by Shirley Silverman

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THIS LESSON is appropriate in a class where many of the students have never played any bridge. If a "mixed" class (i.e. some absolute beginners and some students who have played a few hands) is formed, it will greatly increase class comprehension if the beginners are invited to an INTRODUCTORY lesson where the mechanics of the game are taught.

Place a table guide card with directional markings on each table. Place one deck of cards on each table. Tell your pupils that the person sitting opposite them is going to be their partner for the class today. Thus North and South are partners, East and West are partners.

Game #1 -- WHIST
Have North shuffle the deck. The player on his right (West) cuts and then North deals out the entire deck, starting with the player on his left (East). North turns the last card face up on the table. Each player memorizes the suit of the turned up card; North then places this card into his hand. Each player should now have thirteen cards.

Instruct East to lead a card from his hand and place it face up on the table. In clockwise order everyone at the table now plays a card in the same suit. The highest card played wins the trick and one member of the partnership keeps all of the tricks won by the partnership. YOU MUST FOLLOW SUIT, IF YOU CAN, BUT YOU CAN PLAY ANY CARD YOU WANT TO, IN THE SUIT LED. If you have no more of the suit led you may use a trump to win a trick. "TRUMP" is the suit of the turned-up card. If more than one player "trumps" a trick, the highest "trump" wins the trick. When you win a trick then you lead a card to the next trick. The partnership with the most tricks (seven or more) wins. When the hand is finished the cards are passed to East who shuffles and deals the next hand. Have the class play this game until the majority of tables have played four rounds.

Game #2 -- DUMMY WHIST
This is identical to game #1, except that after the opening lead is made the dealer's partner tables his cards and the dealer plays both hands. Stress the fact that the hand which wins a trick must lead to the next trick. This applies also to the dummy. Each table must play at least four deals.

Game #3 -- "AUCTION" WHIST
After the cards have been dealt, the dealer and his partner should briefly discuss their hands to determine in which suit they have the best combined holding. Play as many hands as time will allow.

Tell the class that they have been playing bridge, except that in "REAL" bridge you don't "discuss" your hands across the table, instead you must use the language of bridge, called bidding. You will teach them this language at the next session.

After this class your pupils will feel that they have learned an interesting new game, one that is SIMPLE and FUN. These players can now be assimilated into a regular beginners class, since they now know the mechanics of the game and the meanings of the following terms: Deal, Cut, Lead, Dummy, Trump, To Trump, Trick and Partner.