9 things to improve in online games that can help you in Bridge
Bridge can be a lot of fun to play but, if there’s one thing that we all know, it’s that it can be an incredibly difficult game to play, too. Indeed, it can be so difficult that many bridge players have decided to give up on the game after an especially grueling evening at the cards table. Happily, they always come back. There are frustrating elements to bridge, but the positives of playing are always greater in number.
And let’s not forget that you can always improve your bridge game, which should, in theory at least, make you a better player. In this blog, we’ll run through six effective methods. Take them all on board, and it likely won’t be long before you begin to notice an improvement!
Review Your Performance
A little bit of self-reflection can go a long way. That’s true of all areas of our lives, including our bridge performances. You might want to forget a poor game as soon as possible, but there’s a lot of value in spending some time analyzing your performance and seeing where you might have gone wrong. You can, and should, do this following your successful games, too. You may improve your game almost instantly by recognizing that you keep on repeatedly making the same error.
Play Other Strategy Games
If you’re temporarily unable to practice your bridge skills because no games are taking place, then look at playing other card games that require a similar skill set to succeed. For instance, you could learn the rules of poker and play online, as this is a game that requires strategic thinking, patience, and focus, all of which you’ll need when you return to the bridge table. Chess is another option. Download a chess app on your phone, and you can indirectly improve your bridge skills when you have some downtime.
Play Against A Variety of Players
It can be difficult to find bridge players to play against. However, if you’re fortunate enough to live in an area that has many players, you’ll have access to a useful training strategy. As with all competitive games, you’ll get better if you play against a variety of players. There’s value in playing against people both better and worse than you and your partner, but it’s best not to go to any extremes. You’ll learn little if your opposition is much better or worse than you are. Try to find a pair that are slightly better than you; that is to say, their level should be within your reach.
Use a Brain Training App
Your bridge memory will be one of your strongest assets. The better it is, the better you’ll be. But your bridge memory isn’t all that different from other aspects of your memory, which means you can do training drills that improve your overall memory and still get the benefit. One of the easiest methods is to download a brain training app. These have been specifically designed to boost brain power, and that’s something that you could definitely do with more of if you want to become a bridge champion! There are also some excellent apps to help you with your bridge game.
What’s Your Process?
Finally, on occasion, it’s advisable to get as specific as possible with your training. And a good place for that is in improving your bridge processes. All too often, we become fixated on outcomes (the result). If we win, then our strategy works. If we lose, then it was a bad strategy. But that’s not always the case. By developing a bridge strategy that you know well and have faith in, then you can have peace of mind that you’re well in control of the parts of bridge that you can make a difference to.
Improve Your Concentration
It’s easy (well, easyish) to play well for fifteen minutes. But that’s not going to win you the game. The longer you’re able to play well for, the greater the chance of victory. This comes down, in large part, to your ability to focus. Some people have a natural gift for concentration, but that’s not the case for most people — they need to work on it. There are multiple ways to improve your capacity to concentrate, including practicing mindfulness, making sure you’re getting plenty of rest, and eliminating distractions. These things won’t improve your bridge game overnight, but over time, they’ll have a positive impact.
Work With Your Partner
Bridge is about teamwork. But just because you’re technically on the same side, that doesn’t make you a team. That comes from working together and avoiding some of the problems that can undermine teamwork. For example, getting annoyed with your partner. You probably won’t play the perfect game each and every time, and neither will they. If things aren’t going their way, it’s best to stay supportive rather than giving snarky comments. You might be tempted to say a mean word or too, but remember, it’ll only make things worse.
Practice Makes Perfect
You can’t expect to get better if you’re only playing infrequently. In order to improve, you need to play. You might be somewhat limited if you only play bridge with particular friends, because you’ll be dependent on them to turn up and play. If you’re in that position, then look at branching out and playing with others — if you live anywhere cosmopolitan, then there’ll likely be plenty of people that you can play against, allowing you to increase your playing time.
Trust the Process
Finally, remember to trust the process. If you take all of the tips that we’ve outlined onboard, then eventually you’ll begin to improve. But it won’t happen instantly. Most people give up because they don’t notice instant results, but it’s best to resist this urge. The trick is to keep on powering through even when you don’t think you’re making progress. All the necessary work will be taking place under the surface — and in the end, all your efforts will be worth it. Indeed, there’s every chance that your friends might just be wondering how you’ve managed to make such progress without getting a teacher!