Bridge for All
Thank you for finding out more about Bridge for All, the national learning programme developed for the English Bridge Union and promoted through English Bridge Education and Development (EBED).
We hope that you are keen to start learning to play bridge, and to begin a pastime that will bring you mental stimulation, many new friends, and most of all a lot of fun!
Everyone can learn to play bridge regardless of their age or their experience with card games. You don't need to be 'clever', and you don't need to devote enormous amounts of time to learning - but you may want to as you might find bridge quite addictive.
The video below introduces some of the types of people who are currently learning to play bridge through Bridge for All, and the books and courses which are available. You hope you empathise with one of the situations, and that this video can guide you in right direction.
An introduction to the Bridge for All books & courses
What is Bridge for All?
Bridge for All is the nationally approved method of learning the game. It is based on the Standard English Acol bidding system and it enables the student to progress from complete beginner to playing in a local club. The Bridge for All programme offers two different courses, one to cater both for those who want to take their time when learning, and one for those who want to learn a little quicker. There are also materials available so that once you have grasped the basic so you can continue to improve your game.
About the Bridge for All books
Beginning Bridge Book 1 is ideal for those who want to learn using the ‘traditional’ method of a lesson once a week, for three terms. It progresses at a steady pace, allowing more time to digest each topic.
Fast Track Bridge is ideal for those who want to learn more quickly, perhaps on a condensed course over a long weekend, or through a number of more intensive classes. It is designed to get you to the table quicker.
Using either of these programmes will get you to the point at which you can play at a local club.
Continuing Bridge Book 2 covers more advanced topics, for those who have grasped the basics – whether having completed Book 1, or a Fast Track course – and wish to improve their game.
Beginning Bridge Book 1 and Continuing Bridge Book 2 are accompanied by the refreshed Practise Beginning Bridge Book 1 and Practise Continuing Bridge Book 2, to help consolidate knowledge gained from our Bridge For All books. They provide the bridge student with sets of hands to practice at home with friends. With each hand there is a commentary that highlights one or two topics of bidding and play which feature in teaching books.
Completing the set of materials is the System Summary Card, which gives the Standard English system taught in the Bridge For All books in an easy to use reference format.
Buy the books
All the books are available to purchase directly from EBED - please call Lisa on 01296 317217 - or if you wish to order online please do so through the website of the Bridge Warehouse.
EBTA members: To receive your discount on the BFA books please order directly from Lisa.
Teachers: for information on ordering the materials, please see here.
What you will learn on your first course
We hope that after completing your first course you should have grasped the basics of bidding, declarer play, and defending, to the level where you can play bridge in a simple duplicate competition at the club, without needing assistance from your teacher.
You may of course prefer to play at home, or online – that is up to you – but we hope that you will have the skills, and confidence, to play at your local club.
When classes stop you will want to keep playing. Some teachers run their own beginners and improvers clubs so there is a natural progression from the classes. Otherwise students are encouraged to join a local club. Many clubs organise social or gentle duplicate sessions suitable for less experienced players as well as supervised play and other similar formats. The key thing is too keep practicing and develop the confidence to venture out of the classroom; and play with players of similar ability. Very soon you will be saying 'I don't know what I did before I took up bridge'.
The first year will teach you the basics, and you don’t need to learn any more to get a lifetime of enjoyment from the game. But you may quickly find you are hooked, and want to learn much more. In that case you can move on with Continuing Bridge Book 2, and find a teacher who can teach you some of the more advanced topics.
Finding a teacher
Bridge for All teachers are members of the English Bridge Teachers Association (EBTA), which provides all the training needed to be a successful teacher. Most important of all, Bridge for All teachers recognise that learning should be fun!
The EBED Teachers Directory provides details of teachers who have agreed to share their contact information publicly. The EBU Map provides details of all county associations and EBU-affiliated clubs, with links to most of their websites, and some of these may also organise opportunities to learn.
Teachers start their courses throughout the year although the autumn is the traditional time for courses to begin. Most teachers teach privately or in conjunction with their club. Courses are available all over England and are held in bridge clubs, village halls, teachers' homes etc.
Some teachers will offer specific Fast Track courses, whereas others may prefer to teach more ‘traditional’ longer courses. Please contact the teacher to find out what courses they offer, where and when. You may also be able to find alternatives through google, or the website of clubs in your local area.
The benefits of Bridge for All Membership
Students enrolling for lessons using the Bridge for All programme receive an initial complimentary 12 month membership of the English Bridge Union, which brings a range of membership benefits. These include:
- A welcome pack on joining, including an 18 month EBU diary (while stocks last)
- A copy of The Ruffian, a special publication for newcomers to bridge
- The magazine English Bridge, sent to members 6 times a year
- The opportunity to attend Really Easy weekend bridge breaks for students
- A nationwide simultaneous bridge contest once a year played in your classroom
Your Bridge for All teacher will register you with the English Bridge Union.
For help and information on Bridge for All, contact:
English Bridge Education & Development
Tel: 01296 317217
The helpline is open from 9:00am to 3:00 pm Monday to Friday