My Teaching Philosophy
I believe you learn from “doing”. The best teaching involves experiential learning which relies heavily upon student participation. You’ll be taught a short mini-lesson and then the rest of your two-hour class will be dedicated to playing four to six deals using bidding, play and/or defense on each hand. We feel the job of a teacher should be as a facilitator, giving you the most time possible to actually play hands. Read a few reviews I’ve received recently:
“As I’ve said in the past, Leslie Shafer remains one of, if not THE best, bridge teacher Eh-VER. She makes bridge fun, she enjoys what she’s doing which comes through to the class, and she makes it understandable in the very best terms. She is PATIENT and never makes anyone feel that they are the idiot they seem to be. She is, therefore, extremely ENCOURAGING. Leslie loves the game and that love seeps right out of her into her pupils. Thank you, Leslie.” — Lois Gutmann
“I have taken bridge lessons from Leslie for a number of years and she still never fails to deliver some useful tips and strategies. Her online classes are so rewarding as every bid, deal, and play are discussed and sometimes redone to bring home the lesson of the hand. The personal attention with each hand, as well as the time for questions and discussion make these lessons so valuable. I’ve never taken an online bridge class with so much personal attention. It makes a big difference in what I get out of the class.” — Mary Beatley
Here are the ways you can register for our bridge classes.
Classes In Your Home: Send us an email or call us to reserve a date and time. (240-670-7149)
How many participants will you have? (Up to 8 only please.) Payment due at end of class. (Checks or cash.) You provide tables and chairs; We’ll bring the lessons, handouts and equipment. Cost: $200 w/4; $300 w/8 participants. Lessons are 2 hours each. Charlie will be your teacher.
Online Zoom Classes: Send us an email or call us to reserve a date and time. (240-670-7149)
- Register as a single participant. We will add 3 other students to your table; or
- You can register yourself and a favorite partner. We’ll find you two more players; or
- You can register for a full table as a group of four! (You might want to line up a sub in case someone can’t make it. I might be able to help with that, but not if its a cancellation too close to your date.)
- Once your table is full, I will invoice all four participants through PayPal and send an email confirmation.
*Hand outs of the deals we play will be emailed to you shortly after your lesson is finished!
Leslie is teaching all the online classes
Click below to view our schedule for the next three weeks (August 10 – 27).
Play Notrump Like an Expert!—Parts 1 & 2. There are three ways to create tricks at notrump contracts: promotion, length and finesses. Learn how to decide which method to use. With these tools you will discover that playing a notrump contract is often more straightforward than a suit contract. Basic+/Intermediate Level.
Splinter and Jacoby 2NT Raises—Find More Slams! Ever stop at game and take 12 tricks? “But the points aren’t there! How do we know to bid slam?” Learn how to bid slams based on the shape of the hand instead of the points. Intermediate Plus to Advanced Level.
The Stayman Convention—Find Your 4-4 Major Suit Fits. Notrump is good, but majors are better! Even when partner opens 1NT, it is important to look for an eight-card major suit fit. Along with transfer bids, Stayman is how to find them. Basic+/Intermediate Level.
Supervised Bidding, Play & Defense. Most of us don’t know what we don’t know! We have assembled an exciting assortment of deals that will pinpoint the gaps in your knowledge. Each Supervised Play numbered lesson highlights different deals. Intermediate Plus to Advanced Level.
Opening Leads Against Notrump and Suit Contracts! It’s your lead. Do you know which suit to lead? Which card? Did your partner bid? Basic Plus through Intermediate levels.
Jacoby Transfers! Looking for Major-Suit Fits After a 1NT Opening. Notrump is good, but majors are better! Even when partner opens 1NT, it is important to look for a major-suit fit. However, it is usually best if the Notrump opener is declarer in order to hide the strong hand. Transfers to the rescue! Basic Plus to Intermediate Level.
Suit Preference Signals. You lead your singleton and partner wins and gives you a ruff! Yay! What now? Learn how partner can guide you in finding what suit to lead back. The object of the game is to see through the backs of the cards! Intermediate Plus to Advanced Level.
Cuebids as Strong Raises in Competition. In competitive auctions, when both sides have bid, is partner raising just to compete? Or, does he have a good hand? Leslie loves this method of competing! Intermediate Plus to Advanced Level.
- Each lesson will appear three to four times for one week. New lessons topics will appear every two weeks. You can always ask for a past or future title if we have 24 hr notice.
- If the Lesson Topic of your choice is not listed at a time convenient to your group, arrangements can be made to accommodate you at a different time. I do use the 3-5 pm slot for group lessons who would like an afternoon time slot and/or a topic of their own choosing.
- If you have “Bridge Bucks” coupons in your possession, you will need to mail them to me if you wish to use them. I am willing to receive all of your coupons in advance and can keep a file of your balance for you. This will save you the trouble of mailing them to me every time you wish to take a class. Before mailing them, please put your name and phone number on the back of each ticket. Mail them to: Leslie Shafer, 9200 Edwards Way, #1115, Adelphi, MD 20783
- If you paid for your tickets but haven’t received them, we do keep a record of those undelivered coupons. Please include a note to us with your registration if this is what happened.
- At this time, all lessons will be labeled as: (BI) (Basic to Intermediate); (I) Intermediate; or Advanced.
- What Level Are You? If you have finished Bridge 4 (Basic Conventions) or higher, consider yourself at the Basic to Intermediate level. If you were taking Advanced classes, I suggest you brush up your bridge with a few Intermediate+ levels or the Advanced class. A description of each class title will follow the two week chart listing all lessons and times.
- What If I’m Still at the Beginner Levels? Contact me via email to discuss scheduling you at a different time slot or maybe even a private class for your group at your home. We can find the right level and lesson for your group!
- If you are not an experienced ZOOM user, here’s a very friendly link with instructions for a basic tutorial. Since I am sending you a personal ZOOM invite, you will still need to download the program yourself. The instructions for doing this are in the “very friendly link” at the beginning of this paragraph. Of utmost importance is finding your “Mute” button on the bottom panel of your ZOOM screen so that class is not disrupted by noises in your home such as family voices, pets, phones, etc.
- You will also need to join www.bridgebase.com in order to use your computer for playing the hands trick by trick. You must practice on this site with a friend to see how the hands are played. During the actual zoom class I will NOT be able to leave the class to help you login.