Overview of the American Bridge Series
The American Bridge Series is designed as a sequential set of bidding courses, suitable for self-study or classroom-style study under the guidance of a professional bridge teacher. Volumes I through III include declarer play and defense skills as they relate to the bidding skills taught in each text. Volume IV is reserved for true experts; thus, declarer play and defense lessons would be an insult and are not included. The entire series takes about five years of study and practice to complete.
Volume I, The Basic American Bidding System was written for beginners and for social players who need to brush-up on basic bidding skills prior to tackling modern bidding methods. It features 5-card major suit opening bids, strong twos, and some basics of Forcing and Non-Forcing Stayman, Blackwood, Gerber, and few other things designed to form the framework for further study.
Volume II, The Intermediate American Bidding System makes the transition to modern methods including weak two openings. It teaches all of the pieces of "Standard" American in a way that integrates all of the varied forms of same. Don't be thrown by the term "intermediate." Many duplicate players think that they have reached that level when they can no longer play in novice games. Not so. "Intermediate," as defined by the authors, can vary from folks with zero ACBL masterpoints to 2500 masterpoints. It's not the points that count, it's the skill level.
Volume III, The Advanced American Bidding System presumes a complete understanding and skill with all of the material in Volume II. However, some of the Volume II material is repeated for intended redundancy, since the authors suspect that many folks who shouldn't be attempting to study Volume III will do so anyway. After all, "I'm a Life Master, I must be Advanced." The authors suggest that anyone not comfortable playing in Flight A at an ACBL regional or national tournament, or the World Bridge Federation (WBF) or other governing body equivalent thereof avoid purchase and study of Volume III until they have mastered all that is taught in Volume II.
Volume IV, The Expert American Bidding System, (NOT YET RELEASED) presumes two years' experience with the bidding techniques taught in Volume III, and expert declarer play and defense skills. This is not a "Mom and Pop" book. It is for those who wish to successfully compete in such ACBL events as Flight A Grand National Teams, the Blue Ribbon Pairs, the Life Master Pairs, the Spingold, Vanderbilt, and Reisinger teams, etc., and International events like the Bermuda Bowl and Venice Cup, The London Times Pairs, the McCallan, etc. It features 4-card majors, the TEAS responses to no trump openings, weak no trumps, and a variety of other bidding methods which will get bidders to the optimum place but will require expert declarer play or defensive skills to maximize results.
All four books emphasize sound, disciplined bidding and an underlying philosophy of "You bid your cards, I'll bid mine, we'll get to the right spot." By the time students complete study and practice of Volume III, they should be able to know what cards partner holds almost to the spot at the conclusion of an auction. In fact, Jerry and one of his partners were once accused of cheating when they got cocky and did this after an auction. The comment was: "How can you know what cards your partner holds?" Jerry's answer: "Isn't that the whole point of the bidding?"