Bridge Smarts:
A Path to Bridge Success
Augie Boehm

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140 pp. (paperback)

ISBN: 978-0-9828874-4-8


This book is based partly on a series called Boehm Mots (literally, good words), which originally appeared in the ACBL Bridge Bulletin magazine. These pages contain lots of advice--some of it technical, some practical--that captures some of what goes on in the brain of this bridge player.

The highlighted technical elements are the sifting of clues to make deductions, hand evaluation--what is my hand worth as the auction develops, and correcting a few common bad habits. The practical factors include keeping focus, preserving stamina, improving memory, and maintaining an even temperament. Although these extraneous factors are not specific bridge skills, they are important to your success, and they are within your control. Luck is mostly beyond your control, but it receives a significant mention because of its crucial role.

I define success at bridge as the ability to give your best as often as possible. Not everyone has the talent to be a consistent winner. Success is to satisfy yourself with your performance, reduce your errors, keep partner happy, and appreciate the beauties and intricacies of this greatest of games.

It is not necessary to be a math whiz. I nearly flunked freshman calculus at Columbia and never took another math course, yet I've become a bridge professional player and writer. What is helpful is facility with arithmetic, adding to and subtracting from 13, and, most vital of all, clear logical thinking, the ability to follow a fact or assumption and see where it leads. Concentration, an adjunct to memory, is also critical. You can't remember what card partner played if you didn't notice it in the first place.

My goal is to make you a more productive bridge thinker. Conventions, though useful, receive minimal attention; the nuances of hand evaluation, a great deal. You may play several sessions without once using a favorite convention, but hand evaluation is a constant requirement. Good evaluation produces better judgment. Card play technique, especially on defense, is the other featured player in this book--you defend twice as many deals as you declare. An athlete knows the value of training to keep in top form, and several puzzles are provided to help you flex your own brain muscles. Combine all these elements and you will find yourself well along the path to success.

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