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Bridge at Sunset

Thomas's Bridge Fantasia

On the web since 1995
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What's New?

Mobile versions of many of my articles
Hand Evaluator Tool
Started a new implementation of my hand evaluator tool, after a web site migration broke the old tool. It's just a start for now. There is also a mobile version.
New Par Zero and Bad Fit deals
Added new deals to Bad Fit Deals and Par Zero Deals.
The Stiff Queen, and Other Binky Point Oddities
Explains some numeric oddities that you will find when comparing the single-hand evaluator and Binky Points, and how Binky Points takes into account how partner might be over- or under-evaluating her hand.
When Partner Opens 2NT
Excessive amounts of data about marginal hands when partner opens 2NT.
Deal 3.1.9 point release [Feb. 12, 2010]
Deal 3.1.9 contains a few bug fixes.
Listen to the Experts: 4333 Patterns in Notrump
Misinterpreting my data leads some to suggest that experts are wrong when they say a 4333 pattern is a liability in notrump
Testing Binky Points
A new hand evaluation article.
Google Code project for Deal
Deal's source code is now hosted as a Google Code Project.
Deal Release Blog
A simple blog to use to announce new releases of Deal. Subscribe to the feed to learn about the latest point release.
New deals added to Bad Fit Deals and Doubly Asymmetric Deals.
Found using Deal 3.1 using the new double-dummy solver.
Deal 3.1 Released!
Includes a built-in double dummy solver, DDS, written by Bo Haglund.

Bridge Stories and Deals

Interesting Bridge Hands [Non-Framed]
A large collection (50+) of bridge hands, with my own, occasionally flawed, analyses. I am partial to squeeze plays.
Everybody Makes [PDF]
A single remarkable deal where 3 NT can be made by any declarer against best defense.
Everybody Makes 1 ♠
Par Zero Deals [Non-Framed]
A collection of double-dummy oddities where no contract makes.
Bad Fit Deals [Non-Framed]
A set of double-dummy oddities; a collection of deals which play best in six-card fits.
Doubly Asymmetric Deals [Non-Framed]
A set of double-dummy oddities; not for the casual reader. In these hands, north/south make contract A only declared by south, and contract B only declared by north.


Formatting Notes

XML Test Documents [Non-Framed]
All of the articles above (in Bridge Stories and Deals) are generated from XML via XSL and CSS. These test documents are my method of making sure I haven't broken anything. The test documents include sample input and output.
XML and Bridge Publishing
More examples of bridge with XML/XSL. This page discusses the advantages of XML and gives some examples which can be formatted by Internet Explorer or Mozilla, the only browsers with good XSL support.

Hand Generation

Deal 3.1
The latest version of my Tcl-based dealer which allows programmatic analysis of bridge hands. The GIB web site says that Deal is "the most powerful dealing program we've seen."
The Impossible Bridge Book
I have a book with every possible bridge deal in it. Just give me the page numbers, and I will give you the deals. Says someone in Germany, ...irgendwo zwischen Genie und Blödsinn... which translates as, somewhere between genius and rubbish.

Articles and Data

Hand Evaluation Research
Several articles on hand evaluation methods based on double-dummy trick data. Also, try out an online version of the evaluators.
A Surprise in the Law
This is an article detailing a statistical oddity in the Law of Total Tricks.
Taking the "Suck" out of Suction
An article briefly noting the problems with the "Suction" convention, and a suggested solution, introducing two systems, "Psycho Suction" and "Inverted Psycho Suction."


Marketing bridge
My meeting with a marketing consultant.

External Links

Hand Articles

George Coffin's Great 88
A classic set of 88 five-card endings that are dazzling and disorienting.
Hugh Darwen's Double Dummy
A large collection of fascinating double dummy problems.
Richard Pavlicek's Site
Includes many interesting articles, including stuff related to this site. Particularly, his deal encoding algorithm, which I've implemented in the Impossible Bridge Book, and his Bridge Writing Style Guide, which I used as a guide in my Bridge/XML work. In addition, he has a great double-dummy hand, Mind Bogglers III: Optimum Contract, where both sides have three spades as their best making contracts.
Mike Lawrence Articles
A good set of articles by Mike Lawrence, including an interesting framed presentation.

Articles on Dealing and Software

In Shuffling Cards, 7 is Winning Number
A New York Times article about the seven-shuffle result. Essentially,this result says that seven shuffles yield good randomness, while fewer shuffles do not, and more shuffles do not significantly increase randomness. If you have some mathematical knowledge, you can read a proof of the result.
ACBL Article on Computer Deals
An ACBL response to frequent fears that computer deals are not 'true' or are somehow rigged, it gives a reasonable layman's description of why the perception is there, and why that perception is inaccurate.
Disorder in the Deck
Another article on computer dealt hands, from Science News.
Deja Vu at the 1995 CNTC Final
Fred Gitelman reports a case where computer dealing clearly was flawed. [This page doesn't look good with Mozilla.]
Bridge software development mailing list
A mailing list for bridge software development issues. Check out the archive.

Other Software

The oldest and best online bridge service. My id is thomaso.
The best-playing computer bridge program. It uses a variation on my evaluation techniques during bidding, and its double-dummy solver is callable from my dealing software, Deal 3.1.


The American Contract Bridge League
It ain't perfect, but it's the main option for American tournament play.
The World Bridge Federation
International body.
MIT Draper Labs Bridge Club
Where I started playing.
The Bridge World
The most venerable bridge magazine.
Great Bridge Links
Probably the best organized collections of bridge links.

Copyright 1995-2005, Thomas Andrews ( .
"Bridge at Sunset" image created with POV-Ray.