Our courses

ARB logoAlthough we started out by offering just two courses, more are on offer in the spring term, which begins on January 21st 2019. The schedule page has the details of all the currently scheduled courses. If you are interested in those not currently on the schedule (see the graphic below), please let me know. Ideally we need a minimum of 8 sign ups to make each course viable.

All courses consist of eight lessons lasting a minimum of one hour and 40 minutes each. You will be provided with ring-bound detailed course notes on each lesson. All Andrew’s lessons are hands-on and practical, giving you the chance to play through a number of carefully prepared deals and practise as you learn.

The hierarchy of lessons 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

All the courses consist of eight lessons lasting slightly over 1 hour and 40 minutes each. The cost per sign up is £160 for each eight-week course. Only those who have signed up and paid in advance can be admitted. Some refunds may be offered for those who cannot attend the whole series.

Weekly courses available this spring

Beginner

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 the principles of bidding and the next steps to master in declarer play and defence.

Essential

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. Once you’ve finished the Intermediate 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?

Improver

Features all the basic bridge conventions to equip you for a decent game. Andrew has noticed a big increase in the number of those who have taken and benefited from the course. Once you are hooked, it is the next logical step. Bidding conventions are one of the keys to moving on from being a decent bridge player to becoming a good one and a number of the most useful ones are covered here. There are six carefully constructed set deals per week, designed to show you how the conventions work.

Also available on demand

Essential extra

This is the ideal follow-on from the ever popular Essential course. The play themes will link in with Intermediate, giving you the confidence to move forward. 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.

Improver play

A universally well-received course which enables you to practise the bidding themes of Improver, whilst introducing exciting and essential play themes to improve your game. Once you have completed the Improver Play course, you are well equipped to face the big wide world of ARBC Gentle Duplicate and beyond. Repeat viewing highly recommended, especially for course-junkies.

Advanced

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 and learn key principles of bidding and play.

Advanced play

Recently rewritten by Andrew, with new themes, new deals and new handouts. I am sure you will find it quite eye-opening and lots and fun.

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.

Conventions galore

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 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