A game of bridge is a collection of statistics, and the stats change with every trick.
To play a game of bridge, chess, or anything else that gets played on a tabletop, strategy isn’t stagnant.
Strategy changes with every move. What you’re doing with your cards or pieces halfway through the game often has nothing to do with the moves you started with.
The effective strategist (and, well, bridge player) adapts. Assesses the game (and where players are at) with every move that’s made.
It’s how you surprise an opponent, or get out of a tight spot.
I remember video games where the opponent’s would do the exact same thing at the start or end of a level. Go around the corner, look left. (And every single time, it’s the same move.) These are easier to beat – and obviously so.
That’s why strategy adapts.
Want to know where your game is at right now? Here are quick ways to assess the game in progress.
1: High Card Points
We’re all taught to count High Card Points first.
That’s because HCPs give you a better idea of who is holding what. Just like poker, some hands are from the gods, and other hands should be chopped off and thrown into a volcano.
Remember to count your HCPs throughout the game and not just at the very beginning.
2: Low Card Points
High Card Points are an advantage, but don’t forget about your lower cards either.
When assessing your game (and the opposing hands), it’s a good idea to know where these cards are on the table.
There are few things as bad as being surprised by a move that was actually pretty obvious in retrospect.
3: Suit Length
It’s important to know how many cards are in the strongest suit.
It’s also important to know when these cards are going to run out.
When the strongest cards are all out in a player’s hand, they have a little less to work with. If your game hasn’t gone the way you like up until this point, exploit their suit length.