Building on our experience teaching bridge in schools for nine years, The Center for Bridge Education, in collaboration with Richard Bellerose, a founding member and our first president, has been developing a new way to introduce the card play of bridge to persons of all ages, from elementary students to retirees. We call this new game HandzTM.
The principles behind HandzTM are deceptively simple:
1. Students have fun playing in less than 15 minutes.
2. Progress is self-paced.
3. Players advance from level to level as in a computer game.
4. HandzTM concentrates on play until all rules and scoring are understood.
5. Strategy is separated from the rules of play and scoring.
Players have erasable “fact sheets” on which they record and display to the other players their high-card strength and suit distribution, making it easy to “visualize” the various ways to increase winners and avoid losers. For instance, when we explain how to plan the play, the student can see the shape and high card strength of the closed hands. Players grasp the concept of how a suit breaks because there is nothing abstract to imagine; the workings of the finesse are more obvious when high card strength is known.
Not everyone who learns HandzTM will become a duplicate bridge player. Instead, HandzTM is a tool that students use (without knowing it) to discover whether bridge is the game for them. Our goal is both simple and ambitious. We want to introduce thousands of curious persons to the card play of bridge, who then self-select if they wish to go on. We want to tempt players who might be avoiding the drudgery of a traditional bridge class. Among them some small percentage will take up duplicate bridge today; many more will come back years later. If most stay with HandzTM, we are happy with that.
To achieve our ambitious outreach, we hope to convince one or more online game sites to adopt our specifications for the game. HandzTM players could compete with bridge players in various ways that will encourage many to learn about the game of contract bridge.
If you are interested in learning more, please read other pages or open one of our many pdf attachments. We welcome comments and suggestions (below).
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