ABTA: Home of the American Bridge Teachers' Association

“To help those who teach bridge to do it better, more effectively, more knowledgeably, more professionally.”


Jeff Bayone

Dear fellow bridge teachers, fellow club owners, fellow club managers,

When have you last seen reviews like these for an absolute, introductory-level beginner bridge book?

"Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, A Taste of Bridge is an ideal and highly recommended addition to personal and community library Bridge collections."

MidWest Book Review 11/20/2017

"I absolutely love it. It’s hard to know for sure if it’s as easy as I think it is, because you can’t ever go back to the perspective of a new player once you know what you know, but it sure seems a lot easier than the Audrey Grant book I started with."

Chip Dombrowski, associate editor, The Bridge Bulletin.

"This book is based on the beginners' course given by Honors Bridge Club in New York (the largest in North America). It is a series of six lessons that have started thousands of people on the road to enjoying the world's most popular card game."

— Barbara Seagram, at the teachers' meeting in Eugene, Oregon, recommending one book as a source for beginner bridge material: A Taste of Bridge, by Jeff Bayone.


A Taste of Bridge is the first book for real beginners published in over a generation. If you’ve been teaching bridge for anywhere near as long as I have, you know that today’s beginning students are nothing like the "beginning" students that entered your classroom a decade or two ago. Up through the 70s and 80s card games were what drew families together. I bet it no longer surprises you to discover that some of your new students walk into your classroom never having seen a deck of cards before.

To account for this, we must go slower at the start. Much, much slower. Slower than anyone not familiar with teaching bridge could possibly imagine. Can any of you remember losing a class because you weren’t introducing material fast enough?

A Taste of Bridge doesn’t put the cart before the horse either.

A fifth card in a suit is worth a point.

A singleton with four-card trump support is worth 3 points.

Why?

You and I know it’s because that’s how tricks are created. Students need to learn this too. They need to see this happen, over and over, before they are introduced to bidding.

That’s what A Taste of Bridge does. It introduces bidding on page 101, half-way through the book. We do talk points – a trick is three points (13 tricks, 40 HCP) – so we can quesstimate how many tricks are needed to fulfill our contract. For the first few lessons, bidding-wise, that’s about it.

The "fun" part of the game is the play. Everyone loves to play. Taste of Bridge aims to hook them right from the start.

Now you might think teaching bridge in NYC is easier than where you are. So many people. Maybe. But consider that all these people also have a million other options available to them for entertainment. If we don’t "get" them fast, they’re out the door.


More reviews:

"This set of beginner bridge lessons is exceptional and has been termed 'a new approach.' The 215-page softcover book, published by Master Point Press, announces that bridge is 'a taste of Haagen Dazs (or Ben & Jerry’s) ice cream; a taste of the good life, a taste of Heaven, a taste of your own medicine … I would hope that somewhere, early on, you’d begin to be awed at bridge’s beauty and logic. It’s a winning combination.' There are 28 chapters, each designed to be read in one sitting of less than an hour. Bayone warns that at the end you should be about as proficient as if you’d spent that amount of time learning Chinese or tennis. The last chapter contains 12 of Bayone’s favorite teaching hands. They are gems! The book’s diagrams are carefully laid out and often there are pictures of single hands or diagrams of all four. I love the gray sidebar boxes with large question marks and then a written-out question, such as 'Which of these two suits has more potential?' (The suits given are A K 8 2 opposite Q 5 4 vs. A K 4 3 2 opposite Q 5.) Basic bridge rules (such as 'When you have two five-card suits, open the higher ranking one first") are highlighted and carefully explained in detail. It is refreshing to this writer to have the author say, "With two four-card minors either 1♣ or 1♦ is acceptable.' "

Dee Berry, American Bridge Teachers' Association Quarterly 10/13/2017

- - -

"There are plenty of bridge books on the market which largely discuss strategy and playing approaches for those who already have the basics of the game well in hand; but A Taste of Bridge is different, appealing to the bare-bones newcomer with no prior familiarity with the game.

"What sets this apart from other introductions is its process of synthesizing bridge into easy lessons. From this, potential players should discern that their first venture into the world of bridge will be easier than with other guides. The course is fun and it works!" The key word in this description (and in A Taste of Bridge) is 'fun,' and this is emphasized throughout the course, which opens with a quick reminiscence of playing a childhood card game called War, a "game of tricks" much like bridge. As basic terminology is explained, formal and informal methods of picking partners reviewed, and bridge 'tricks' covered, readers enjoy black and white images peppered into a lively discussion of the game's objectives and intricacies. As simple terminology and the basics of the game evolve into more complex topics, readers are treated to vigorous discussions that clarify the underlying meaning and fun routines of bridge.

"Plenty of introductions and advanced strategy guides to bridge are on the market; but if new players seek an energetic survey designed to add fun into the game, then there's no better introduction to turn to than A Taste of Bridge, which offers fine insights in an accessible, entertaining manner."

D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review 09/06/2017

- - -

"Based on four decades of teaching, Bayone believes that newcomers require a lot of spoon feeding and repetition. I agree. Bayone’s success with attracting and keeping legions of students suggests that he knows his customers.

"Logic, another valuable skill for a pupil to acquire, is given priority over memorization.

"This is a laudable entry-level book."

Augie Boehm, The Bridge World, December 2017


A Taste of Bridge is not just a book. It’s an entire course. A teacher’s manual and student notes come with the book. The digital copy can be downloaded, for free, from ebooksbridge.com. Honors Bridge Club (honorsbridge@gmail.com) is also tied in with bestebridge.com. This is a wonderful teaching site. Six weeks of free access to the site come with the course. We recommend all our students use this resource to practice between classes. We even give them the exact hands to practice on after each lesson.

If you’ve been waiting for an excuse, any excuse, for trying something new, please give this book and this course a try. In my forty plus years I’ve owned, managed, and taught at two clubs. I built the Manhattan Bridge Club into the fourth largest club in the country and Honors into the largest club ever. The system is fun, it works, and most important to your bottom line, it creates and holds new students like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Thank you,

Jeff Bayone

Tags: Events, news, Press,