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10 Suggestions To Improve Your Game

  1. Play well rested. A well rested player makes fewer mistakes and is more likely to maintain a sense of humor.
  2. Do not play conventions you only partially understand. Time spent going over your convention card before the game will be productive. Talk about the follow-on bids over transfers, Bergen raises, splinters, and when are systems ON or OFF. How you will handle preempts. For example, what does the double in this series mean: Pass Pass 4 Spades X? Make sure any understanding or partnership agreement is on your card. Are "super accepts" or "double stole my bid" on your card.
  3. Defense is a huge part of the game, yet often gets overlooked. Talk with your partner about carding, signals and leads. Do you lead Ace from Ace-King? When do you want partner to show attitude, when count? Help your partner by making lead directing doubles of artificial bids.
  4. First Trick Habits: spend some time thinking about your hand and dummy before ever calling for a card from the dummy on the first trick. Remember the bidding! How many tricks do you have? No Trump contracts, count your winners. Suit contracts, count your losers. What are your key transportation cards? Do you need to pull trump immediately or cross ruff? Which opponent is the danger hand?
  5. Don't play fast! After errors made on trick #1, playing too fast is the second biggest area of mistakes. Watch the "spots" on each trick in every suit.
  6. Be a good partner! Say "good play" when partner brings it home. Ask partner "no ??" when they shows out as you might catch/prevent a revoke. Do not criticize partner at the table. Everyone makes mistakes. Don't rattle your partner and distract them... a distracted partner is going to make more mistakes. One bad board can become two or three.
  7. Call the Director (please!) on any irregularity. Don't accept "rulings" from opponent. Let the Director make all rulings.
  8. Avoid "tells". Just as in poker, you should not make facial or body gestures or give away any information to opponents. If your opponents show "attitude" in how they bid, gently ask them to make all bids and calls the same way. Example, slapping down an X late in the bidding suggest that it is a penalty double - Director Please! All "X" calls should be placed on the table in the same way.
  9. Convention Cards. Bring two identical convention cards to the game. Take time to scan the opponents convention card before you begin play!
  10. HAVE FUN ! ! !