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The Secrets of Winning Bridge (review)

Posted on 19 October 2013

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1779-OFCA book that consistently appears on bridge players’ top-ten lists is Jeff Rubens’ The Secrets of Winning Bridge, which was widely hailed as groundbreaking when it first  appeared in 1969. This classic work on advanced bidding and play has been unavailable for many years but has now been reprinted in a modernized second edition.

In addition to presenting many previously unheralded expert techniques, the book debunks many widely-held misconceptions. Also contributing to the book’s popularity is the author’s focus on practical decision-making. He assumes that an experienced player can handle clear-cut cases and presents easy-to-follow guidelines for the borderline
situations that often befuddle all but the experts. This deal from the book illustrates an application of the principle: When in doubt, go for the plus score.

Bridge World 01

BW 02

With length in partner’s suit, it was tempting for West to sacrifice under the prevailing vulnerability conditions—it was virtually certain that the penalty would be less, perhaps substantially less, than the value of the opponents’ game. But whether East-West could defeat four spades was shrouded in mystery. There was no way to tell, so
West followed the principle of trying to achieve a plus score. The opening club lead did not further the East-West cause, but as it happened there was still time: The defense had
three entries in the major suits, and it led a diamond each time it was thereafter on lead, the last time to take the setting trick.

The Secrets of Winning Bridge (2nd Ed.) (224 pages; $23.95 plus shipping [$5 to North America; $10 elsewhere]), available from: The Bridge World, PO Box 299, Scarsdale NY 10583 USA or: or (800) 366-1939.


The Bridge World  [Founded 1929 by Ely Culbertson]


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