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Why You Lose at Bridge Paperback – March 28, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
The first half of the book describes common technical errors and how to learn to avoid them: the second half describes common personality types and how to minimize their destructiveness as your partner. At the end is the reproduction of a rubber in which many common mistakes were made.
The book is a wonderful combination of instruction and humour.
WHY YOU LOSE AT BRIDGE dares to differ. S.J. Simon, author of this enduring little volume, shows us the genuine odds behind competitive bidding and play and explains things the highly regarded experts of his day didn't know -- or didn't want us to know.
[Note: the following two grafs assume some bridge experience.]
Would you almost automatically double a competitor's bid of "Six Spades" (12 of the 13 card tricks) if you had two "quick tricks" in your hand? Think about it, Simon warns. If the opponents have even a one-in-three chance of winning, your unthinking double will give them between four and six times the number of points for making contract considering vulnerability. Besides, when they hear your double the declarer will figure you for the two Aces and act accordingly. Watch out for the sure things that really aren't.
And sometimes (usually, the author implies) the scientific gadgets aren't worth it. At one tourney, following tortuous symbolic bidding, one partnership came to a contract of four spades and went down one. How had the author and his partner bid that "impossible" hand? Like this: South - 1 NT; North - 3 NT. Simple and literal.
After offering a bracing immersion in what I all "unlearning," Simon spends the second half of the book on the psychology of bridge, starting with the times a partner or opponent starts what he calls "trancing" -- mulling things over.Read more ›
If you have a standing partnership, read it together. Even the most capable professionals may well (re)discover ways to improve their game as they absorb Simon's words of wisdom. Improve your partnership, and your game improves. Simon sez ...
We kibitz a rubber among Mrs. Guggenheim, The Unlucky Expert, Mr. Smug, and Futile Willy. A loong rubber.
A reasonable player in any of the seats would have won the rubber for his side. Bidding is British style, but what the heck...
The truth of the book is eternal, and the style sparkles with humor.
The essence: play for the best result possible with this partner, not the best possible result.
A bit old fashioned now but the message gets across loud and clear.
A must for all bridge fanatics.
Many books dwell for long pages on the intricacies of the complex game of bridge, but this book really focuses on the essentials, on how to think at the bridge table, and how to remain realistic, especially if you are playing with different partners. And if you have an established partnership, read it together.
Walking the fine line between being too aggressive or too conservative is the key to success in bridge, and this book has good advice on how to fine-tune your approach. The pages on competitive bidding are pure gold. The reader will find practical gems like dealing with preempts, hesitations and psychic bids or playing 4-3 fits - just to name a few - which are as important to the matchpoint and team players today as they were for rubber bridge in the forties.
The advice to adjust your strategy to the scoring system rings as true for duplicate games today as when this book was written, and can spare you making many bad decisions (and help you make many good ones!), once this way of weighting the pros and cons of a particular action at the table is internalized.
To wrap it up, read and re-read it! And it's fun, the characters are memorable and the boards excellent and thought provoking.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My rating is an averaging of the entertainment value of the book (5 stars) with its value as a practical Bridge book in the 21st century (3 stars). Read morePublished 23 days ago by J. Christopher Kern
The book is old, and point counting is not what is used today. This makes some of the examples less relevant. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Marc Casteleyn
An oldie but a goodie. Simon was a world class player and theorist. This makes for good and instructive reading and is an interesting precursor to Bridge in the Menagerie.Published 4 months ago by Larry E. Manter
Excellent reminder of the many ways an individual or partnership can dig their grave at the bridge table.Published 5 months ago by W. P. Taggart
I think it is a great book for intermediate duplicate players. I refer back to it frequently.Published 5 months ago by Chester D. Rudolf III
At first you might think that a book published 70 years ago can't be that useful. Bridge is such a different game from what it was back then. Read morePublished 8 months ago by M.K.