Maritha Pottenger’s teaching points

Maritha Pottenger

Maritha Pottenger is a popular bridge teacher in San Diego, and a member of the National Goodwill and National Charity committees of the ACBL. She was Director of Intermediate/­Novice teaching programs at the Ventura, Riverside, Rancho Mirage, and San Diego Regionals for many years, plus the 2014 Las Vegas Nationals, and 2017 San Diego Nationals. Maritha is an Emerald Life Master (over 9,100 masterpoints) whose highest National place was 4th in the Women's Pairs. Maritha won the San Diego Unit Mini McKenney (most masterpoints in her category) from 2005 through 2012, 2014, 2015, and makes the Barry Crane Top 500 list most years.

She e-mails FREE “Teaching Points” to any students of bridge interested in improving their game. These short form bridge writeups, are also gathered here, updated approximately every two weeks.

November 2018

Declarer Play + Bidding
Declarer Play + More Spot Cards
Defensive Inferences
Defensive Timing + Counting Tricks
Discards + Declarer Play
How to Bid This Slam?
Opening Leads and More
Question Re Notrump, NMF, Systems On/Off
Wanted: Good Defenders

October 2018

The 80% Club + There Is Still Luck at Duplicate
Another Card Combination: Missing King and Jack
Bid with Two Suits + Right-side the Notrump
Bidding (mostly) + End Play
Bidding Strategy + Defense
Defensive Inferences + Visualization in Bidding
Defenders Can Lead Trumps Also
Defense + Bidding Visualization
Discipline + Defense
End Play and More Visualization
Four Card Overcalls + S.O.T. Slam
Mel’s 1NT Passout Seat Rule and Defense
Mel’s Rules For No Trump Overcalls + Another Slam
More Slams
More Visualization and the Crocodile Coup
Not Yet Sick of Slams
The Other Half of Negative Doubles & More
The Other Half of Negative Doubles (again)
Shape Beats High Card Points (and More)
Slams Are Based on Tricks and Controls!!!
Starring the Nine of Diamonds
Still More Slams
Spot Cards and Opening Leads
Taking the Push at the 5 Level and Beyond
Two Tough Defenses
When Blackwood Is Useless

September 2018

1960 Is a Good Number
A Slam, a Squeeze and a Swindle
Bidding and Playing Slams
Defending + AK109x Combo
Discovery Play and Grand Slam
Dueling Declarer and Defense
Entries + The Travails of the 10
Knock Out Stopper(s) Early
Matchpoint Doubles + Classic End Play
Matchpoint Doubles, LTC, and Balancing
Redoubles and Defense
Right-siding the No Trump (again) + Slams
Slamming Again and Defense
Strategy Issues
The Power of Long Suits + More Strategy + Defense
Void-showing Bids

August / September 2018

800 Is a Good Number But 1400 Could Have Been Better
Another Slam and Declarer / Defensive Issues on Same Hand
Bad, Bad Slams
Clarifying Negative Doubles + Double Squeeze Without the Count
Covering Honors and Other Defense
Defense + Weak Twos
Delay That Decision + Suit Preference Discards
Details, Details, Details
False Card (and Forcing Pass)
IMPs and Making Your Games + One Slam
In Honor of Budak
Keeping Your Thinking Flexible
Minor Slam + Notrump Overcalls + Defense
Partnership Discipline + More Losing Trick Count
Quantitative Versus Roman Key Card Gerber
Spot Cards + Slamming
The “Death Holding” + Torturing Partner
Two “Pro” Bids
We Love Slams

August 2018

Big/little Blacks
Card Combination: Jxx opposite ATxxx
Declarer Play (again) + One Card Combination
Declarer Play
Defense and Declarer Play
Dog That Didn't Bark + Matchpoint Strategy
Leading Aces Without Kings
Opening 5-card Major or 1NT / 2NT?
Penalty Doubles Again
Position, Position, Position
Question About Michaels
Set the Contract or Stop the Overtricks?
Slams (again) + Remembering Rixi Markus
Source of Tricks Slams
Support Doubles + Declarer Play/Defense/Bidding
The Rule of 20+2 and the Rule of 15


Bidding + Defense
Bidding + Play + Defense
Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
Bridge Divorce
Card Combo: A9x Opposite KJx
Card Combo: KQ10x Opposite xxx
Card Combos and Inferential Count
Cover Only to Promote
Cue Bidding when Partner Makes a Take Out Double
Defense and More Slamming
Don't Panic as Defender
Doubling No Trump Overcalls
End Play (after Defense Makes a Minor Slip)
Exceptions to Suit Preference with Singleton in Dummy
Forcing Game
Gerber Issues
How to Play Different Card Combinations
LTC + Overcalls + Evaluating Hand
Major Versus Notrump Slams
Matchpoint (and IMP) Penalty Doubles
More About No Trump Slams + Trump Suit Preference
More Card Combinations
More Notrump Arithmetic and Slamming
New Suits Are Cue Bids at 4 Level
Notrump Slams Are Just Arithmetic
Often Inadvisable to Open 2-suited & 3-suited Hands 2♣
Overcalls: Majors/minors
Penalty Doubles and Defense
Play or Defend?
Question: King From AK in Middle of Hand—why?
Timing on Defense and Spot Cards
Remember the Bidding
Rule of 7 in Real Life + Safety Play
Second Hand Play and Splitting Honors
Source of Tricks NT + Smother Play + Avoidance Play
Source of Tricks Suits and Notrump Slams
Spot Cards
Suit Preference Signals
Trust Your Partner (and Keep Your Thinking Flexible)