The EBU is a membership-funded organization, originally formed on 23rd May, 1936, totally committed to promoting enjoyment of the game of Duplicate Bridge. It is also a National Bridge Organisation that is affiliated to both the European Bridge League and World Bridge Federation.
With offices based in Aylesbury, the EBU is made up of 39 constituent County Associations that all own shares. Each year the county associations hold elections for the board of 8 directors – including a chairman and vice-chairman. These directors meet twice each year to assist in determining the policies.
The EBU also works closely alongside the charity English Bridge Education and Development (EBED) on issues such as teaching bridge and organising events for junior players.
It now has over 54,000 members and 620 affiliated clubs which allows the EBU to keep on developing the game of bridge. With 18 members of staff and a huge number of volunteers it is a constantly growing body dedicated to the enjoyment and promotion of the game.
Bridge in the UK
Bridge is getting more popular in the UK but why? Well, mainly because it’s a game that people enjoy playing. Simply put, bridge is a fun game that you can enjoy anywhere, with anyone. You simply need a pack of cards, a table and people who want to play against you.
What people love about the game is the mental challenge it presents. Every single game will offer a unique challenge and different solutions. Every deal is different and every problem needs to be dealt with differently. Unlike many card games, this is based on skill and not luck.
Getting started in the UK couldn’t be easier either. You can choose to learn on your own, but the best thing to do is to join a club near you and mix with like-minded people. They will provide you with class information at a level best for you. Make sure you choose a teacher that is an EBTA member to ensure the best tutoring.
It doesn’t take long to get going and know exactly what you’re doing and once you do you can join one of the many clubs located around the country and start taking part in the tournaments and competitions.
The EBU has hundreds of affiliated clubs scattered through the UK. Since 2010, the EBU has been funded through Universal Membership – so anyone playing as a member of an affiliated club automatically becomes a member. If you do become a member of an affiliated club then you simply pay a small subscription fee every time you play to take advantage of all the benefits of affiliation.
Benefits include discounted Club Teacher Training and Club Tournament Director training if you want to take your bridge journey to the next level. You also get discount at The Bridge Warehouse. Furthermore, you can take art in special EBU competitions and tournament, as well as join the National Grading Scheme and Master Points Scheme. There is also a quarterly newsletter so you can find out what’s going on in the wonderful world of bridge.
Not every club is affiliated, but if you are part of an un-affiliated club then you can apply to become one of our affiliated clubs quickly and easily.
Play Bridge Online
If you haven’t got the time or means to get out, then you can always play online. EBU runs its own competitions through www.funbridge.com. When you join in these competitions, you will be partnering one of their ‘robots’ to play against 2 other robots. The good thing about this is that you don’t need a partner to join in and you don’t need anyone to play against. You can play whenever you want on your own timetable.
These competitions consist of 20 boards that you can play at any time during the competition period – stopping and starting as you wish. They take place on Saturday and Sundays between midnight and 10pm, giving you a generous 22 hours to play your boards. The games are open to everyone, cost just £2 and allow you to win Master Points.
As well as this, you could also join www.bridgeclublive.com, an affiliated club of the EBU which also issues Master Points. It offers online players the chance to take part in Drop in Drop Out matches, tourneys and leagues, competitions, discussion forums and lots of online bridge fun.
There are many other options to play online bridge such as www.bridgebase.com, www.vubridge.com, as well as numerous apps. You get to enjoy all the fun without leaving your living room.
Best Bridge Strategies
The best bridge strategies always depend on whether you are playing pairs or in teams.
Playing in teams you need to:
- Maximise large gains and minimize large losses.
- Play safe for your contract. Go for overtricks only when not risking the contract.
- In bidding games, be aggressive. Bid the safest score not the highest scoring.
- Bid small slams if 50%+. Bid safest slam.
- Don’t double unless you are very certain
- Avoid double game swings.
- Playing in Pairs:
- Maximise number of pairs you can beat.
- Take reasonable chances to make overtricks if you are in a normal contract.
- Bid 50%+ games and be willing to bid riskier games if they score higher.
- Compete aggressively. Avoid letting them play a 2-level fit.
- Double aggressively, particularly if they are vulnerable.
- Avoid giving up overtricks.