Bridge Classes

Have you always wanted to learn to play bridge or would like to improve your skills?  SJCC past Board President and ACBL-accredited bridge teacher Alan Tesler will teach you the game.  Alan offers several bridge classes throughout the week.

Pre-registration is only required for the Bridge Basics series (see rates below). All classes other than Bridge Basics will be drop-in only. Students may move between courses and supervised play as desired from week to week. Except for the Bridge Basics series, charges are on a per-lesson basis, paid to the instructor.  Non-transferable five-class punch cards can be purchased from the instructor at a discounted rate.

Drop-in Rates
SJCC members $13
Guests $15

Five-Class Punch Cards
SJCC members $60
Guests $70

Contact Alan Tesler with questions, reservations, or with requests for other classes, days, or times. (Click on Alan’s name for his email address.)

Classes with insufficient registration may be cancelled.

Winter 2019 Classes

Bridge Basics 1

Wednesdays, 10:30 am-1 pm   
January 30-March 6
SJCC members $78 | Guests $90          

This series consists of the first 6 lessons of the 14-week Bridge Basics course.  This is the course for Absolute Beginners, or for those who have been away from the game for a long time and want to re-start at the very beginning. It starts with an introduction to taking tricks, moves on to opening bids and responses, and covers basic concepts of Declarer Play and Defense. Condensed make-up sessions are available for students who miss a class.  There is a manual for the course: Bridge Basics 1, which needs to be purchased from the instructor at the first class for $10.  There will also be supplementary materials developed by the instructor which will be distributed during the course.  The final 8 lessons of the 14-lesson series, Bridge Basics 2&3, will follow, beginning on March 13.

Bridge Basics 2 & 3

Wednesdays, 10:30 am-1 pm
March 13-May 15
SJCC members $104 |  Guests $120          

This series consists of the final 8 lessons of the 14-week Bridge Basics course.  It deals with competitive bidding (Bridge Basics 2) and popular basic conventions (Bridge Basics 3). Condensed make-up sessions are available for students who miss a class. There are 2 manuals for the course: Bridge Basics 2 and Bridge Basics 3, which need to be purchased from the instructor at the first class for $10 each. There will also be supplementary materials developed by the instructor which will be distributed during the course.  Bridge Basics: Parts 1 (or an equivalent playing or learning experience) is recommended beforehand.

Declarer Play

Section A
Tuesdays, 10:30 am-1 pm
January 29-April 23  (No class on February 19, April 2, or April 9)

Section B
Wednesdays, 6:30- 9 pm
NOTE: This class does not meet every week!
January 30; February 13,27; March 13,27; April 17; May 1, 15, 29; June 12 

This 10-lesson course is for those who know the basics of bidding, but who want to improve their ability as Declarer. It’s also valuable for the more experienced players who wish to improve their Declarer play. It starts with the fundamental strategies that Declarer employs to take all the tricks to which he is entitled, reviews basic bidding concepts, moves on to developing tricks, and concludes with techniques for identifying the “dangerous” opponent and avoiding giving her the lead.  As this course follows Beginning Bridge, there is a strong emphasis on bidding review.

Polishing Your Basics

Thursdays, 6:30-9 pm
February 7 through June 20  (No class on March 14, April 4, April 11, April 18, or May 2) 

This 15-lesson course focuses on bidding – reviewing and enhancing bidding principles learned in Beginning Bridge. The class emphasizes the importance of efficiently showing both your hand strength and distribution.  It is not a review class, but builds on the basics, including such topics as how to show your hand strength, Game-tries, invitational raises, preemptive raises, 4th-suit forcing, when to bid or not bid NoTrump, and when a bid is a “close-out” bid to end the auction.

Supervised Play

Section A
Wednesdays, 2-4:30 pm

January 30 through June 19 (no class April 3 or April 10)

Section B
12:30-3 pm on January 31, March 14, April 18, May 2
2-4:30 pm all other Thursdays, February 7-June 20 (no class April 4 or April 11)

This is unstructured play, with advice and review offered based on whatever problems arise from the randomly dealt hands. While aimed at intermediate players who are trying or considering trying Duplicate Bridge, these sessions can be useful for anyone who has completed Beginning Bridge, for advanced beginners, and for intermediate players. Each week’s class stands on its own; it isn’t necessary to take the full series.

Lesson-Review Supervised Play

Wednesdays, 6:30-9 pm
February 6, 20, March 6,20, April 24, May 8,22, June 5,19

This class will offer a mixture of hands of varying difficulty taken from a variety of lessons, and is a good refresher for those evening students who want to keep their skills sharp, and for those who enjoy having lesson hands but who like “not knowing what’s coming”.  These are not randomly-dealt hands like the afternoon Supervised Play, nor are they all difficult challenging hands like the Thursday morning “Special Supervised Play” below.

Special Supervised Play Using Challenging Lesson Hands

Thursdays, 10:30 am-1 pm
February 21, March 21, April 25, June 6

These four sessions will use selected challenging “lesson” hands from a variety of sources, and will have some bidding problems, some Declarer Play problems, and some Defensive Play problems. These classes are aimed at the more experienced intermediate players, especially those who are playing Duplicate Bridge. Each class stands on its own.  Attendance is limited to 6 tables.


Irregular Thursdays, February 7-June 20
10:30 am-1 pm  

This is a series of 10 lessons, offered on intermittent Thursdays, on a variety of topics.

February 7: RKCB and 1430 – an improvement on the Blackwood convention

February 14: Control Bids for Slam Exploration – when Blackwood won’t work

February 28: Overcalls to show 2 Suits – the Michaels Cuebid and the Unusual NoTrump

March 7: Introduction to Endplays –getting the opponents to make a lead that helps Declarer

March 28: Introduction to Squeeze Play – how Declarer forces a Defender to discard a Winner

May 9-30: 4 lessons presenting the basics of the popular “Two-over-One” bidding system:

May 9: Two-Over-One Game-Forcing, Part 1

May 16: Two-Over-One Game-Forcing, Part 2            

May 23: Two-Over-One Game-Forcing, Part 3             

May 30: Two-Over-One Game-Forcing, Part 4

June 20: Bidding with Minor Suit Hands – how to handle these less common but annoying hands

Duplicate Bridge

Twice a month – see dates below
$4, reservations strongly requested

A non-sanctioned, fun Duplicate game is held twice per month – one day game and one evening game. No Master-Points are awarded in this non-sanctioned game. The game is open to anyone, whether or not taking lessons at the SJCC. The cost is $4 per person, and reservations are requested. Those without partners who wish to play will be paired with suitable partners, as available; advance notice is helpful to arrange partnerships. RSVP to Alan Tesler.

Thursday, January 3 | 6:15 pm
Friday, January 4 | noon (note: different start time this month  only; also limited to 9 tables!)
Thursday, January 31 | 6:15 pm

Friday, February 1 | 11 am

Thursday, March 14 | 6:15 pm
Friday, March 8 | 11 am

Friday, April 12 | 11 am
Thursday, April 18 | 6:15 pm

Thursday, May 2 | 6:15 pm
Friday, May 3 | 11 am

Monday, June 10 | 6:15 pm
Friday, June 14 | 11 am

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