Questions and Answers
We are a small, friendly club, with about 40 active members.
On a typical evening we will have between 6 and 8 tables.
These are some of the questions we get asked the most - and their answers!
Can anyone play?
We welcome players of all standards, from beginner to expert. We have a very relaxed atmosphere, so if you are new to playing in clubs, or if you find the larger clubs too intense, we are just what you are looking for! Don't worry if you don't know how the evening will work; just turn up, and we will explain it all to you.
Does it cost much?
No! Table fees are just £2. Membership costs only £5 a year. We don't think you'll find a better deal than that anywhere!
What if I'm not sure?
We realise that our bridge club might not suit everyone, so you are very welcome to play for a few weeks as a guest before you apply to become a paid-up member. However, we do require that you join as a member after playing a few times.
Why do I need to be a member?
If you play regularly, it works out cheaper than paying the higher guest fee every week. It also helps the club to manage its finances efficiently. And as an added incentive, most competition prizes are only available to club members.
What time can I go home?
We normally finish playing at around 10.30pm. As soon as you have played your last hand and helped clear your table away, you are free to go.
Do I need to play every week?
Absolutely not! You can play as often or as rarely as you like. Many of our members do play every week, but some play once a month or even less. If you have aspirations towards the Summer or Winter Pairs championships, you will need to come regularly to be in with a good chance - for each, we hold ten competition evenings, where the scores count towards the championship, and we take your best five evenings' scores.
Will I need to come with a partner?
Most players do have regular partnerships that they play every week - but quite often, there are one or two players whose normal partners are unable to play, and who would like to play with someone else. To find out if anyone else is looking for a partner, just email us with your request, and leave a contact phone number for him to let you know if you are in luck. Please email us as early as you can, so that we have plenty of time to try to find you a partner.
Please do not turn up at 7pm on Friday without a partner; we will not be able to help you out if you do.
Occasionally, we do have special evenings where you don't need to come with a partner - this will be clearly marked on the events page.
Are refreshments available?
Tea, coffee and biscuits are available (free!) half-way through the evening. Other than that, in general we request that you do not bring food or drink into the hall. Some competition nights include a buffet; all comers are expected to contribute something towards this, and a sign-up list will be circulating at the club for several weeks beforehand.
What systems do you play?
Our members play a variety of bidding systems, although they are overwhelmingly based on Acol. Most people play the standard conventions such as Stayman and Blackwood, with several going for many more varied conventions. As long as you alert any conventional bids your partner makes, and explain them to your opponents if they ask, you can play any recognised conventions.
In terms of the play, we usually play a Howell movement, so that you play against lots of different pairs throughout the evening. We do occasionally play a Mitchell movement, but not very often. We hold three teams events throughout the year, but these are not planned in advance – it just depends how many people turn up on the day!