Welcome

BridgeMojo is ACBL accredited bridge teacher Morris "Mojo" Jones, offering games and bridge classes for the greater Pasadena area and San Gabriel Valley.

Bridge Games

While all of the area bridge clubs are shuttered, come play on Bridge Base Online with your local friends! Welcome to our Virtual Bridge Club.

Bridge Classes

I have classes and practice sessions based on Audrey Grant's Better Bridge series for small groups online. Contact Mojo for more information.

Home of the Pasadena Pomona Downey Virtual Bridge Club

Click here!

Partner opens NT and you have clubs

Board 2 in the August 13 game raised an interesting bidding question.

2

♠J93
982
Q
♣KJ9742
Dlr: East
Vul: N-S
♠A82
Q5
AJ6543
♣T8
  ♠T76
KJT63
KT87
♣5
  ♠KQ54
A74
92
♣AQ63
 

 

The question by email:

Last night on Board #2, South opened 1NT. As North, how do I reach 3-4♣? If 2♣ means Stayman, should I bid 3♣ with only 7HCP?

Reminding declarer which hand they're in

Lately I've had some timely questions about a practice that seems to have become common especially among novice and intermediate players. I had an email from a director in Palm Desert who has noticed this practice, and a question about it at my most recent summer bridge class.

Players, as dummy, have been routinely reminding declarer which hand they're in. The common thing is tapping the table to remind declarer that she's "on the board."

When it was brought up in class, I said, "Well it has to stop!" which got a bit of a chuckle.

Let me go into detail about dummy's rights and privileges. They're quite explicitly called out in the Laws of Duplicate Bridge.

First, there's Law 42 B. "Qualified Rights" paragraph 2.:

2. He may try to prevent any irregularity.

Bidding for the 2017 Laws

Morris Jones
July 9, 2018

The 2017 edition of the Laws of Duplicate Bridge brought in many small changes, and one huge one: Law 23, the Comparable Call rule. The intent is to preserve a bridge result in place of the rather severe penalties of earlier laws. It's not a bad thing, but we'll be adapting to it for quite a while.

Imagine this situation: LHO (Left-hand opponent) is the dealer, but you're distracted with a good hand and you put down a 1♠ bid. The director is called, and your bid-out-of-turn is not accepted by the opponents.

The director cancels your bid, and the auction reverts to LHO who passes. Your partner has no restrictions, but is not allowed to act on the unauthorized information of your 1♠ bid. Partner opens 1. RHO passes.

Where do the hands come from?

My desk with computer monitor and Dealer4 machine. On the screen is the Dealer4 software with a hand displayed.

Most players take my word when I say, "The hands are randomly generated and dealt to the boards by a machine." That's all true as far as it goes, but what does it really mean?

Let me give you a peek behind the curtain and show you what it takes to make pre-dealt hands and hand records for a duplicate pairs game1.

Since the early days of generating bridge deals by computer, quite a bit of research has gone into the mathematics involved. Early random number generators were woefully inadequate for being able to replicate a hand-shuffled deck of cards.

Our first robot fill-in pair

Bonnie and Angela take on the robot pair.
Photo by Roy Wilson, April 2018
Roy's article on the Unit web site here

Last week was our first trial-run for having a pair of BBO (BridgeBase Online) robots fill a half-table at the BridgeMojo game.

What's wrong with having a sit-out?

Normally when the game has a half-table, on every round there's a pair who can't play. That pair has a 15-minute break. For the BridgeMojo game, that means seven pairs in the game will play twelve boards, and the rest will play fourteen.

To compensate for the difference, the total matchpoint score for those pairs is factored before comparing it with the other pairs in the game. Their final score is multiplied by 14/12 (7/6, 1.166). (Remember your fractions?) That brings every player up to a common baseline score.

A little thrill for me

Mailing label for an ACBL Bridge Bulletin

When I applied for the sanction for my bridge club, one of the questions on the application form asks for a seven-character code for your club to appear on masterpoint reports.

For my club, it had to be BRGMOJO, of course.

So when I got to see it in print for the first time (yay, Jane!) it was a bit of a thrill. :)

ACBL Plastic Playing Cards

My desk with boards, cards, and the Playbridge Dealer4 machine.

Morris Jones
March 11, 2018

When I was deciding how to equip my bridge club, I took my cues from the ACBL North American Bridge Championships. As the pinnacle of tournament play, and heavy-duty supply usage, I had a strong bias toward their selections.

I purchased "Neo Classic" bidding boxes. (They take more space than the folding boxes, but are more durable.) I bought "Imperial-Plus" duplicate boards to use in a Dealer4 dealing machine, Cosco tables (the MECO tables are good too but have minor problems).

Guide to the Convention Card

Morris Jones
Feb. 11, 2018

At the Feb. 5 BridgeMojo postmortem I gave an overview of the standard Convention Card. The object was to show the various regions of the card and how it was laid out:

  • The right half covers constructive bidding (our side opens)
  • The left half upper two-thirds cover competitive bidding (their side opens)
  • The left half lower portion covers defensive signals and carding

Each of the major areas are divided with titles that explain themselves fairly well, for example:

  • Notrump openings and responses
  • Major suit openings and responses
  • Minor suit openings and responses
  • Two-level openings and responses

The competitive bidding section on the left isn't quite as organized as the constructive section, but then competitive bidding is messy too. :)

Bridge needs directors

Twelve tables in play at the BridgeMojo game

Morris Jones
25-Jan-2018

Directing is fascinating

When I first noticed bridge, of course the game was fascinating. The detail and the multi-level depth of the game continue to enthrall.

When I first started playing duplicate bridge and visiting tournaments, I found another fascination in the organization of the game itself — the movements of boards and players, the many ways of scoring that would shift the play strategy.

Early on I realized that I could play team games at home with nothing more than two or three tables of players, some score cards, and a few duplicate boards. My first directing was done at my house or others' houses exactly that way.

Web movements for 14-board games

Six board sets ready for a Festival game

by Morris "Mojo" Jones
14 January 2018

What is this Web movement?

Tournament players have mostly seen Web movements by now. For most larger events, at least one section in the game will be set up using this unfamiliar pattern of play.

In this case, I'm talking about the order of the boards and the players in a duplicate bridge game. The two most common movements in bridge, Mitchell and Howell, pre-date the game of bridge itself, and were used for duplicate whist tournaments.

In the 1970s, a director named John Harris, who went by the nickname of "Spider," invented a general movement that would have every player in the game playing the same group of boards. We call them Web movements in honor of Spider.