Robson courses

ARB logoAll our courses are taught by Jonathan and consist of four blocks of two lessons, each lesson lasting a minimum of one hour and 45 minutes each. You will be provided with ring-bound detailed course notes written by Andrew for each lesson. As with all his lessons, the emphasis is on hands-on and practical learning, giving you the chance to play through a number of carefully prepared deals and practise as you learn.

The hierarchy of lessons (summarised in the graphic at the bottom of this page) provides a natural way to progress through the many stages of the game – just take it as far as you wish to go. It doesn’t matter whether you just want to know enough to play some kitchen bridge or decide later to move up to the competitive fun of duplicate – the important thing is to start with the same solid foundations. If you are a beginner don’t forget that it may be worth your while to try one of our free taster sessions to see what is involved.

What they cost

The cost per sign up is £180 for each eight-lesson course. Only those who have signed up and paid in advance can be admitted. Some pro rata refunds may be offered for those who cannot attend the whole series, but they will only be offered if notified before the course starts. We normally require a minimum of four sign ups to make a course viable, but sometimes these can be arranged privately for smaller groups.

About the courses


Once you have finished this course of eight lessons, when asked if you can play the game you will be able to answer a confident “yes”. You will learn about bidding, scoring and the basics of card play, including playing through some carefully constructed deals. Starting from absolute scratch and assuming no knowledge, the beginner course will give you the perfect introduction to bridge and set you up for a lifetime of enjoyment.

Next Step 

The next step course enables you to consolidate and extend the basic principles that were covered in the Beginner course. As with all new things, it helps to go back over old ground, make sure you have absorbed the teaching and build on it with new things. It may also be suitable for those who have played some bridge elsewhere before and think they can afford to start off at this second stage. It covers bidding balanced and unbalanced hands, finding a fit and bidding game, overcalling, doubling, weak three bids and basic steps in declarer play and defence.

Next Step Plus

This course is designed to deepen and refresh your knowledge of the themes covered in the Next Step course. Each lesson covers one bidding and one play theme. Play themes include unblocking, making tricks from length, counting trumps, finessing, drawing trumps and defensive plays. Bidding these including overcalling, doubling and supporting your partner’s suit.


This is Andrew’s most popular course, Essential covers all basic aspects of the game and will take your bridge to the next level. Many repeat it more than once. Topics covered including bidding as opener and responder, making tricks in trumps and no trumps, bidding and responding to One No Trump and the opening lead. Once you’ve finished this course, you not only know how to play the game, you are well on the path to becoming a better player. Maybe now you will decide to give supervised gentle duplicate a try – you will get help with every bid and play you make whilst moving around meeting new people. Or why not bring along the friends you play with socially and all learn together at the same time at one of our weekly supervised play and learn sessions?

Essential Extra

This is the ideal follow-on from the ever popular Essential course. The play themes will link in with the elements of the Essential course, giving you the confidence to move forward. There are six practice deals to work through and review in every lesson. Bidding, responding, overcalling and defending are all covered. After completing this consolidation course, you’ll have the confidence to finesse, overcall and defend in style, impressing your partners with the number of contracts that you can now make.


This is the course that introduces you to the basic bridge conventions that will equip you for a decent game, as well as lessons on improving your bidding and play. The course covers Stayman, Weak Twos and Threes, Blackwood and an opening Two Clubs, as well as more on takeout doubles. Andrew has noticed a big increase in the number of those who have taken and benefited from the course. Adding some basic bidding conventions are one of the keys to moving on from being a decent bridge player to becoming a good one. There are six carefully constructed set deals per week, designed to show you how the conventions work.

Improver Plus

A universally well-received course which not only enables you to practise the bidding themes of Improver, but also covers some exciting and essential play themes to improve your game. Topics include finesse or drop, retaining a finesse position, throwing losers, setting up a long suit and when/when not to draw trumps. Once you have completed the Improver Play course, you should be equipped to face the big wide world, maybe at an Andrew Robson duplicate event.  Repeat viewing highly recommended, especially for course-junkies.


Suitable for duplicate players and experienced social players. Andrew has thought very carefully about the themes to use in this advanced course. They are sure to illuminate your game and improve your technique. Play a series of hands – six deal for every lesson – and learn key principles of bidding and play. Bidding topics covered include the Losing Trick Count, Weak Twos, Fourth Suit Forcing, the Unassuming Cue Bid and other uses of Double.

Advanced play

Recently rewritten by Andrew, with new themes, new deals and new handouts. I am sure you will find this course both eye-opening and lots and fun. Topics include advanced finessing, establishing side suits, having fun with trumps, placing the cards and the five basic strategies for playing a trump contract. You know how to bid to the best contract, but can you deliver the number of tricks that you have contracted to make? This course will help you discover the answers.

Advanced defence

A good defender is a popular partner – and a winner. Often described as the hardest part of the game, defending is not necessarily so. If you can learn how to picture what is in your partner’s hand and that of declarer, you will be on your way to mastering this aspect of the game. What is more, working out the best strategy in defence makes every hand – not just the ones in which you end up as declarer – a source of interest. Discarding, attitude and suit preference signals, second and third hand plays are all covered. This course has and eight demanding deals to play in each lesson.

Advanced Plus

This is the course that will round out your knowledge of conventions and equip you to go fully armed into battle, whatever your preferred method of playing. Bidding topics covered include Roman Key Card Blackwood, splinter bidding, trial bidding and the Jacoby 2NT convention, plus more on transfers. Some additional play themes, such as avoiding the danger hand, are also included in the 48 carefully prepared practice deals.

Conventions galore

This is not a whole eight-week course, but a series of one off two-hour lessons on specific conventions, costing £20 each. Learn and practice a number of key conventions that will improve your bridge no end. Each session will feature a number of carefully devised hands for you to study and test your skills with these additional bidding tools. The practice deals include a number of play themes that require some careful thought.

The course hierarchy

Here is a simple graphic that shows you how the Robson courses fit together and how you can progress up the ladder.

AR course guide