Part 2: Types 14 to 26
Following on from the first 13 types of bridge players already described, these are the remaining 13 that may already be familiar to you:
14. The Mean Player
Mean with money or scores, this is the player that quits as soon as he is ahead, without giving his opponents a sporting chance to recover their losses. He doesn’t realise it is not a profitable strategy for him because he will keep on playing when he is on a losing streak. When he is ahead but has to keep playing as in a tournament or team game he stops concentrating or showboats, much to the frustration of partner or his team mates.
Tip: If he is your opponent and is losing, then encourage him to continue and even suggest he takes a “double or quits” approach back to profitability.
15. The Man who takes his Pound of Flesh
Shakespeare doesn’t mention if Shylock was a bridge player. However at the card table there are merchants, if not from Venice, who are merciless in demanding punishment for even the most unimportant of rules violations, and so take joy in frequent cries of “Director!”. Naturally any leeway you give to such a player when he breaks the rules is not acknowledged.
Tip: Be on your toes to avoid incidents and tell the player himself when he breaks a rule. Since those that give it out rarely like getting it back.
16. The Unobservant Player
We may all be seen as an unobservant player at times; since the cards that you hold give you a unique view, what is blindingly obvious from one person’s perspective can be a total mystery from another’s. However some cases can be avoided such as being either unwilling or unable to make coherent suit preference signals to partner when defending, not realising that both declarer and dummy are void in a suit so that leading it will provide a gift-wrapped present of a ruff and discard, or not being suspicious of a suit that the opponents have made into a Trojan Horse should you touch it.
Tip: Keep your eye on the ball!
17. The Litigious Player
We often meet the litigious player. He is the one that loves an argument. Not only with his opponents over an infringement of the rules, real or imagined, but also with his partner usually over interpretation of a detail of their bidding system.
Tip: As he is fuelled by dispute, if you choose not to engage he will soon run out of steam.
18. The Good Bad Player
A good bad player may seem to be lucky at bridge in that he does not always follow the rules that experience has shown will lead to best chance of maximising his trick count. However he makes up for this by a good appreciation of the hands and in avoiding unpleasant surprises. As declarer he is happy to cash his tricks for game rather than risk all for an over-trick. As defender he will never be caught with an unplayed ace or king in hand at the end.
Tip: If he is your partner then relax and let him do his thing.
19. The Bad Good Player
This is a person who undoubtedly plays well but does not always score well. How can this be? The reason is although he never makes terrible errors, he does not have a good feel of when to be bold and when to be cautious. He will make a game plan but nor change it when warning signs appear. He tries too hard to show his skill so that when there are two ways of finishing a game he will usually choose the most complicated.
Tip: Enjoy having him as a reliable partner and give some hints on card awareness now and then
20. The Man with the Pre-occupied Mind
It is good policy for whatever you are supposed to be doing that you do give it all of you attention when you are doing it. Nothing is more annoying than to see your partner take his eye off the ball for no reason so that he fails to make a cold contract, or a fail-safe defence. It is even insulting when your partner is a good player and makes mistake after mistake only to excuse himself by saying he was thinking of something else.
Tip: Tell your partner what great player he would be if would care to concentrate!
21. The Popular Player
This player is skilled in the art of making partner pleased. He never, never, never blames partner. Instead he uses phrases like “Perhaps it would have been better..” and “I think you are right partner” (when he knows partner is wrong). He feels bad teaching partner how to play better, and indeed since bridge is a partnership game, keeping the union happy goes a long way to getting good results.
Tip: While you may not always believe him he is certainly a pleasant person to be with.
22. The Unpopular Player
The unpopular play is easy to identify. Basically he is an excellent player in a club otherwise consisting of average players and he is a person who gives his analysis of others defects frequently and loudly. Understandably, this information is not always welcomed.
Tip: Maybe the best comment is “Partner I hate to say this but… …you are right”
23. The Undependable Player
This one keeps you guessing. Seemingly incapable of following a system you wonder how he deals with all the other areas of his life. His cards are a mystery to all other players including partner. Reminds one of the story of the pair having terrible results and when the man had to go to the WC his partner remarked “Well at least now I know what he is holding in his hand”.
Tip: don’t worry making mistakes yourself as either he will not notice or not remember.
24. The Superstitious Player
Superstition manifests itself in bridge in a variety of forms. One player may have a favourite seat (mine is East) which may depend on the way the wind is blowing. I read of a player who thought it unlucky to hold the four of clubs and conversely another who was always happy to pick up the ten of hearts. Quite common is the horror of being declarer in a no trump contract as possibly the psychological damage of previous disasters can be permanent.
Tip: Do whatever works for you.
25. The Selfish Player
A selfish person is easily detected after a few hands of bridge. This is a person who seems to consider a trick won by him is worth two won by his partner. He’s hurt if a trick in his hand is sacrificed even though it lets the partnership win two tricks. As by not discarding his high cards in the suit you are running he will often block it.
Tip: Be patient and maybe he will see the benefits of a sharing, equal partnership.
26. The Inspired Player
The inspired player is a partner who has an amazingly accurate picture of your hand while you are playing it and a very good understanding of how the hands will work together. He is not fooled by opponent’s false cards nor mislead by those done by his partner. As well as knowing exactly how much to trust partner’s skill or lack of it he knows the rules and, more importantly, when to break them.
Tip: If such a person is your partner then hang onto him!
Conclusion: we all have our little ways and do things that are in our nature. Most of us are unwilling or unable to break our habits. But it is hoped that knowing what type of player you are yourself as well as the others you meet the bridge table will bring some amount of tolerance and enjoyment to your games.