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Learn to play Bridge

Join a class and learn as part of a group

join a class image For help in finding a local club/teacher, call Sue on 01296 317208 or email info@ebedcio.org.uk.

Alternatively, we recommend that you contact a bridge club near you. They will be pleased to provide information about their classes or give you the name of a teacher whom they can recommend.

The EBU Map provides details of all county associations, EBU-affiliated clubs and full Members of the English Bridge Teachers Association (EBTA), and links to most of their websites.

EBED promotes Bridge for All as the National Learning Programme. Do check whether your teacher is using the Bridge For All materials - and do ask for references from former students.

Find a class that is right for you

There are many ways of learning bridge and much depends on the nature of the student and the dynamics of the group. Some students will already be more familiar with bridge type card games (such as whist) and may in the early stages move faster than others – such students may therefore wish to consider a more accelerated course.

Make sure that you talk to the teacher and check that the chemistry feels right. You should also look at the ideas given below before deciding the route which is best suited to you.

How long does it take to learn?

If you are not familiar with how bridge is played then watch this video for an overview.

Learning the basics of bridge can be achieved comfortably over a weekend and you may well be ready for playing social bridge with just this introduction.

Duplicate bridge takes a little longer and this really depends on the student. How much you practice what you have been taught, how much you read about the game, and how much you are willing to make mistakes and be corrected are three factors which will determine your progress. Learning bridge has been compared with learning a language in that reward is closely related to effort. And, just as everyone speaks a language (even if only their own), anyone can learn to play bridge.

Play, play, play!

Playing bridgeWhatever route you choose, we find that it works best if learners become integrated with regular club play at the earliest opportunity, and this naturally depends on identifying a club with a welcoming atmosphere. You should always feel that you are enjoying yourself, even if you are a little unsteady in the beginning (imagine water-skiing!). If it seems a little hard at first, remember that bridge is, above all, meant to be fun - it is not an endurance programme. If you are not having fun, it is time to make some changes!

Most clubs are very keen to welcome new blood and they may well have special sessions for starting players. Be sure to ask the club secretary to help you find a session which will suit your level.

For those whose schedule does not fit in with regular club duplicates or who are insomniacs, you can also play bridge online. Bridge4Free is a UK-based site offering free duplicate games day or night. Bridge Base Online is a big US site for playing, learning and watching bridge – and it too is free! Both Bridge4Free and BBO work a treat on an iPad or Android tablet. Click the links above to download their apps.

Other on-line practice systems can greatly assist students, for example the V-Blue package available at a discount to students of EBTA teachers (see below).

Learn without joining a class

Learn without joining a Class imageRegular classes don't suit everyone's schedule, so one option you might like to consider is going to a residential/weekend course or even take a cruise! There are many of these advertised in English Bridge, the EBU magazine. Past copies of English Bridge are available for free online.

Finally, there are several independent companies who sell bridge courses and software. Please contact us for an up-to-date list of what we know to be available.

A free two-week trial and much useful information is available at No Fear Bridge.

Vu-Bridge offers many features for learning and development through the play of hands arranged by topic, quizzes, and more. It is suitable for both beginners and more advanced players alike. Please see www.vubridge.com for more information.

A new arrangement is now in place for EBTA Teachers and their students to have special access to V-Blue - part of the Vu-Bridge website - at discounted rates for students alongside EBTA lessons. Please ask an EBTA teacher for more details. EBTA teachers can find more details in the Teachers’ Zone.

Do you need more information?

For further information about learning bridge, please contact us at info@ebedcio.org.uk or call 01296 317217.