This page is written for persons familiar with Bridge. It may have little to offer the student.
Build a Scaffold
Terence Li, CBE alumnus with a M.A. in teaching from Stanford, advised us that teaching complex ideas requires the building of a figurative scaffold. HandzTM does this by having players expose distribution and strength of their hands. With this knowledge, players learn to judge a reasonable contract level and strain. Using the same information, they learn to declare and defend, planning strategy from trick one.
Many bridge teachers have asked for some methodology or guidelines for providing instruction to new Handz players. Here is a brief (2 page) document that shares some of our experience and intentions.
To teach anything, one needs to first develop the students’ interest. HandzTM achieves this by making it as simple as possible to start playing. To that end, conventional bidding has been stripped from the game until the rules and scoring are understood.
Interest = fun.
To maintain interest in a new subject, the pace must be right for the student. When learning HandzTM, the students control the pace at which they advance. Having a good time with Level 2? Then keep playing there until ready to move on.
Instructors Can Know Too Much
It is often difficult for an instructor to see a student’s blind spots. Though the words we use to explain may be exact and accurate, they may require a leap of knowledge that the student cannot make and that the instructor cannot perceive. HandzTM moves in small steps that do not conflate bidding, strategy, or abstraction. See “Teaching Guidelines,” above.
Players are invited to improve their skills with various play hints, many delivered with a short video. These are not required to advance from level to level, but the competitive player will find them easy to follow and effect for winning. The second half of the Rules booklet contains a section we call Tipz. These are play strategies developed for HandzTM that are not entirely applicable to bridge. However, the deductions encouraged in Tipz are intended to help students imagine the ways that distributions can achieve success.
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