Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Don't Gloat

Do you ever play against people that just really irritate you? Of course, we all have, whether it be for the place they keep their convention card, the fact that they don't know what a proper takeout double is, the way they turn the played boards, the way the place the cards on the table, their analysis of the hands, the fact that they criticize partner at every opportunity, the way they don't claim when they have all trumps and aces left, or simply the way the look at you. Most of those are just little pet peeves that aregenerally nothing to legitimately be concerned with but sometimes it can be down right rude.

Take, for example, a player who is in 2SX making an overtrick when the defense has no chance to set it. The player goes on and on during the hand and after about how it was cold and how his partner made a good bid and how they just got a top and that the opponent made a stupid double. Or maybe the player who was just defending 3HX and set it for 1400 but goes on for awhile about how they should have gotten it for 1700. Or maybe, a player psyched or semi-psyched a 1S overcall and got the opponents to a doomed 3NT instead of the makable 4S. After the hand, the pair praises each other for their "good bidding" and tells the opponents they should have bid 4S or how they got a top by screwing the opponents by making a bid or play that was onorthodox. Just accept your good score and move on. You can laugh about it and talk about how you "got 'em" after the round is over but while you're still at the table, spare them the embarrassment. Would you like it if your opponents shoved your bad boards in your face like that? No, you'd want them to keep quiet and move on.

This all qualifies as gloating. It is rude, and is something I have very little tolerance for unless everyone at the table is drinking. It is probably not as bad as the angry player who critiques his partner after every hand or gives unwanted lessons, especially bad lessons. It is just bad etiquette and very unsportsmanlike. It is also the reason there are many bridge players, particularly juniors, who I have lost respect for or refused to play with. You can be confident and show that you're a better bridge player without having to tell people about it all the time. Let your score do the talking. If you beat 'em by 50 imps while being pleasant the whole time, they're realize that you're good, and they'll respect you more than if you beat em by 30 (dropping 20 imps by doing silly crap and not getting away with it) but make sure they realize when you've stolen a good board from them.


  1. At our new home club, the Bridgemates all have instant travelers, and everyone INSISTS on stopping everything to pore over their score and then announce it to the table. The decibel level of the announcement roughly corresponds to the size of the score: "WE GOT 92% PARTNER." It never fails to irritate me.

  2. When I get enough control over a club or bridge game, pick up slips will always be used. Or possibly the bridgemates with all features that show the current score disabled.