Acol Bidding with Bernard Magee

Please go to the download page for the demo versions and the updates.

General Description

Acol Bidding with Bernard Magee is a computer program which runs on usual Windows PCs. Its purpose is to exercise the bidding using the Acol system.

In the words of its author:
"One of the best ways to improve your bridge is to have your mistakes explained to you. Too often in a book, or at a lesson, you are told the right thing to do, but there is no-one there when you are bidding at the table to tell you why you are wrong if it is wrong. In Acol Bidding with Bernard Magee each bid will be explained as you make it, giving praise where due, but more poignantly explaining your mistakes."

The program is operated very similarly as Q-plus Bridge, but the hands are not given randomly, rather, there are 200 deals each prepared by Bernard Magee.

An Example

You are South and see the following hand:

       ª Q 9
       © A Q 9 5
       ¨ Q 7 3
       § Q J 9 5

Your partners opens 1§. The first hurdle is not too high - you should answer1©  mentioning your 4-card major rather than supporting partner's minor. Partner rebids 1ª.
Now what?

Should you bid notrumps? If so, at what level? Or is it safer to support your partner's suit, but at what level? Or perhaps you don't have enough information to make this decision, so you should continue to describe your own hand? Or should you ask partner to describe his hand? If so, how?

Well, we don't give the solution here...
(But this hand is one of the 5 hands of the free demo version!)

In the program, if you select a wrong bid, you get an explanation that says what's wrong, and if you select the correct bid, the bidding continues until the final contract is reached.

The bids are given marks and if you get all bids of an auction right, you get 100 points. Each wrong bid results in a reduction.

Contents of Acol Bidding

Each topic with 20 deals: The bidding system is Standard Acol.

The Explanations

The explanations are spoken. This allows you to focus your eyes on the hand while listening to the words of Bernard Magee. You need a PC with a sound card and a connected loudspeaker. If these are not available, the explanations are displayed as text on the screen.

At the following page you may see the user interface during the bidding - in addition you hear the spoken explanation (if you have a sound card and your Internet browser is properly configured).

Besides the explanations to the individual bids, at the end of an auction there is always an explanation which discusses the bidding as a whole.

The Play

After the auction you can play the contract, usually as declarer. Some of the contracts are easy but many are interesting, and you have to play carefully. During the play, however, mistakes will not be alerted, and also, there is no absolute guarantee that the program finds the best defense. Still, an inaccurate line usually gets punished.

System Requirements

You need a PC with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, or a Mac PC with OS X 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, 10.11.
A sound card is necessary for spoken explanations.

Demo Versions and Updates

are available from the download page.


Q-plus Software GmbH, Heisenbergweg 44, 85540 Haar/München, Germany. e-mail: info@q-plus.com