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Bridge: Contract and Auction

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The origin of the game of Checkers, like that of Chess, is lost in history.  But from fleeting references found in ancient manuscripts, together with discoveries unearthed in scientific excavations, modern man has been able to trace Checkers back to about 9000 B.C.  History also reveals that the game was known and played in Egypt at least as early as that date, if not earlier.  The game in much its present form was an amusement among the moors at the time of the conquest of the city of Granada.  The extreme  age of the game may be appreciated when it is remembered that playing cards were first traced to China in the eleventh century.
            checkers bears different names in almost every country of the world.  For instance, checkers is known as Draughts in Great Britain, Dama in Italy, La Jeu de Dames in France, Araca by in Poland, and das Damenspiel in Germany.  The first book on Checkers ever printed rests in the Royal Library of Madrid, Spain.  This book first made its appearance in the city of Valencia, Spain, in A.D. 1547.  The first Checkers book published in English was written by mathematician William Payne of London, England, in 1756.
            checkers is an ancient and honorable game, contributing to the education and pleasure of millions and millions of players of all ages throughout the world.  It holds unflagging interest for the most constant player and yet it affords the highest type of mental recreation.  The following rules and instructions are based on American or English Checkers.


The numbered checkerboard (left) and where the pieces (men) are placed at the beginning of the game.  Note that the white squares are used in the diagram although it is customary to use the black squares when playing.  Do not let this confuse you, as it is done only for the sake of clarity.

            The Standard Game (employing Go-As-You-Please opening).  Checkers is a game of upon a checkered board made up of 64 called checkers or checker men.  The men are in the form of thick discs and have a diameter of between 1 ¼ inches and 1 ½ inches.  Each player possesses 12 checker men of opposite colors and the game is played on the 32 dark squares of the board only.  The board is so placed that the single corner is situated on the left side of each player, and the double corner is on the right.
            The Object of the Game.  The object of the game is twofold: To win the game by capturing all of your opponent’s pieces so that he has none to move; or, to confine your opponent’s pieces so that he cannot move any of them.  When the respective pieces of each player are so reduced, however, that neither of these two goals can be attained, the game is considered drawn.
            The moves. The pieces never leave the black (dark) squares, so that they always move in a diagonal direction.  At the beginning of the game, the pieces only move one square at a time either to the right or to the left and always forward; the pieces can move only on squares that are unoccupied. A single man, upon reaching the final row, known as the king row, is crowned with another piece and is known as a King. This piece can move and capture both forward or backward in a diagonal direction. If an opponent’s piece rests upon a square to which a man might be moved and there is a vacant square beyond, the man must jump over the opponent’s piece onto the unoccupied square at the same time capturing (removing from the board) the piece that was jumped over.
Single, double, triple, quadruple, and even quintuple jumps are possible, in which case the jumping process is continued until captures are no longer possible. However, a single man must pause (complete his move) when reaching or jumping into the king row.
“Move on the black squares and jump whenever possible” is an old saying which briefly summarizes the mechanics of the game. It should be noted that in the conventional representations of the checkerboard in textbooks, the colors of the squares are reversed to make the men and numbers clearer.
The Numbered Board. The best form of practice at Checkers is to play alone hours of enjoyment and heightened skill will reward your efforts when you play solitaire Checkers. For a player to become an expert checkerist, or even a respectable amateur, he should memorize the position of the squares shown on the numbered board detailed in illustration I. In this way, you can follow each move detailed in this section, enabling you to take the first steps in improving your game. Many checkerists know the numbered checkerboard so well that they can take an unnumbered board and callout the number of any square as fast as you can place your finger on it.

Ten Points Every Winning Checkerist Should Know

  1. Learn the rules of the game so thoroughly that you can call them instantly and correctly.
  2. Always try to take possession of the center of the board, especially squares 14 and 19. These are “key” squares and their occupation or control leads to a superior online poker game.
  3. The bridge is formed by checkers resting on squares 1 and 3 when playing Black, and on squares 30 and 32 when playing White. Try to break your opponent’s bridge and protect your own.
  4. Attack your opponent’s double corner, and weaken it by the exchange of checkers whenever possible. In many instances a well- filled double corner is better than a bridge . The double corners are depicted on the numbered board as the four squares 9, 6, 5, and I; or 24, 27, 28, and 32. Sometimes double corners are considered to be the six squares 9,6,5, 1, 14, and 10; or 24,27,28,32, 19, and 23.
  5. Never make a move without a definite purpose in mind and the knowledge that it is a good move. In addition, always try to analyze the reason for every move played against you.
  6. Observe games between good players whenever possible. And, when such players are experts, record their moves for later study.
  7. Don’t discuss or criticize a move or a position on the board during the play of the game. Use this time to study the board.
  8. Due to the fact that Checkers requires deep concentration, many winning moves are often overlooked. Therefore, it is suggested that, even though a player knows he is in an obvious losing position, there is no reason for him to be sure that his opponent recognizes it also. In view of this fact, one should not point out winning or losing positions while a game is in progress.
  9. All the moves in Checker games have a reason behind them. Therefore, should an opponent deviate from a play you know, study the position carefully for a possible trap.
  10. Memorize all checker playing charts that you can get your hands on, evolve other transpositions yourself, acquire a library of Checker books, and attend as many tournaments and exhibition matches as possible.

Tournament Checkers

There are three forms of Checker openings employed in tournaments: The go-as-you- please style opening, as discussed in the foregoing text, the two-move restriction, and the three-move restriction.
Go-As-You-Please. The go-as-you-please style of opening is the one played by the mil- lions of Checker players the world over; as one might infer, it is a freelance one. Black moves first and plays anyone of seven moves to open the game, White does likewise, and the game continues without restriction of any sort. This was the style in vogue with the experts prior to about 1895. As Checkers grew more popular and the population increased, the experts became more proficient. Due to improved Checker competition, the old Checker masters began drawing most of their games. For instance, in one 40-game championship match played between two masters, 37 out of the 40 games played were repeats, move for move.
Two-Move Restriction. This style of tournament opening was first introduced in Great Britain about 1890. The idea was to give the opening game in Checkers greater scope in play and to avoid the same opening moves. In this type of play, a deck of 43 cards is used. There are seven possible opening moves for Black and seven possible replies for White, a total of 49 possible opening combinations of play on the first two moves. However, six of these 49 combinations have been shown to be extremely weak for one side; they were therefore omitted from the deck of cards, leaving 43 official openings in the two-move ballot. The cards are shuffled and cut and the top card is turned face up to determine the opening to be played. After the first game is finished, players switch and play the opposite- colored checkers; then the second card of the deck is turned face up, etc.
Three-Move Restriction. The two-move restriction, like the free-style opening, soon lost its virginity. The various openings were studied and played to a state of near perfection. Draws were many and wins were few in tournament play. Even with this style of opening, about 90 percent of the Checker games played between experts end in drawn games. Then came a movement to adopt a three-move- restriction type of opening. It was found that by adding an extra move, no less than 137 different playable openings could be used to baffle the experts. About 1935, the three-move restriction in Checkers was adopted in the United States and, since that time, it has been the official style of opening play for all national and state Checker association tournaments, as well as in local club matches.
Having the move. Having the move has been overemphasized. It has been constantly pointed out that a player at any stage of the game of cards can compute whether he has the move or not. What these authors fail to state is that the move rarely plays an important part in the opening or the middle game. Near the end game, when the move and its changes become an important part of the partial Checker setup, any fair Checker player does not have to start counting pieces or four columns of the board (as explained below) to learn who’s got the move. He can tell by looking at the board and analyzing the possible movement of his men. During my lifetime, I have never met one Checker expert who calculated any form of strategy by a count, for the obvious reason that the move may have no bearing whatsoever on the outcome of the game. When the move does become an important factor, more often than not it involves a great many other factors which certainly cannot be solved theoretically or by proceeding merely on the count factor.
However, for what it’s worth, the most easily understood explanation of what is meant by having the move is to place a black piece on square 3 and a white piece on square 30. Black to play will win, because he has the move. Proceed, 3-7, 30-26, 7-10; if White moves 26-23, black wins by 10-15; if White moves 26-22, black moves 10-14 and wins by having the opposition. In other words “He has the move who has the last move.” In order to calculate the move, the board is supposed to be divided into two systems. One system consists of the four columns that end in Black’s king row with the squares 1, 2, 3, and 4. The other system -consists of the four columns that end in White’s king row with the squares 29, 30, 31, and 32. In order to determine who has the move (at your turn of play), add together all the pieces both black and white, in your own system. If the sum is odd, you have the move; if even, your opponent has the move. This applies only when the pieces of each opponent are equal. To alter the move, an exchange of odd pieces is required, such as one for one, or three for three; but one of the capturing pieces must also be taken for this rule to apply. To determine who has the move when the pieces are unequal (such as three Kings to two, or four Kings to three), imagine that the board is , equally divided, vertically. Now count as before; if the total is odd, you have the move (at your turn of play) only on the half of the board in which your double corner lies. If the total is even, you have the move only on that half of the board in which your single corner is situated. Don’t make the move an important factor in your play, for it is secondary to the more important principle of building tenable formations and positions. Learn the strategy of the opening, middle, and end game first; then the problem of the move and its changes will unfold by themselves. Don’t count-just compute and analyze each and every play.

Checker Strategy. Many books have been written on Checkers and thousands of game problems have been analyzed, without exhausting Checkers. Here, space permits us to state only what I consider the pointers most useful to the average Checker player. In 1945, Willie Ryan, then America’s Checker champion, said to this author “Checkers is an easy game to come out on top. All you have to do is to avoid losing a Checker and you are sure to win.” Then he added “However, the average checkerist can be depended on to lose a checker after his first six moves of the game.” For instance, black opens 11-15 and White answers 22-17. Black plays 12-16, hoping to go on to 20, but White plays 24-19, forcing Black to play 15-24 and White to play 28-19-12 and Black has lost a piece. Another way to duplicate the same thing is 9-14, 22-17, 12-16, 23-18, 14-23, 26-19-12. The first thing the student has to do is to learn to avoid such simple two-for-one shots, of which there are many. The loss of a single piece by an opponent is normally all a good player needs to win the game. He can swap piece for piece and so end up with one to none.
How the student plays his end game and middle game is important; but a bad beginning usually ends with a losing game, so let’s analyze Black’s and White’s opening moves. By glancing at your checkerboard, you will note that Black has seven possible opening moves, and White has seven possible replies. The question now arises: What is Black’s best opening play, and what is White’s best reply to each of Black’s seven possible opening moves? The answer to these basic questions varies often with players as well as experts. However, I give my preference in all seven moves and countermoves.
Black’s                        White’s
Opening Moves           Reply
1.         11-15               22-18
2.         9-14                 22-18
3.         11-16               22-18
4.         10-15               21-17
5.         10-14               22-18
6.         12-16               24-20
7.         9-13                 22-18

Knowing the best opening moves will not make the student a good player, but a job started properly usually follows through in the same manner. The best way for a person to learn the manner in which various openings are followed up is to play over illustrative problems and, in doing so, he should set and play the board from the winning side



Pinochle many Variations

Pinochle many Variations
Two-Handed Pinochle
Two-Handed Doubling Redoubling
Auction pinochle
Strategy at Auction
CAD found
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Auction pinochle without wido Individual play
Partnership Aeroplane Pinochle
Radio Partnership Pinochle

Other Members of the Bezique Family

The Bezique Family
Rubicon bezique
Two-handed sixty-six
Two-handed piquet
Boo-Ray or BOURÉ

The Big Euchre Family

The big euchre family
Strategy of euchre
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Table of scoring points
Spoil five
Double hasenpfeffer
Three-card loo

The Heart Group

Heart Group
Spot Hearts
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The All-Fours Group

All-Fours Group
Shasta Sam
Auction Pitch Joker

Banking Card Games

Banking Card Games
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CHEMIN DE PER must play
Baccarat Banque
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Red Dogs

Card craps

The Stops Games

Stops Game

Skarney® and How It Is Played

Skarney® and How It Is Played
Alternate Skarney
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Skarney Gin Doubles

Cheating at Card Games

Cheating at Card Games
Professional Card Cheats
Nullifying the Cut
The Peek
How to Shuffle Cards

Dice and their Many Games

Dice and their Many Games
The Casino Game: Bank Craps
English Hazard
Double Cameroon
Partnership Straight scarney Dice
Scarney Duplicate Jackpots
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Applying All Card Games Poker

Games Requiring Special Equipment

Hasami Shogi
Follow The Arrow

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Lottery guessing game
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Race Horse Keno
The match Game

Glossary of Game Terms


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