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The Complete Book on Balancing in Contract Bridge Paperback – 16 Jan 2013


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Amazon.com: 10 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Very Helpful 30 Mar. 2013
By Eleanor O. Hare - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very helpful in that it covers in detail some of the most difficult aspects of bidding.

Example: Balancing over a 1 NT response is (for me) one of the most difficult aspects of competitive bidding. Lawrence's advice is that Double in this situation is always for penalty. He then goes on to give a very easy way to create a takeout when the opponents bid two suits before ending in 1 NT, including very instructive examples.

This is one of Lawrence's best books.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Must Reading for Serious Bridge Players 15 May 2013
By Darryl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With neither side vulnerable, West dealt and bid one diamond. North and East both pass. As South, what call would you make with each of the following hands?

1) S-J 10 4 H-A J D-Q 10 7 6 C-K Q 9 2

2) S-K 10 8 5 2 H-J 9 7 D-7 C-A 9 8 6

3) S-J 4 H-A Q 4 D-8 6 2 C-K 10 8 5 2

4) S-A 6 H-A K J 8 6 5 D-8 4 C-Q 7 3

If your answer to any of the above hands was "Double," you need to get Mike Lawrence's new version of "The Complete Book on Balancing in Contract Bridge." Even if you answered all the above hands correctly, you need to get this book! In his book, Lawrence clearly explains why doubling on hands like these is wrong and shows you the correct action to take. [Note: I made up these hands; I did not copy them from his book.]

In Hand #2 above, if you'd replace the spade two with the heart two to make;

S-K 10 8 5 H-J 9 7 2 D-7 C-A 9 8 6

you would have a clear-cut reopening takeout double. I can see many a reader wail "But I have only eight points!" Lawrence explains why passing with this hand in the balancing seat is losing bridge (yes, you should pass if you're in the direct seat).

The first edition of "The Complete Book on Balancing in Contract Bridge" was published in 1983. I would rate this five stars. The new edition has updates to reflect current bidding trends and tweaks to Lawrence's recommendations from the old book. The new edition (published in 2012) has more than twice as many pages as the first edition. In short, the 2012 edition is a big upgrade on the 1983 edition.

"The Complete Book on Balancing in Contract Bridge" is loaded with many examples you will likely encounter (and some unlikely - he says when it's so). He thoroughly explains the concept of safe suits and dangerous suits (and why you should pass with Hand #3 above without hesitation), and why there no such thing as a pre-emptive bid in the balancing seat.

Mike Lawrence is one of the finest author's on contract bridge and has written many outstanding books on the subject. You cannot go wrong on getting any of his books, and whichever of Lawrence's books you obtain, it will make a fine addition to your library.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Very good 13 April 2013
By Lberna - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Learning how balance bid is extremely important. You don't want opponents to play at the one level. There are times when you should pass in the balancing seat and those times are well defined in this book. Don't let the cartoonish vp cover fool you. This book covers a very important topic in balancing. A must for any bridge player.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great Book-intermediate to advanced 2 Feb. 2013
By Fred W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must buy for the intermediate to advanced player. Great for match points or imps. My game has improved at least 10 match points per match. It is clearly written with lots of examples. Well done Mike, as usual. Thank you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great! 11 Jan. 2014
By loyalr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A complete coverage of the subject. Greatly redone from his first work. Need a regular partner to fully use completly.
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