I am going to start providing bridge tips for everyone. If you have a subject matter that you'd like to see discussed, please let me know at rbmcdill@swbell.net. I will be glad to address that for you.

I have chosen to start with the opening tips from "Kantar on Bridge - Defensive Tips for Bad Card Holders". (Kantar, 1994)


  1. Never, but never forget you are playing with a partner. It pays to consider what things may look like from partner's point of view, particularly when you are privy to some information that partner isn't.
  2. You cannot defend properly unless you remember the bidding.
  3. You cannot defend properly unless you know what system the opponents are playing.
  4. You cannot defend properly unless you watch the cards, particularly the little fellows.
  5. You cannot defend properly unless you count.
  6. You cannot expect your partner to defend properly if you make faces or show other signs of disapproval.
  7. Keep one goal in mind: DEFEATING THE CONTRACT. Do not worry about overtricks unless you are defending a doubled contract or are playing tournament bridge.
  8. A player who hesitates during the bidding is likely to have a problem hand. If that player becomes the declarer, keep the hesitation in mind.
  9. The figure to focus on during the defense is the number of tricks you need at any given moment to defeat the contract. Defense is based on that figure.
  10. Give your opening lead a little consideration. The fate of many a contract is determined by that one card. Use the bidding as a guide.
  11. Make sure you and your partner are on the same wave length concerning leads and signaling conventions.
  12. Don't compound a crime. If you, or more likely partner, have made an error, do not lose your cool. Many contracts can still be beaten after one defensive error, seldom after TWO.
  13. If partner makes a nice play, a kind word or two at the end of the hand goes a long way.
  14. The speed of the play may be a clue to declarer's problem. When playing a 4-3 trump fit, play usually slows to a crawl.
  15. When two possible defenses present themselves to defeat the contract, both equally likely, select the simpler. (Unless you are looking to make an appearance in a newspaper column.)
  16. If you can see the winning defense, take charge. Don't put any additional pressure on partner if you don't have to.
  17. Keep partner's skill level in mind. Lead a poor player by the hand.
  18. Watch partner's spot card signals. The stronger your partner, the more meaningful they are.
  19. Keep your singletons and doubletons in the middle of your hand. Some players watch where your cards come from.
  20. Try not to guard against non-existent dangers; guard only against those that are consistent with the bidding and play.
  21. Try to put ourself in declarer's shoes. If you can discern her fears, play on those fears though they may not exist.