Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Well done partner … that’s what they say at the beginner table

As I have been mentoring more online I have noticed that at the beginner table it seems that everyone says well done partner (WDP) or well done opponents (WDO) something like that on almost every hand. The more advanced the players the less they say it. I was thinking about what that means.

What I try to do is save the virtual high 5’s for when partner has really done something good within their skill limits. When I teach brand new players opening 1NT on a balanced 15-17 (which they learn at about lesson 2 or 3) is worth a “WDP”.  But as players advance I save the WDP for tougher things.

I have also noticed that the total number of well dones decreases as the players skill levels increase until at expert level you are lucky if the opponents don’t scoff (probably thinking “Why do I get fixed by those pooches?”) and partner tries to look neutral. Are we just so competitive as experts that we can’t spare a few nice words?

Of course in the offline world we say much less than in the online world. This is a little strange because it takes longer to type than talk. Online I have a ritual of always saying “Good luck partner (GLP).” when I put the dummy down and then “Thank you partner (TYP)” when I am declarer. I think I am mostly thanking partner for letting me play the hand.

I do say thank you when I play in person too although not good luck and I try to remember to always say it so that the opponents won’t know how I feel about dummy (and I am pretty good at using a neutral inflexion).

So can someone please tell me why beginners are supernice? Does playing bridge destroy your manners over time? Is this the same reason we give beginners all those trophies? Is it to hook them in with niceness?

When I play with students I save the well dones for those times when somebody really does something that is excellent keeping in mind their skill level.   



Stuart KingAugust 16th, 2013 at 8:23 am

In person I try to always say ‘thank you partner’ and ‘good luck’ when in declarer or dummy.

With my regular partner I will usually only congratulate him on a well played hand once or twice a session as I’m a lot more aware of which hands he has played well.

With less familiar partners and opponents I am more generous with the well done’s; I try to remember to congratulate them every hand.

Steven GaynorAugust 16th, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Giving the opponent’s a ‘well done’ is just about always a good idea.
Giving partner a ‘well done’ should be based on partner really doing something well, like a squeeze, or end play. However, if your good result is the based on the opponent’s error, the ‘well done’ to partner is rubbing salt in the opponent’s wounds.

Howard Bigot-JohnsonAugust 17th, 2013 at 10:52 am

HBJ : When defenders cock up big time, I would never say ” well done ” to partner, since this is an insult to the opponents. Compliments should be reserved for when a beginner does the right thing even though he/she might a mistake later in the same hand.
So if my partners correctly took safety plays in trumps I would congratulate them on that particular feature of declarer play. One needs to be more precise at what aspect of play you are pleased with rather than a vague and inappropriate generalisation.

lindaAugust 17th, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Yes! Hi fives by the opponents when you have just messed up is quite discouraging!

Bibek ChatterjeeAugust 26th, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Is it possible to solve this problem as a double dummy? Hands are:-North:-S-874,H:-2,D;J106542 C:-Q105 East:-S-KJ109,H;-Q863,D:-AK7,C:-AK South:-S-6,H:-AKJ10975,D:-9,C:-J973 West:-S:-AQ532,H:-4,D:-Q83,C:-8642 Contract:-6Spade by west.Play went:-TK1:-H2H3H9H4 TK2:HK .Play. Will it be possible to squeeze North? or any other line of play.

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