Contacts for Teaching Aboard Cruise Ships



Note that it is impossible to keep up with which company has the rights to which cruise line. You will have to contact the various agents to find this out. They change with the wind, it seems.

  1. Sixth Star Entertainment and Marketing |
    21 NW 5th Street
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301www.sixthstar.com954-462-6760
    info@sixthstar.comIf you go to their website, you will actually see that they have openings shown for bridge instructors right now or all the way through the year. You can view the itineraries in detail and put in a request right now for the cruise of your dreams.Note that they charge more than anyone else.
  2. To Sea with Z |
    Diane Zammel 305-931-1026
  3. Posh Talks Inc |
    760-323-3205They have some Princess ships and Royal Caribbean. COST: $50.00 per day total (includes a guest). Pay your own air.Must be a Life Master and Certified ACBL Director. Must have some knowledge of ACOL.
  4. Better Bridge |
    Toll-free number 1-888-266-4447
    Kathy Frigonkathy@betterbridge.comCrystal Symphony: a cut above most others. Provide one person’s air provided they are doing two cruises (approx. 30 days or more).Better Bridge supplies all materials for teaching and you will be advised before the trip what your topic will be. Your handouts will be provided. There is a computer aboard for your use as well. COST: $50.00 per day total.
  5. Compass Speakers and Entertainment, Inc.
    954-568-3801Emily Walton: Director: Onboard programs: Enrichment division
    Galleria Corporate Center
    2455 East Sunrise Blvd. Suite 804
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
  6. The list cannot be complete without mentioning Gerry Fox. He is the absolute best and has the rights to the best ships. He is the best agent ever. He has a long waiting list and may not be hiring any new instructors at this time. His phone # is 707-252-1257. Gerry is absolutely fabulous.

Notable Books


Posted on Aug 08, 2012 | Tags:

Books marked with an * are ABTA Book of the Year Award Winners.




25 More Bridge Conventions You Should Know25 Bridge Myths Exposed (advanced)
by: David Bird
Do you remember the first few times you played bridge? To get you started, a friend probably gave you a few helpful hints. There are many such general guidelines for bridge players — some of them valuable, some not. But these are the Bridge Myths, not the Bridge Rules — because they all have exceptions and none should be followed blindly. In reading this book you will get to see what it is about each guideline that makes it so useful; more importantly, you will also learn to recognize the times when you should ignore it.

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25 More Bridge Conventions You Should Know25 More Bridge Conventions You Should Know (advanced)
by: Barbara Seagram & David Bird
More useful gadgets for more advanced players.

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365 Winning Bridge Tips365 Winning Bridge Tips (advanced)
by: Danny Kleinman
Hundreds of neat ideas that will help your game.

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A Bridge to Inspired Declarer Play*A Bridge to Inspired Declarer Play*
by: Julian Laderman
This book addresses the thought processes that novice declarers must develop and practice. What features of a bridge hand lead an expert to select the correct line of play from all those available? The carefully chosen examples in this book will help to advance players to recognize those features and take action accordingly.

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A Treasury of Bidding Tips (available in March)A Treasury of Bidding Tips
by Eddie Kantar
The second edition, revised and updated. Twenty years ago, Kantar set about distilling his bridge wisdom into a trilogy of books for the intermediate player, one each on Bidding, Play, and Defense. Each consisted of several hundred short Tips, and the author believes that any reader who absorbs even a fraction of them will improve his or her game by at least 25%. The bidding tips in this book have been completely revised and updated by the author in the light of modern developments, and a number of new tips have been added.

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Becoming a Bridge ExpertBecoming a Bridge Expert (advanced)
by: Fred Stewart
A thorough discussion of all aspects of the game by one of today’s most popular writers.

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Bridge at the Breakfast TableBridge at the Breakfast Table (a collection)
by: Paul Thurston
Former Canadian champion Paul Thurston writes a daily bridge column in the National Post, one of Canada’s two national newspapers. This is a collection of some of his best and most interesting articles — tips, oddities, and just plain interesting deals and stories. The perfect book for those long summer evenings at the cottage!

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Bridge with Bells and Whistles*Bridge with Bells and Whistles*
by: Mary Ann Dufresne and Marion Ellingsen
There are plenty of bridge books for serious players, and also a number of books for raw beginners. However, very little has been published for the player who has completed the Basic course and is now ready to add a few ‘bells and whistles’ to his or her game. This book conducts a thorough review of all the bidding ideas and concepts encountered in a Beginner course on bridge, and takes the reader beyond them, gently but firmly. The reader’s ideas on bidding will be refined, and a number of useful conventions suitable for this level of player are described and recommended. The material is written by two very experienced teachers and includes features such as end-of-chapter reviews and quizzes to help reinforce the concepts. For Bridge Teachers: Be sure to download your free lesson plan, The Magic of Singletons and/or purchase additional teacher support materials for Teaching Bridge with Bells and Whistles.

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Card Play Technique (available in February)Card Play Technique
by Victor Mollo and Nico Gardener
First published in 1955, this comprehensive survey of declarer play and defense has been very hard to find for the last decade. It is perhaps the single most-requested out of print bridge book and is widely regarded as the best intermediate-level book on card play ever written.

Buy from Buy from


Countdown to Winning BridgeCountdown to Winning Bridge
by Tim Bourke and Marc Smith. Foreword by David Bird
As declarer or defender, counting the hand is the one thing that will help you the most. But how do you keep track of all those cards? This book will show you how — explaining the tricks of the trade, and helping anyone who can count to thirteen to become a much better player. Full of practical examples of how to apply the information you get from counting, this book is sure to improve your game.

Buy from Buy from


Defensive Tips for Bad Cardholder: 576 Tips to Improve Your Defensive Play at BridgeDefensive Tips for Bad Card Holders: 576 Tips to Improve Your Defensive Play at Bridge
by Eddie Kantar
Twenty years ago, Kantar set about distilling his bridge wisdom into a trilogy of books for the intermediate player, one each on Bidding, Play, and Defense. Each consisted of several hundred short Tips, and the author believes that any reader who absorbs even a fraction of them will improve his or her game by at least 25%. The Tips in this book have been completely revised and updated by the author in the light of modern bidding, and a number of new tips have been added.

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Eddie Kantar teaches Advanced Bridge Defense*Eddie Kantar Teaches Advanced Bridge Defense*
by: Eddie Kantar
Advanced Bridge Defense is intended to cover some of the more complex concepts of bridge defense for the modern advancing player, and will undoubtedly be a standard teaching tool and reference work for the next quarter-century. The topics covered here (planning the defense, inferences, various ways of counting the hand, developing extra trump tricks, falsecarding, and lead-directing doubles) are handled so thoroughly that even more advanced players will benefit from studying this book. Designed to be used by bridge teachers, or by students learning on their own, this book contains a host of features that help the student to grasp the material.

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This book has also been split into three ebooks which are available for purchase on our website. You can find them here:


Eddie Kantar Teaches Modern Bridge Defense*Eddie Kantar Teaches Modern Bridge Defense*
by: Eddie Kantar
Eddie Kantar’s various beginner books have sold hundreds of thousands of copies in ten different languages, not least because of his unique style and the humor that he introduces into the learning process. Modern Bridge Defense is intended to cover the basic concepts of bridge defense, and will undoubtedly be a standard teaching tool and reference work for the next quarter-century. The topics covered here (leads, signaling, second- and third-hand play, and discarding) are handled so thoroughly that even more advanced players will benefit from studying this book.

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This book has also been split into three ebooks which are available for purchase on our website. You can find them here:


Eddie Kantar Teaches Topics in Declarer Play (advanced)Eddie Kantar Teaches Topics in Declarer Play (advanced)
by: Eddie Kantar
An exploration of declarer play concepts for more advanced players.

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Getting into the Bidding: A Bridge ToolkitGetting into the Bidding: A Bridge Toolkit
by Bill Treble
In the modern game, the majority of auctions are competitive, and every improving player needs to acquire the tools to handle this kind of bidding. This text covers the basic building blocks of competitive bidding (takeout and negative doubles, preempts, overcalls, competing over their notrump openings and dealing with competition over your own, forcing pass auctions, the Law of Total Tricks, and others). This book will fill a major gap in bridge literature – most books on this topic are intended for expert-level players.

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Practice Your Bidding SeriesPractice Your Bidding Series
by: Barbara Seagram, Linda Lee & Andy Stark
A series of 6 books that allows you to practice common bidding conventions

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Standard Bidding with SAYCStandard Bidding with SAYC (advanced)
by: Ned Downey and Ellen Pomer (“Caitlin”)
“What is Standard Bidding?” This is an increasingly hard question to answer, but the proliferation of bridge on the Internet in pickup partnerships makes it imperative that someone does so. Perhaps the most popular natural system for the hundreds of thousands of online players worldwide is the Standard American Yellow Card or SAYC. In this book, for the first time, SAYC is fully described and explained. This will be invaluable to aid to anyone wanting to learn and understand SAYC, or anyone who simply knows the basics and is eager to fill in the missing pieces in their repertoire.

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Take All Your Chances*Take All Your Chances*
by: Eddie Kantar
Selecting the best line of play in a bridge hand as declarer is not easy. Most novices know something about basic odds and percentages, and can often find a line that offers a reasonable chance of success. However, the expert will skilfully combine options, so as to take advantage of more than chance. Rather than putting all his eggs in one basket, he will ‘stay alive’, squeezing out every extra chance. In this book of intermediate problems, Kantar shows the reader how to do this — there is always a line of play that will allow you take all your chances, and bring home your contract.

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Test Your Bridge Technique SeriesTest Your Bridge Technique Series
by: David Bird and Tim Bourke
A series of 12 books that cover every aspect of defending and declaring

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The Bridge Technique Series*The Bridge Technique Series*
by: David Bird and Marc Smith
Short and full of practical examples, each book in the ‘Bridge Technique Series’ takes the reader through the most important aspects of card-play technique at bridge. Where appropriate, play is examined from the point of view both of declarer and defenders. Full of quizzes and chapter reviews, these award-winning books will also reinforce the bridge concepts you learn. At this price, what bridge player could stand not to have all twelve?

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The Complete Book of BOLS Bridge TipsThe Complete Book of BOLS Bridge Tips
by Sally Brock
Not sure what to lead? Can’t decide the right bid? Want to make more contracts? Get pointers from the all-time greatest names in bridge — Reese, Rodwell, Zia, Flint, Goren, Hamman, Wolff, Schenken, Garozzo, Belladonna, Chagas and many more — they’re all represented. All the advice is here in a perfect potpourri for players of every standard.

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Books and Software for Bridge Teachers and Students


Master Point Press publishes a wide selection of books that are perfect for students and teachers of all ages and levels.We also provide free support material for many of our titles, including teacher manuals, lesson plans and bonus chapters. You can view these free downloads now on eBooksBridgeThe book lists below are just a sample of the Master Point Press titles that ABTA teachers have found useful in the past; you can see our full selection of books and software for bridge teachers and bridge players a and Looking for a book that’s a sure bet? Check out the ABTA Book of the Year Award winners here.

Master Point Press also offers quantity discounts to bridge clubs, teachers, and students.

  • 40% off a purchase of 30 copies or more
  • 25% off a purchase of 10 to 29 copies

These discounts apply to books and bridge software.

To order email, call (647) 956-4933.
Please provide the following information with your order request:

  • Name and shipping address.
  • Credit card information (Visa or MasterCard number, expiry date and CVV number). You may supply this by phone or fax, or in two separate emails if you prefer.

A check made out to Master Point Press can also be mailed with your order to: Master Point Press,  214 Merton St. Suite 205, Toronto, Ontario, M4S 1A6, Canada.
*Please note that additional shipping charges may apply for teachers outside of North America


View free downloads on eBooksBridge


For Teachers Only: 2018 New Year Teachers’ Special (January and February Only)

MPP Offer of the Month



Lighten up or break the ice by starting your lessons with a bit of bridge humor.

Bridge Humor



We recommend these titles for the bridge teacher’s library: useful reference texts for lesson planning or brushing up on your own knowledge.

Teachers’ Resources


Whether you need reference books for new players or a more systematic, step-by-step text, we have a wide selection of books that will help beginning bridge students thrive. 

Books for Beginners




These titles will help your students extend their knowledge, gain a deeper understanding of the game, and start playing at a higher level, using interactive lessons and plays.


imageWhen your students are moving beyond the beginner level, reach for one of these titles, full of tips, hands, and techniques for the intermediate to a more advanced player.


Notable Books

Bridge Hands and Strategy

Article Spotlight



Bridge Problem 255

How should West play Six Notrumps? North leads a spade…


Bridge Problem 254

West opens a 15-17 1NT and East gambles a raise to 3NT. How should West play Three Notrumps playing Teams against the competent opposition? North leads the king of hearts and continues with the queen when West holds up, South showing an odd number of hearts…


Bridge Problem 253


How should West play Three Notrumps? Playing fourth-best leads, North leads the three of diamonds to South’s nine…


Bridge Problem 252


How should West play Six Notrumps on a club lead?…


Bridge Problem 251

For Christmas, we have two parts to the Prize Problem!…


Bridge Problem 250

To celebrate Bridge Magazine’s 250th Prize Problem I present something a bit more complicated than usual…


Bridge Problem 249

How should West play Three Notrumps? North, who as a dealer, opened 1Sx, showing five, leads a diamond…


Bridge Problem 248

North opens Three Spades which goes round to West who bids 3NT. North leads sxQ. How should West play?…


Bridge Problem 247

How should West play Four Spades? North leads the HxQ…




Patrick Jourdain

How should West play Six Diamonds after the bidding shown below where North has opened a weak two in hearts? North leads Cx10…

Bridge Problem 246




BIL Session 2: “Introduction to Counting Part 2”

Ellen Pomer

In Ellen Caitlin Pomer’s second session she focuses primarily on the practice of using counting to determine the shape of the opponents’ hand. She goes on to detail particular counting practices in certain situations, such as notrump, and introduces new terms to the reader. As in her first session, she includes five more practical examples; the first covering the answer to the homework question from the last session, three in-depth examples, and a fifth for homework…



BIL Session 1: “Introduction to Counting Part 1”

Ellen Pomer

In Ellen Caitlin Pomer’s first session on counting hands, she introduces the reader to the practice of ‘counting’. Within she details when a player needs to count, discusses several important terms, and provides suggestions for further, in-depth reading. Her lesson ends with five practical examples, four of which are covered in full and the last (homework) which is explained fully in her next lesson…





A selection of BIL session notes provided by Ellen Pomer for her public BIL class…

Pomer: BIL Session Notes




Linda Lee

We think you’ll enjoy this holiday treat: an educational and humorous take on the Twelve Days of Christmas for bridge players…

The Twelve Hands of Christmas




Eddie Kantar

WEAK 2 BID (PART I) by Eddie Kantar Originally Published on February 2, 2007, The Weak Two Bid is an opening bid of 2?, 2?, or 2?…

Weak 2 Bid (Part 1)



Bridge Problem 263

At Teams how should West play: a)Six Spades? (b)Six Diamonds? (c) Six Notrumps? In each case, North leads SxQ. The diamonds are 4-1…


Bridge Problem 262

Playing a strong notrump West opens One Club, North overcalls 1hx, East bids 2dx West rebids 2NT and East raises to 3NT. How should West play on the lead of hx4?…


Bridge Problem 258

How should West play 3NT? North leads a spade…


Bridge Problem 257

South opens a constructive Two Hearts and West reaches Four Spades rather than the easy Three Notrumps. North leads HxQ and South overtakes with the king. How should West play?…


Bridge Problem 256

How should West play Three Notrumps on an unopposed auction? North leads a heart…

Running a Program: How to Encourage New Students to Play


We give students names of partners they can play with. Hand out telephone numbers of like-minded individuals. Approximately eight names per person and suggest that they call. We print names and numbers off ACBL Score of master point levels and then customize a list. You can buy databases of everyone in your area on disk (free once a year).

Be strict about Zero Tolerance. Students respect this. Educate students constantly about the niceties of the game.

We run a mentor program frequently. The mentor plays free, the students pay $10.00. This covers partly the cost of both playing and we subsidize.


Cheat Sheets

Another “secret” for getting students out playing is to give them a crutch. I sell them cheat sheets for $10.00. I cannot begin to tell you how they cling to these. It becomes their security blanket but without it, they are lost. We gradually wean them from using these but they are allowed to use it for the first year of playing in any game. No-one is allowed to say “that’s not fair” in any game at our club because students are using crib sheets. If they do, it is time for that upset person to move on to a tougher game.


Novice Games

We have Novice games (0-20 points) then Advanced Novice (0-50), Intermediate (0-100) and Advanced Intermediate (0-200). Open games are stratified Open/0-300. These provide stepping stones for all players to keep moving up. Then they can move to open games.

Sometimes I think club owners kill a good thing. A group of 0-20 people starts getting too experienced for that same game on let’s say Tuesday evenings. They want to keep playing on that night but we tell them it is time to move to the Thursday evening game. They have grown to love Tuesday evenings and it fits with their schedule (Schedules are so overtaxed in today’s society!) We tell these folk to move and we never see them again as Thursday evening is no good for them. I suggest if there are quite a few of such folk that you keep them on Tuesday night and make that game a 0-50 game and make another night your novice night. That has worked well for me in many games.

We give bridge tips (15 minutes) prior to most novice and intermediate games. This is a big hit.

After each game, they are encouraged to lay out problem hands on a table and go over them with the Director who stays them and explains patiently what should have happened or how they could have made it etc.


Running a Program: Attracting New Students


Attract New Students: Advertise!

Word of mouth is, of course, the best advertising. But for new programs, you have to start from scratch. There are so many local papers. I put in an ad in lots of papers reasonably cheaply. A typical ad would look like this:


Wed. 4 Sep 7.15-9.15 pm. Please pre-register. The most popular card game in the world. Fun, fascinating, exciting! We make it fun & easy to learn. Meet new & interesting people. Fall beginner classes commence late Sep & Oct. aft & eve. for 8 weeks. Free Beginner lesson: Wed. 4 Sep 7.15 pm. Must pre-register. Intermediate lessons: 6 weeks. Call 416-484-9447 (1-4 or 8-11 pm) or 416-484-6039. American Contract Bridge League. 808 Mt. Pleasant @ Eglinton.

If you mention ACBL anywhere, ACBL will send you back some co-op advertising money (up to US$1000.00) when you send copies of ads and receipts. It helps. Contact for further information about this.

The free bridge lesson brings in large numbers of new students to my classes. It is tricks and trumps and a few bridge hands (rather like Club Series Lesson 1). Feed them afterward. Tell them about the classes that will start in three weeks and they are signing up and giving you cheques like mad. Pre-enroll as much as possible, don’t tell them they can bring their cheques to lesson # 1. You need commitment! If they have already paid, they are FAR more likely to show up. You must hold the free bridge lesson with lots of lead time before the course of lessons that is starting.

I used to have a decal on the back of my van advertising bridge lessons (rear window). It costs $85.00 only. I look like a plumber but what the heck! I think it is good advertising.

Posters in all grocery shopping stores, libraries etc. Focus on the free bridge lesson.

Selling your Classes: Charge per course, not per class

I do not allow students to pay for part of a course. If they have to miss a few lessons, I tell them they can make up the classes anytime in the next five years. Same with the Seminars. Selling per class is not a good way to make money. I think that we as teachers undercharge. I have just raised all our prices and the turnout did not drop. Charge for the full course even if they have to miss. (You can make the occasional exception but I vow them to secrecy at that time!)


Review: Vu-Bridge Quiz Maker

Marti Ronemus



Thanks go to Didier Lévy of Vu-Bridge for sending us this article and to Marti Ronemus for writing it.

Teaching Tools for the 21st Century: How to Use Technology to Involve and Excite Students

By Marti Ronemus

First, a True Confession. I am a technophobe. I never met a device or program that didn’t confuse me. I’m not allowed to have a Smart Phone (ask my husband why). I am clueless about how to download music. I can’t get NetFlix to work. And I have no idea what most commercials on TV are advertising.

BUT!! I am now happily and effectively using Vu-Bridge’s Quiz Maker to improve my teaching and retention of students. I am proud to now hold limited membership in the 21st Century and my students are better off and happier, more involved and learning more.

First, what is Vu-Bridge Quiz Maker? It is a program designed by Didier Levy to enable us to write and send quizzes to our students for their use, in private, on their various devices. It is much easier to show you than explain, so click on this link and take the quiz on “The Rule of 20.” After you take it, we can talk further.

You saw how involving it is. First, the question, then the answer. Writing the quiz is very simple (trust me… if I can do it, so can you!). So is sending it to your students’ devices.

A view of Vu-Bridge

There are two options. First, you and your students can discuss/share the two subscription products.Secondly, you yourself can write and send quizzes to your students.

Here are the most successful ways I’ve used the subscription products.

Firstly, students who choose to do so can subscribe to one of two levels of quizzes: “Quiz Expert” which is for high beginner through intermediate students. The other, “Quiz Beginner” is due to launch in Oct. and is geared to students going through the ACBL Bridge in the 21st Century (or other similar) material.

How do I use the subscription products? A quick email blast to them saying, “We’re going to talk about the Rule of 20 on Friday. Take a look at the Vu-Bridge Quiz from Oct. 3 on it to get a feel for it.” Also I encourage them to come to me when they aren’t sure of an answer. It often leads to incredibly fruitful discussions.

My favorite use of Vu-Bridge Quiz Maker though is making up my own quizzes for them. For example, say next Monday night we’re going to be talking about Reverses (you all know what THAT’S like!!), so I put together five questions (took me about 15 minutes, no more) and sent them a link to them.

Almost every single student these days has a Smart Phone, an iPad or a computer, and Vu-Bridge can be received on all devices.

I attach a note that says, “Here’s an advance look at what we’re going to do tomorrow night. See what you come up with and we’ll talk.”

The ability to design questions that exactly reflect what I am going to teach them is fantastic.

The other use—and this is a great one!–is to send a little quiz as a follow-up to a class. “We tackled Reverses tonight. Here’s a little quickie quiz to make sure it’s all clear. If you don’t get the answers right, let me know and we’ll clarify for you.”

Do the students like it? You betcha! They love to play with their device toys. I’ve seen groups of them, all with their Smart Phones, sharing the quiz, involved in discussing what the answers might be. They value the follow-up quizzes as a way of ensuring understanding.

As to the subscription products—we get emails after every publication (three times a week) saying how they love the questions, how they stimulate partner discussions, and how much fun it is to receive them.

So… Simple to use, I promise! Effective in that it reinforces what you are teaching and gives your students an involving toy which they love. It is the easiest way I know to use the best available technology in a way that encourages your students and reinforces your lessons.

If I can answer any questions or help in any way, you can reach me at


June 2012

Posted on Nov 21, 2012 | Tags:



                                    ?Q 10 9
                                    ?A 2
                                    ?A J 10 8
                                    ?A Q 10 8
?K J 6 2
?K Q 10 5
?6 3
?K 7 5


WEST       NORTH         EAST       SOUTH

1?              Pass              1?

Pass          2NT              Pass         4

All Pass


Partner leads the five of diamonds. Declarer wins with the king, crosses to the ace of hearts (eight from West) and returns a heart. You win with the queen while West throws the two of diamonds (remaining count). What do you lead next (I know you wish it was not your lead)?


                                              ?A 6 5 4
                                              ?9 7 5 4
                                              ?K J
                                              ?A J 9
?K 10
?Q 10 2
?A 8 6 2
?K 8 7 6


WEST       NORTH         EAST         SOUTH

1? 1            Double

3?             Double 2       Pass          3?

Pass         4?                 All Pass

1 better minor

2 responsive

Partner leads the ten of diamonds to the jack and ace. You return the two. Declarer throws a club from hand before playing ace, king and a third heart. West, who had ?J-x, throws a diamond. What do you lead now?



                                        ?Q 10 9
                                        ?A 2
                                        ?A J 10 8
                                        ?A Q 10 8
West                                                                        East
?7 5 3                                                                       ?K J 6 2
?8                                                                            ?K Q 10 5
?Q 9 7 5 4 2                                                             ?6 3
?J 6 2                                                                       ?K 7 5
                                      ?A 8 4
                                      ?J 9 7 6 4 3
                                      ?9 4 3


One way or another, you are in trouble. If, as looks to be the case, partner started with six diamonds, declarer will only be able to take the finesse there if you lead the suit. If you lead a diamond, declarer might win in dummy, ruff a diamond and put you on lead with a trump. After cashing another trump, you will have to make a losing lead in one of the black suits and be open to a squeeze.

What you want to do is to make three trump tricks and one of your black kings. This says to rule out a trump. The snag with a club is that declarer can take the ace-queen, throw a club on the ?A and then set up a long club. Later, after making your trumps, you will have to lead into the spades.

The safe exit is a low spade. Although you will not make your king, you will come to a club trick and three trumps.


                                                  ?A 6 5 4
                                                  ?9 7 5 4
                                                  ?K J
                                                  ?A J 9
West                                                                                      East
?9 7 2                                                                                     ?K 10
?J 8                                                                                        ?Q 10 2
?Q 10 9 7 54                                                                          ?A 8 6 2
?103                                                                                      ?K 8 7 6
                                                 ?Q J 8 3
                                                 ?A K 6 3
                                                 ?Q 5 4 2


You find yourself endplayed again. Although partner just might hold the queen of clubs or the jack of spades, South has only 12 points even with both of those cards. Given the bidding, the layout is likely to be as shown.

When South has the queen-jack of spades, you certainly do not want to play a spade: you would blow your trick there.

A club is a better bet. If declarer puts you back in with the third round of clubs, you will be able to lead a diamond, expecting to make the king of spades later. However, declarer could play ace and another spade, leaving you with no recourse.

As Fred Esch, who held the East cards, worked out, you should lead a diamond. The ruff and discard is of limited value to declarer. You will be safe from a further endplay because you will have a completely safe exit with the fourth round of diamonds.

This column has been printed here with permission from Bridge Magazine



Trump Indicators: Bridge Table Numbers

Joan Schepps


One of the accessories used in a bridge game were Table Numbers. Many of these came in a set of 1 through 4 and were often decorative and used in home games. Other sets came 1 through 6, and 1 through 12 or even higher. These were used for larger games and may have been used in a more public place for tournaments and other competitive events.

“Party” bridge or “social” bridge was usually played at the smaller four table games. Often at a bridge party, the hostess provided a very attractive tally which told the player with whom to play and which table to play at. Each table had a different number.

At larger, public games, a different form of bridge was played called duplicate, and a different number placed on each table. The cards were dealt in four hands, placed in a board and then the boards were passed to the next table. The players moved to the higher numbered table and the duplicate boards moved to the lower numbered table. Every pair played the same cards, thus an element of luck was eliminated in a duplicate movement.

As table numbers became necessary to the game they became plentiful. Some were ornate, some simple, and others multifunctional, such as a pencil or trump indicator combined with a table number. They were made from a variety of materials: wood, celluloid, metal, cardboard, and executed in the Victorian, Art Deco, and Contemporary styles. Many were a flat disc in the shape of a spade, heart, diamond or club. Table Numbers have become a highly collectible item. The following pictures feature a variety of table numbers from the 1920’s through the 1950’s.


An exhibit of 350 trump indicators and bridge memorabilia from the collection of Joan Schepps will be on exhibit at the Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke MA, November 20, 2005, through January 23, 2006. The pictures in this article are from a display on Table Numbers which appears in the exhibit. See website and

The Exhibit also includes displays on The History of Bridge, and The History of Bridge in Holyoke, which was once a center for bridge in the 1930’s and 40’s. There will be a duplicate bridge game at the opening reception.

Editor’s Note: A big thank you to Joan for her continual support for me and CTD. I look forward to her articles which always arrive well before my deadline, as I know I will learn something new. It must have been very difficult for her to get this one done on time as she has been working for months with the Museum to mount this exciting exhibit.



Trump Indicators: Bridge Table Numbers

Joan Schepps shares the stories behind some favorite trump indicators from her impressive collection…

Trump Indicators: Winning, Losing and Keeping Score

Joan Schepps


Anytime there is a game, a contest, or a competition of any kind, there are a winner and a loser. To keep track of who wins or who loses there needs to be some form of scoring. Whether the game is physical as in sports, or mental as in card games, a score is kept as a measurement of results. When you play Contract bridge, whether you are playing Duplicate, Rubber or Chicago, you keep score. The way it is scored and the amount of points one wins may vary, but a record of the results is kept.

Score pads were used to record the score for the game of Whist and bridge and were an important accessory to the game. As a trump indicator was also an important accessory to the game, many pads had a trump indicator attached and the indicators were cleverly incorporated into the design of the scoring device. As always, the indicator covered a variety of themes: animals, people and any other subject that was timely.

Some score pad covers were elaborate and highly decorated, others were simple. Some paper and cardboard ones had beautiful graphics. Some were commercially printed. In the heyday of the games of Whist and early Bridge, a myriad of score pads was produced made from every material you can think of: Bakelite, celluloid, sterling, leather, various metals, paper, cardboard or wood. Of course, on occasion, a random piece of paper had to do, but the score must always be kept.

There were score “boards” made of thick Bake-lite/celluloid, with trump indicators at the top. This gave the players the added advantage of seeing the score and knowing what Trump was at the same time. These scoring devices were reusable, as the scores were written in pencil directly onto the surface of the celluloid and could easily be erased with a cloth. Many came with long, thin pencils which fit into a loop or some type of holder on the side of the scorer. Many of these devices were found without the pencil. These boards had to be a very popular way to keep score as a great many of them have surfaced.

The following pictures are of this type of either celluloid or Bakelite score “boards” from the collections of Joan Schepps and Gerard Hilte. They are similar in size, measuring six to seven inches long and four to five inches wide. They probably date during the 1920’s and 1930’s as much of the artwork is typical of the Art Deco period.