Here is a batch of very basic Bridge tips. The gist of them all is that it pays to be careful and observant.
1. Remember the opening lead. Low spot card leads are particularly easy to forget.
2. Consider how long it took the opening leader to make his lead. Did it whistle out there or was there a little suffering? This could be important later when trying to construct a picture of the opening leader’s hand.
3. Know your opponents’ lead and signaling conventions BEFORE play begins. It is better not to have to ask revealing questions later.
4. Ask yourself what the opponents know about YOUR strength and distribution from the bidding. Say your bidding has shown 7-10 high card points and you have turned up so far with eight points. The opponents know you have no more aces or kings.
5. Do not let the opponents know by any mannerism or comment how you feel about your contract. It gives away too much information.
6. Do not get in the habit of pulling a card out, putting it back, etc. Make up your mind what card you are going to play, and then play it.
7. Do not put short suits at either end of your hand. Put them in the middle. Some players notice where cards are played from.
8. Hold your cards back. Why give the opponents a chance to look?
9. Do not snap your cards when playing to a trick.
10. If a suit or a number of suits break badly, take it in stride. Moaning and groaning is for professional wrestlers.
11. Do not play from trick to trick. Formulate a plan.
12. The quickest road to disaster is to start thinking about the contract you wish you were playing. Before you know it, you will be playing the hand as if you were in the wished contract.
13. Don’t destroy the partnership by getting on your partner. Save discussions for after the game. Keep the criticism constructive.
14. After you lead to a trick, wait for second hand to play. Do not call for a card before second hand plays. If you do, fourth hand is allowed to play out of turn. This gives second hand a chance to see partner’s card before playing to the trick.
15. When putting the dummy on the table, put the suit of the opening lead down last. This forces partner to look at your full dummy hand before perhaps playing too quickly.
16. Assume you are dummy in a notrump contract. During the auction both you and your partner have bid hearts. Do NOT put your hearts down on your extreme right. Partners have been known to lose it and play the hand as if hearts were trumps!
17. When dummy comes down, add your high card points to dummy’s. That way you know how many high card points the opponents hold. If they have been in the bidding, this count could be very helpful. For instance, let’s say you become declarer after your LHO has opened one notrump (16-18). You discover that you have 23 high card points between hand and dummy. Now you know that RHO can have no more than a jack, if that.