Workshop Descriptions

Our club offers half-day workshops with a wide variety of levels, instructors, time slots, formats and topics. The fee is $15 for members/$20 for non-members.

You can register in person at the club or by phone (519) 578-4434 or online by clicking here. We normally need at least eight people registered to offer a workshop.

Note: To make it easier for students to choose their lessons in a logical learning order, we’ve colour-coded our lessons as follows.


Novices    YELLOW

intermediate Players    ORANGE

Intermediate/Open  GREY

Open Players    TURQUOISE


Online registration is available here.



Competitive Bidding:  The Saga Continues

This is the second workshop on competitive bidding. This workshop focuses on the use of doubles after two bids have been made. Negative doubles are used after partner opens and the opponents overcall. Responsive doubles are used when the opponents open, partner overcalls, and the other opponent bids. These doubles are very effective bids in finding a fit and disrupting the opponents' bidding. The workshop will include a review of the first workshop on overcalls, take-out doubles, and cue bidding the opponents' suit. So even those who missed the first workshop can take this one. The attendees will bid a series of practice hands to reinforce the new concepts.

Instructor:  Stephen Carpenter

Time and Date:  Friday, January 31, 9:00 am - 11:30 am




Defensive Signalling

It is often said that defending is the most difficult part of bridge. That's because declarer can not only see his partner's hand but also can control how it will be played. When we defend, it would also be very helpful to have some control of how partner will play his hand. And we can, to some extent. That is what this workshop is about.

We can have a say in what partner will know, think, and do if we use signals to tell him our attitude to a suit he has led or to give count to suggest or discourage a lead. Giving attitude and count signals gives defenders more reason to stay mentally engaged in every hand even when they don't have many points. 

Examples will be given, and then lots of practice boards will be played to get participants into the habit of using and watching for defensive signals.

Instructor:  George Pepall

Time and Date:  Tuesday, February 11, 9:00 am - 11:30 am





New Minor Forcing

New Minor Forcing is on every list of top 10 bridge conventions. It is must-know convention.

New Minor Forcing is important because it makes it possible to find a major suit fit at a low level. And if it turns out that there is no major suit fit, New Minor Forcing allows the opening bidder to pinpoint his HCP range and suggest the final contract.

Instructor:  Malkin Howes

Time and Date:  Saturday, February 29, 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm





Competitive Bidding:  The Finale

This is the third workshop on competitive bidding. This workshop focuses on balancing:  that is, passing at first and later entering the bidding to prevent the opponents from winning the contract too cheaply. Other topics will include what to do when the opponents have bid your best suit and when to bid a second time if your partner passes. The arsenal of tools for competitive bidding will be reviewed (from Workshops 1 and 2), and attendees will bid a series of practice hands to reinforce the new concepts.

Instructor:  Stephen Carpenter

Time and Date:  Friday, March 5, 9:00 am - 10:30 am




Counting: The Single Most Important Skill

Counting is the single most important skill you can learn in order to improve both your declarer play and your defence. This workshop will get you started on your counting journey.

Learn what to count, how to do it and why it matters. Counting is not about counting high card points in your hand. Counting involves counting the points that other players have, counting tricks for declarer and the defence, counting distribution, and more!

Begin to understand why the best players seem to “see through the backs of the cards”.

Instructor:  Dianne Aves

Time and Date:  Wednesday, March 11, 9:00 am - 10:30 am




Get That Extra Trick by Playing Card Combinations Correctly

The dummy goes down and in a side suit you have:

Dummy:  A 7 6 2

Declarer:  Q J 5 3

How do you play this suit to maximize the tricks you take? Think about it....

If you answered that you would lead the queen or jack towards the board or if you answered that you would lead from the board towards the queen/jack, then you need to take this workshop. 

Learn how to play card combinations properly and earn that extra trick. This workshop will start with simple finessing situations and advance to frozen suits, safety plays, and more complicated plays that require the knowledge of card distribution percentages. The workshop is suitable for all novice and intermediate players.

PS  If you attend, you will learn why playing the ace at Trick 1 is the correct play.

Instructor:  Stephen Carpenter

Time and Date:  Friday, April 3, 9:00 am - 10:30 am


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