Thursday, 15 August 2013

Counting the Hand 1

A clearer and more up-to-date version of this sequence of posts is now contained within aaBridge.  On the  aaBridge  Welcome Screen  click on

             How to  –  Defend like an Expert

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This and the following posts form a series on how to count the hand.

You can jump to the other posts by using the Menu on the right.

You have a count on the hand when you know the original distribution of the suits in the unseen hands, ideally including the placement of all the hidden honors.

The aim is to give advice on how to practice counting and so train yourself to do this very difficult task.  You will get none of the “all you have to do is to count up to 13” nonsense, here.
Learning to count and in particular, trying to practice counting, is very difficult.  You need to treat it as a piece of “high level home study”.  Think of it as an elective on a degree course.  Pick a time of day when you are not too tired or have only just woken up.  I suggest that at first you allow at least an hour and try to have a quiet space with just you and your computer.  Of course, in an ideal world you won’t have any distractions.


I am going to show, in detail, a fully web-based way of finding and stepping through hands played by world-class players where you be able to see only one hand and the dummy.  Hopefully being experts their bridge will be sound.

The BBO web-based, all online hand display app, is way better than nothing. However I think that aaBridge can do better as it can be a clearer and easier-to-use method of viewing the files. Using aaBridge also allows you to replay the hand exploring alternate lines.

I will also give two complete examples of slowly 'counting a hand' then with practice we can all get faster.

The next post covers how and where to find the hands of the experts.

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