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How to Read Your Opponent's Cards: The Bridge Experts' Way to Locate Missing High Cards Paperback – March 28, 2006


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Frequently Bought Together

How to Read Your Opponent's Cards: The Bridge Experts' Way to Locate Missing High Cards + Bid Better Play Better: How to Think at the Bridge Table + Watson's Classic Book on The Play of the Hand at Bridge
Price for all three: $37.52

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Baron Barclay Bridge; 0002- edition (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0910791481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0910791489
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Mike Lawrence is concerned less with how to play your hand than with how to think about playing. The idea is to minimize risk by deducing where your opponent's high cards are. Lawrence shows how to spot and interpret clues from the opening bid on with chapters titled "Sizing Up the Case," "Finding the Witness," "Analyzing the Clues," "Conducting the Investigation," "Checking the Evidence," "Nailing Down the Case," and "Making Your Sixth Sense Work." The latter deals with watching your opponent's body language for the "tells" that reveal their thoughts involuntarily. Each chapter but the last features a quiz section to help you practice techniques.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Any novice or intermediate player will benefit.
Tim Luker
This was Mike Lawrence's first book, I believe, and it has worn well.
Jonathan Campbell
Reading this book will teach you how to think at the table.
Prasad Upasani

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Prasad Upasani on August 30, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mike Lawrence is one of the most intelligent authors I have ever read (and I read a lot). This is also one of his better-organized and readable books (surprisingly his first book). Reading this book will teach you how to think at the table. Counting is a skill that separates the novice from the expert, and this book goes a long way towards teaching you that vital skill. This book is among my three favorite Mike Lawrence books, the other two being "Play Bridge with Mike Lawrence", and "Play a Swiss Teams of Four With Mike Lawrence". Another vital skill taught here is deduction. A simple but very useful example: as declarer if you are missing AK of a side suit, and the opening lead is something else, then either the opening leader is missing both cards or the honors must be split, else the A or K would be the natural lead (assuming neither defender has bid).
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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
It takes a fair amount of work and effort to apply the techniques presented in this book. But it's time well spent. If you can master these skills you will be a very good club player. Be aware that its slow going as you have to follow every card play and think about whats going on.
Why didnt the West lead hearts when he opened 1 Heart? Hmmm, probably because West doesn't have AK or KH, so the honors are split. That means East has 3 or 4 high card points. Since East already showed up with teh Queen of clubs, its liekly he's empty, else he would have raised Wests 1 heart opener. Therefore take the finesse against Wests Queen of Diamonds.
The amazing thing is after a while I was able to play almost every honor in all the hands.
This works, just takes effort to apply it. Spend your tiem counting HCP, and distributions, and you will become a solid player. You don't have to study 5 books on Sqeezes, 8 books on bidding, etc. Concentrate on the basics and you will greatly improve.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Edward J. Williams on August 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
Mike Lawrence doesn't teach rules to memorize; he schools his reader in beneficial habits and patterns of thought. After reading this book (repeatedly, gaining added benefit each time), my opponents began to think we were playing bridge with glass cards.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By William Garrett on January 6, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One key difference between intermediate bridge players and strong players is that intermediate players play their own cards well, while strong players play their own cards plus the opponents' cards well, as well. This book will teach you the critical skill of card location: how to determine which cards your opponents are holding based on what they bid (or didn't bid) and what they've led (or haven't led).

This book is small, but you're not buying based on word count. The knowledge is dense, with plenty of examples given as quizzes to help teach the material. Plan on reading the book carefully.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Tim Luker on September 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a book on deduction and card reading overall in bridge, you may want to look at other books on the topic. If, however, you are looking for a great book on how to think as declarer, this is the one you want. Lawrence shows a number of inferences and techniques that are not obvious until one has had them explained. For instance, when a player does not lead from a suit in which you are missing the AKQ, that player likely does not hold AK or KQ. The idea of "card placing by assumption" is not so much card reading as it is proper play technique.

Lawrence has expanded tremendously on this topic in his "Counting at Bridge" software, but this book still provides great insight into how experts think about dummy play. Any novice or intermediate player will benefit.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bob Simkins on May 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
This widely acclaimed book is a revelation into how to read subtle clues about card placement. You will guess right more often when you understand the principles in each chapter. This book is guaranteed to improve your game. 1973 Bridge Book of the Year.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Cowboy Al on December 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mike Lawrence is not the best bridge writer language-wise but his books usually teach very valuable lessons (Balancing, Judgement at Bridge, Card Combinations, etc). Most of other books he writes contain mostly his own thoughts, rather than the same old rules the uncreative writer repeats and the well-read reader already knows.

Except this one. I doubt experienced players will learn anything new here---counting points, counting shape, visualizing your opponents' hands are routine in any decent player's toolkit. However, there is a final chapter on reading your OPPONENTS (gestures, hesitation, etc) that is a bit more interesting (but not necessarily very useful).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Campbell on October 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
This was Mike Lawrence's first book, I believe, and it has worn well. Any novice or intermediate player who wishes to become better at declarer play can benefit from this book. A truly advanced player (one who can contend for wins in open tournament events fairly consistently) is probably pretty good at what this book teaches already. It will take time and effort to really absorb and start applying the principles outlined in this book, but that is "table stakes" for getting better at the game.

The book is organized very well, everything is logical, the explanations are very clear, and the examples are very good. Lawrence illustrates his points with hands of the type you are apt to come across at the table, not bizarre concocted situations that happen once in a blue moon. He also quizzes you on the examples as you go, giving you a chance to check up on what you've learned and try to apply it right away. The knowledge you gain from learning from a remarkable talent like Lawrence is well worth the reasonable price of the book and the effort you have to expend to use it.
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