Class Action

A bridge player coaches a Handz table

CARDology Kidz has been a test site for teaching Handz. It would have been impossible to predict how the class would proceed without seeing the mix of ages and understanding of the conflicts of soccer, karate, ballet, music, and mall walking (do kids still do that?) that has become the accepted structure of our students’ lives.

Last week we struck upon an especially effective format. As soon as the first ten or so students arrive, William seats them in an arc around a white board where he presents a single, simple concept. This week it was ‘play high cards from the short hand when running a suit.’ This included simple issues of “unblocking” and “transportation.” The kids love to raise their hands and participate in the questions.

With the lesson agreed upon ahead of time, a set of four deals duplicated for four tables get handed out, all tables playing board 1 at the same time. The prepared deals illustrate a concept from the lesson. At the end of the hand, a comparison of the results becomes the immediate focus, before we pass out the next board, while the hand is fresh. By the second or third hand, the players who fail to bid game learn that getting set is not the only risk in duplicate bridge.

Our class has many young players, so a lesson and four boards is adequate to move the group along. We then pass out decks of used cards, rejects from the CARDology duplicate game, so that each table plays a popular games called “deuces,” of which this author has no comprehension. The room stays occupied while we put away materials  and clean the room.

As we develop additional lessons, support materials and deal (.pbn) files are stored for use with other classes, either at Cardology Kidz or elsewhere. The additional preparation for each class is rewarded with better class order. Clubs with duplicating machines will have access to the hand records and .pbn files—used by all machines.

One 10-year-old asked, “When can I join the bridge table?”, referring to a group of players who know how to play bridge and are tutored separately. We like the sound of that and are planning to allow this player to skip ahead to reward his dedication.

One night a week a CARDology Kidz volunteer runs a bridge teaching table on BBO for new bridge players. Precocious students will be invited to join us.