Supervised Play

Ok we are about to embark on this and have an idea what to do. However, before we do anything "silly" just thought I would ask what others do.

I have already prepared hands and commentary but have ben considering just giving "hints" on what to do rather than giving instructions when asked by the students. I can also envisage questions coming from our invited local club members, but how do you deal with them? How many boards do you get through in say 2 and a half hours? Do you up the speed of play as you go along?

Do you put the results up on your club website so that the participants can see them or just show them the results on the night? Had thought about e-mailing the hands and travellers, good idea or not?

Any info would be appreciated. There are indications that this might be on the "membership development site" but as we are not a club I don't have any opportunity to see it.

Merry Christmas



  • Here’s how we run ours
    Normal duplicate session prepared hands, by dealing machine or the previous night’s boards and bridge mates/ Bridgewebs, and initially run for 2 hours. 6 boards an hour. This extends to 2 ½ to 3 hours after 2 years and number of boards per hour increases to 8 an hour (but played by time). 2 boards a table.
    Director (or experienced player) can be called upon to help with bidding and play, with the approach being “what do you think you should do” We find reviewing the bidding helps all ie “North opened 1NT so has how many points… and east overcalled 2H so has how many Hs and how many points……. “
    Most ex-students carry crib sheets but we discourage these over time.
    Experienced players join in either as a partner of a student or as experience pair, we find they are very helpful to the students at their table. On our website, after time we, show a league table, if a student has played with an experience player, we show the result but discount the experience players score.
    We deal with any number of players so sometimes someone has to bid with a “dummy” from another table or the Director sits out.
    The result goes on the website so that players can see the results and cards. We do not give commentary or email the results.
    Initially after the lessons finish, I also give a presentation (powerpoint) on an aspect of the bidding/play which has been requested by the now ex-students. No more than 15 minutes, say once a month
    You may find, as we did, that you we will get “less experienced” players and returning to bridge players, joining for the social aspect and reintroduction to the the game – the formation of a new club?
    Hope this helps

  • Christmas eve and thinking of Bridge. Same on us!!!!!

  • Thanks John.

    Interesting will have to wait for the alcohol level to drop and think about it.

    Happy New year everyone.


  • Happy New Year

  • Hi all.

    Did our first supervised play last week. It was ok but we found out that best laid plans......

    We did 15 boards in just under 2 and half hours (4 tables, 3 board rounds full Howell). We had three pairs from the club and we had to play. However, those there were a bit mystified with bridgemates, scoring and the rest of the "ways" of duplicate bridge (most students haven't played for years or had only play "kitchen bridge". They looked starry eyed when they left but all said they would be coming again next time. We hope that we will be able to give more supervision. As you said John it is good to have "understanding" club members come as well. They seemed pleased with the results. One of our students isn't very good and seems to get the idea of bidding one minute and just loses it the next. Not sure what to do about it as I hate leaving "loose ends". In one hand my RHO opened 1 heart. I doubled and he passed. 1 heart doubled made plus 1 for 360. He said that he only had 4 clubs and 8 points so couldn't bid to the 2 level. The next hand I bid 1 club and he responded 2 clubs. He held 11 points, 5 diamonds and only 3 clubs. 3NT was laydown I was 3 3 3 4 & 15 HCPs. In a suit contract he underled the Ace of spades. So everything was wrong. We knew that he wasn't "strong" but it seems that with the Christmas break he has gone backwards quickly. So deep thought needed.


  • Hi
    The results from supervised play are a lottery. Inexperienced players bid or don't bid or bid the "wrong" thing and play in a way you cannot "read" the play. I had a session the other evening when everyone in the room was in 3NT making 8,9,10,11 tricks. Our opposition newish ex-students bidding went 1D -4D - 4NT- 5H - 6D making all to get a top. The next hand went 1H by opps 1S by me -pass- 2S by my partner making. The rest of the room had started 1NT going spectacularly off another top for them.
    Some students just never "get it" but enjoy the social bridge and everyone is usually very understanding, if you can find them a partner.
    There appears to be an opportunity for you to do a "return to Bridge" set of lessons or perhaps a 10 minute pointer session at the start of the supervised.
    Keep going it sounds like you have the makings of a good regular enjoyable session. Just don't look at your score

  • Hi all, just finished our second supervised play. The first was a bit of a disaster that sort of ended up as Ok. One person didn't turn up so our carefully laid plans for a floater was blown out of the window. However, it did help a bit as we were using Bridgemates so the students were getting use to the equipment and the fact that they had competition that they had never played before. The second was much better and all club members joined in to tell the students what their bids meant, after the play was completed. It added a few minutes to each round but it did prove useful. At least they all left laughing which is good. And yes they are all coming back as holidays allow.

    having a drink!!!

  • I'm fairly new to supervised play but have done a couple of sessions this week. Although it's not everyone's cup of tea, my approach is to let people make mistakes and then talk about what went wrong (assuming that it did) - I always felt that I learned far more in the post-mortem myself than while actually playing! However, it seems to me that the sessions described above that help the students transition into a "club" environment are really important at a slightly more advanced level than what I was involved in this week. Good stuff!

  • Postmortems usually involve a bit of "blood". Some people can take it. Others need to be directed. We have to remember that most people that can "stick" a postmortem are the ones that come to the club on their own. Most that come are looking for help and need to be walked through the whole system to build up confidence to play. A word said by the wrong person can ruin 20 weeks of hard work. By the way, supervised play needs to be done carefully and with respect. It is the students confidence that needs to be built up not their knowledge of bridge, that will build once they are in the right frame of mind to use the knowledge they already have.


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