Submitted by: Richard Braunstein– winner!

When I teach the proper method of counting and its importance in bridge, the students generally find it hard to do.

I point out to them that it requires a great deal of practice. I remind them how difficult it was when they first learned to sign their names and how, through practice, it became automatic.

I tell them that a good time to practice is when they are the dummy. On average, this happens about once in four hands, and it is a time when they are free to concentrate on anything they choose. So I tell them to give themselves a counting assignment. They can start small and build up. Once they find it easy to accomplish the assignment, they can move on to a more complicated assignment. I suggest the following assignments:

1. Count the number of cards in one suit in one of the hidden hands

2. Count the number of cards in two suits in one of the hidden hands

3. Count the number of cards in four suits in one of the hidden hands

4. Count the number of cards in all four suits in two of the hidden hands

5. Count the number of cards in all four suits in each of the hidden hands

6. Count the number of high cards in one of the opponent's hands

7. Count the number of high cards in both of the opponent's hands

8. Count the number of high cards in all of the other hands

By following this plan they can improve their play both as declarers and as defenders.