Judy Kay-Wolff


Just in case you are not a disciple of the Aces on Bridge column, someone brought up the famous guidelines of the Dallas Aces 1968 “Seven Deadly Sins.”  Since everyone is so busy preaching and teaching on line, I thought you would enjoy the SDS, of which just about all of us are proclaimed guilty at some time or another, even at the highest levels:

1.  Bidding without values

2.  System violations

3.  Unilateral decisions

4.  No-Win declarer plays

5.  No-Win defensive plays

6.  Impulsive plays

7.  Mechanicals


MattJanuary 14th, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Ain’t it the truth! Most of us are guilty during the course of a session, but no one thinks about it in terms of categories. I, for one, will be more aware of these pitfalls. Thanks for enumerating them.

ChuckJanuary 14th, 2012 at 10:52 pm

I am curious which people think is their most common weakness. As for myself, it is probably impulsiveness — but playing singles (unilateral decisions) is probably close behind.

JaneJanuary 15th, 2012 at 11:30 pm


Could you describe what a mechanical is? Now that we have bidding boxes, I understand those mechanical errors. Are the mechanical errors from the Aces day the same thing, like bids out of turn, etc?


Judy Kay-WolffJanuary 16th, 2012 at 2:50 am

Jane — a very thoughtful question.

A mechanical error is like an insufficient bid, pullling the wrong card out of your hand or revoking.

Technique is the proper way to play suit combinations (sometimes depending upon the number of tricks you want to guarantee); it is also understanding expert technique in the bidding such as captaincy and the reason why bids mean what they mean, many of which go back to one’s early training in high level bridge.

Needless to say, just a small percentage of our country’s ten million bridge players (used to be forty million) had the opportunity to have the right teacher to learn what we are talking about.

The more I learn, the less I think I know. It’s a tough game!

JSJanuary 16th, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I have been teaching at my bridge school for longer than I care to admit and I had never heard of the 7 deadly sins. I shall incorporate them into my lesson plan as I think it is something few people think about and it is a very provocative subject. Thanks for the idea.

MichaelJanuary 18th, 2012 at 7:30 am

Good rules to live by at any level.