplanted Californian, is one of the best-known bridge writers in the world. He has more than 30 bridge books in print, some translated into 8 languages, and is a regular contributor to the Bulletin, The Bridge World, Bridge Today, and many other bridge publications.
Eddie, a two-time World Champion, is highly regarded as a player and known as one of bridge's great ambassadors.
Eddie learned to play bridge at age 11. By the time he was 17, he was teaching the game to his friends. Eddie was so enthusiastic about bridge that he often took his bridge books to school, hiding them behind his textbooks so that the teachers couldn't see him reading about bridge during class. At the University of Minnesota, where Eddie studied foreign languages, he taught bridge to pay his tuition.
Eddie gained stature as a player by winning 2 World Championship titles and 11 North American Championships. His North American titles include wins in the Spingold Knockout Teams, the Reisinger Board-a-Match Teams, the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams, and the Grand National Teams. Eddie is a Grand Master in World Bridge Federation rankings and an ACBL Grand Life Master. Today Eddie is best known as a writer, and many of his books are considered classics. When not playing bridge or writing about the subject, he can be found playing paddle tennis (an offshoot of tennis) or bridge at the paddle tennis courts at Venice Beach (come and join the fun in either game). By the way, Eddie is the only person ever to have played in both a World Bridge Championship and a World Table Tennis Championship (he did better at bridge).
Eddie was inducted into the Bridge Hall of Fame in 1996, the same year he was inducted into the Minnesota State Table Tennis Hall of Fame.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I would have to disagree with other reviewers who write that this book is not for the rank beginner in bridge. I was a rank beginner in bridge who tried to read other bridge books and got absolutely nowhere. This was the book that turned the lights on for me at the bridge table. Kantar writes in a lively, funny and informative way that I found to be the "spoonful of sugar" to help the medicine go down. With this book, I went from a frustrated and confused player to one who really enjoys the game. Now, the bridge column is the first thing I read in the papers, and I'm always ready for a hand.
An excellent book. One of my favorites. Get it and improve your game dramatically.
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Format: Paperback
This is the best book I've found on Bridge because Kantar explains the "why" behind the conventions. Once I understand the logic of a convention, and it makes sense to me, I can easily "use" the knowledge in my play. My game has definitely improved as a result of reading this book.
My husband, too, has found it useful and he plays at a higher level than do I. (He plays Duplicate regularly.) My Dad, who has been playing for 30+ years, picked up this book when he was visiting and has asked me to buy him a copy.
Thank you, Mr. Kantar!
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I am also new to bridge, and have also tried several other books on the subject. The three that I tried previously started with covering hand evaluation and bidding. By the time I get to the sections on "Responding to Responses at No Trump", I was getting lost. Kanter's approach is just the opposite. He teaches the mechanics of playing the hand first, THEN teaches how to evaluate the hand and bid. This is a great approach because once you learn how the play should be done, you are in a much better position to understand WHY you should evaluate and bid the way a hand demands you should. I've only studied the first 65 pages or so, but can already see a dramatic improvement in my bidding and my play. I can't wait to continue to study this great book.
Overall, a terrific approach to teaching this great game. I can't wait to read some of Kanter's other books as well.
Addendum: I continue to read and carefully study the chapters on play which preceed the chapters on bidding. There is lots of great material here. Don't let the "For Dummies" title fool you. This is a great book by a great teacher.
Addendum 2: Here I am 6 months after buying this book, and am I glad I did. I'm playing online regularly, and am gearing up for my first NABC in July! I'm still a novice, and there is a tremendous amount of learning and practice ahead, but this book has been a tremendous first step. I think that of all the beginner books that I've read on ANY subject, this has been the best in terms of preparing me for the next level.
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BRIDGE FOR DUMMIES is a good and generous book and I have no trouble saying it excels over most similar beginners' books.

Why? It's CONCISE. Kantar, a world-class authority and bridge player, takes the reader who doesn't even know that Aces top Kings and introduces the fundamentals of play. IMHO I don't think he goes too fast for the beginner, but the book is . . .

EFFICIENT. Kantar teaches the elements of play before the elements of bidding. He does this by teaching play at notrump (so the tactical elements of a trump suit are not at issue) and generally assumes a 3NT (notrump) contact, which is worth game. And it works quite well; play at bridge is difficult but probably less difficult than bridge bidding. Later on, we can take the strategic and tactical material we use at notrump and apply them to contracts at one of the four suits (Kantar defines trumps as "wild cards," perhaps not strictly according to Hoyle but helpful nonetheless.)

COMPREHENSIVE. Kantar goes all the way through trump suits, booking slams (contracts to take all, or all but one, of the card tricks), and other recognizable situations. He has an amiable, at times amusing way of introducing tips and necessary bridge terminology. He's also . . .

MODERN. He assumes the use of 5-card majors and will allow an opening with eleven high-card points (HCP to initiates) in a hand at any position if the bid suit is good enough. Weak two-bids, too, of course.

I'm not crazy about advocating the 11 HCP opener in all positions but this is a very small wrinkle in this engaging and useful book.
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Format: Paperback
I've been playing bridge at an intermediate level for many years and was interested in having a general reference as well as expanding my skills at bidding and playing. This book has two major problems for me. First, the point count system used is non-standard -- at least it is different from anything I have encountered before. Only high card points are used -- no distribution points. So point counts for standard bids are correspondingly lower and one has to remember all sorts of special cases to decide what to do.
The second problem I have is the way hands are displayed. Hands are illustrated with tiny, badly printed card images, with no colors. So Hearts are hard to distinguish from Spades and Kings look alot like Jacks.
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