On behalf of a group of 4 friends, I wanted to share our experience for those who may be reluctant to try online bridge:
"We are a group of four friends from different parts of Sydney who decided to start online bridge lessons during lockdown in 2020. We have all found the experience very enjoyable and have had a lot of fun practicing together in between lessons through the RealBridge system. It is very easy to navigate and having the first sessions supervised was a great idea while we settled in.
We appreciated the flexibility of the online system, especially being able to watch (and revise) the lessons through the recordings. The resources provided were comprehensive and the notes on the weekly practice hands really helped us to begin to understand how play should proceed. Both the teachers and the support staff were excellent, very welcoming and happy to answer any questions either during the lessons or by email in between lessons.
We would highly recommend trying the online course - we have felt the experience was a worthwhile and rewarding one - we even had a practice session in January with one of us on a boat while she is isolating with Covid. Nothing can stop you online really, so give it a go."
The Fab Four (Genevieve H)
I’ve really enjoyed Beginner’s Bridge on-line – I’ve found it very convenient and a great way to learn bridge basics. The teachers (Anita and Liz) are just fantastic and their on-line lessons are well structured with helpful handouts and practice hands. As the lessons are on-line they are also recorded which means they can be replayed as a refresher whenever you want. I particularly enjoy the on-line weekly practice sessions with my bridge partners (and new friends). It is an opportunity to both practice what was learnt in the lesson that week and also to have a good chat and catch-up. The support provided by Kay, Gary and the team also ensured that any technical or IT issue that arose was quickly resolved.
I had initially been disappointed not be able to attend face to face Bridge classes, with online being my only option, but I have found the online classes to be highly interactive and very well organised.
Being able to replay the lessons has been a huge help, as has the many practice sessions. I can highly recommend online Bridge classes as a great way to learn bridge!
I joined the classes because they were online and, moving around as I do, it didn’t matter where I was as long as I had my iPad I could join in or watch the recorded lesson later on. In practice sessions I enjoyed the interaction with friends I might not have seen as often and made new friends learning a challenging and possibly addictive game. And all with support teachers magically popping up onto the screen to help.
A fun way to learn.
Learning bridge online was surprisingly really good.
The teachers were very clear, thorough, and good with technology, and the slides were very efficient
I didn’t have to factor in the travel time, and if missed a class it was easy to watch the lesson at a later stage as a recording.
Playing games online is actually really good too. No dealing, no counting, you always know whose turn it is, and it’s very clear to see each other, discuss the Bridge and work together.
I think, moving forward, online lessons and games could actually be my preference.
On a personal note, learning online has major advantages - it provides an excellent teaching platform which one can then re-visit afterwards. Whilst I haven’t ever attended face to face bridge lessons, I think the way we have learnt has been superb and gives me the opportunity to revise aspects of the game that I may not have understood fully initially all in the comforts of my own home. I also think learning online helped me to concentrate more fully and not have the distractions of other people or waiting to get a teacher coming to your table.
I have also really enjoyed playing on RealBridge which I do not think I would have been so confident about if we had only been used to playing at an actual table.
Now that I have got some basic skills, I really look forward to playing at a table with friends face to face and having some fun!
I will agree with Jane that the on-line learning experience has been fantastic.
I learnt many years ago in the country at a community college in a classroom situation and this is far superior in terms of the material taught, followed by the practice that can be achieved in two or more hours.
Looking forward to the next lessons.
Learning bridge online has been fabulous. I did face to face lessons some years ago but didn’t keep it up.
The beauty of the online lessons for me has been:
- I did not need to factor travel time into my diary - I am still working and have some flexibility over my working hours but if I had to travel to the club it would not have been possible.
- If I could not make the lesson at the scheduled time it was no problem. You receive a recording of the lesson the next day along with notes - so very easy to catch up.
- You can save all the notes and recordings so you will never have to enrol in another beginners’ course, just revisit the great resources you get.
- The practice sessions are great. They are set up so you practice what you learn each week. If you have a group of four you can choose when you want to do them. We had a group of four so we set a time each week and those of us who could, would log on a bit early and have a social catch up. Sometimes people would stay on after the session to chat. So from a social point of view it worked really well even though it was on line.
I highly recommend these lessons. The quality of the teaching is great, the administration and communication is impeccable, and as I have already said the resources are terrific. Even though it was online it was a great way to catch up with friends.
I thoroughly enjoyed learning beginners bridge online. For someone who could barely play snap, I found the online lessons, the weekly notes, the practice hands etc so helpful.
I could go back and listen to the lesson again and replay parts of the lesson I found tricky.
I only knew one member of our bridge group when I started. I still haven’t met the other ladies face to face, but we have had a lot of fun and lots of laughs when doing the online practice. I am looking forward to starting again in the new year.
When I saw an On-line Bridge Beginners Course advertised by NSBC I was very excited as I had been thinking of doing a face-to-face course for some time. The convenience of learning from home in a group situation, where questions can be asked and games can be played, is fantastic. The ability to then log in at a later time to watch a repeat of the lesson helps to reinforce it all the more.
I have played with two great groups of women and have since socialised with them in real life. We have lots of laughs. We have now organised a lunch out to celebrate the New Year.
I would definitely recommend it.
We are a group of 4 friends all with school aged children. The online bridge course has been fabulous for us, and we’ve all enjoyed it immensely. It’s been so easy being able to do it all from home, and we’ve stayed connected with the online weekly practise sessions. If you have a group of 4 keen to learn, we can highly recommend the online version.
How did I find the online Bridge course, as opposed to face-to-face learning? Here are the benefits I have experienced from computer based learning.
# time saved in getting ready and journeying to and from the Club and at the very least being able to ‘’come as I am” to the session. Convenience with a capital C!
# safe, Covid free environment. Who knows what is ahead……
# learning materials sent prior to the lesson enable the opportunity for preparation. Notes can be organised, studied, highlighted beforehand and added to during the lesson.
# being able to watch the recorded lesson takes the pressure off clashes with the ‘live’ lesson time as well as facilitating revision by watching it again.
# Zoom allows quite a deal of social interaction within the lesson and with practice sessions as well as providing immediate opportunities for clarification and feedback.
# even if out of Sydney, we can still participate fully, so that holidays and out of town commitments are not jeopardised, so long as there is internet connectivity.
# IT help is on hand – Gary Barwick is not only knowledgeable and helpful – but is available and reassuring. IT inexperience should not be thought as a disadvantage.
# the online course is thoroughly organised with expert, generous tutors, expansive learning materials and kind administrative back up all from the comfort and safety of home.
I write to thank the Club for the opportunity to learn Bridge, on-line. I’d always wanted to explore Bridge but it just seemed too inconvenient, what with the commitment at least two or three times a week as this would mean travel time, the hassle of parking, essentially wasting at least an hour each time just in getting there and back.
Your online courses have saved me so much time that I’ve been able to invest that commuting time into playing and practicing more hands. In addition to the class, I practice on-line 3-5 times a week. It’s been incredibly helpful to reinforce the new teaching points from each lesson. Sitting in a different position each time, every game seems like a brand-new set of hands.
I’ve found it helpful to be able to revise class lessons by viewing the recordings at my leisure. Thank you to all the Bridge teachers, Technical Directors and support team who’ve made the on-line learning of bridge accessible and it’s wonderful that we newbies are supported at tables 3 times a week. The lessons are structured in a manner that I’ve found straight forward to follow with clear and concise explanations. I also like how the instructor demonstrates in class how the “lesson” is applied in a game.
Thank you for this initiative. I’m totally “into” Bridge. In fact, if you could extend the on-line programs, I’d rather stay with the on-line classes and Bridge games, than transition to face-to-face.
I just wanted to say how fantastic the online bridge lessons have been!! It’s actually made learning easier in some respects, especially with the excellent back-up learning tools, practice hands, notes etc which have been provided in addition to the zoom sessions. The recordings have also been so useful to go over a lesson or to use it as a back-up if I can’t get to the lesson itself. I have done many face-to-face bridge lessons before but the big advantage to learning online seems to be that there are far more practice opportunities. Plus it is so much more convenient time-wise. I have met lots of really fun bridge players along the way so have benefited from the social aspect too. You and your team have done an excellent job of setting it all up so perfectly and user-friendly. I can’t think of one reason not to learn bridge online !!!
I used to think I would learn to play bridge when I was really old and there was nothing else I could do. I had always thought it would be quite serious and a bit boring!! Well there’s been nothing much else to do recently (I’m from Melbourne), so when the opportunity arose to learn bridge online I decided to give it a go. Now I wish I’d started years ago. I’ve become a little addicted. I’ve made new friends and we’re now socialising without even discussing bridge (much). I’ve recommended this course to so many friends. And if I could have begun it in 2020, it would have saved my sanity. And a bonus was to not have to leave the house or wear masks. From Chris F
“I was more impressed with your website than others I looked at. My background is in Communications so I really appreciated how professional the website was and also how speedy your response was when I submitted an inquiry. The real clincher was when I spoke to a friend who is a bridge player and golfer. She said the face-to-face bridge sessions were very well run so that encouraged me to sign up, but you were only offering online at that stage. After talking to you I decided to give it a try, and I'm very glad I did! As you promised, the online learning is excellent. The software is very good and I've already made a new friend in my partner. So thank you for persuading me to give it a go.“ From Rose-Anne M
It’s been a gift to be able to learn to play bridge online with NSBC … being time-poor and Covid-wary, it allowed a great opportunity to learn and practice from the comfort of home.
More surprisingly though, playing online has been no impediment to forming social bonds and friendships … and indeed, finding connections we didn’t know we had!
Soon after starting playing the practice hands as part of the Beginners course, we (Cathy and Janet) found ourselves playing at the same table, quite by chance. Because the online option allows us to chat, we soon noticed we both had South African accents. Exchanging details about where we were from in South Africa revealed that we were from the same rather small city … and that we had in fact attended the same school, now nearly 50 years ago! Although we’ve both lived in Sydney for many years, we had never come across each other … and were it not for the online bridge games, we would quite possibly never have met, living in different parts of Sydney as we do.
We’ve formed a great friendship and play together regularly … all thanks to online bridge! From Catherine H
And so on . . .