Defense in Bridge is typically thought of as an intermediate topic, though it is very interesting and useful to understand the basics even if you are a beginner. Eventually, after you learn the basics of bridge, you will want to know everything you can about this topic. I have wrote this article to talk about the major books on bridge defense. Please note that buying products through links below will earn me a commission. I try to provide honest and reliable reviews regardless of any commission I may make.
Introduction to Defender’s Play by Edwin B. Kantar - This is the first book anyone should read on bridge defense. It covers the very basics of what to lead and what to play.
Eddie Kantar Teaches Modern Bridge Defense and its companion Eddie Kantar Teaches Advanced Bridge Defense. This is probably the standard book to learn bridge defense nowadays. This covers all the aspects of defense simply, though if you haven’t read Introduction to Defender’s Play, you probably won’t understand a lot of it. These books won American Bridge Teachers’ Association Book of the Year Award for “Basic Book” and “Advanced Book” for 1999.
How to Defend a Bridge Hand by William S. Root – This is an excellent book going over all aspects of bridge defense. It is very thick and with lots of exercises for all topics. This is much more of a workbook and in-depth study book while I find Eddie Kantar’s books teaching the concepts with small exercises. William Root’s book can be very in-depth with its exercises and variations. This book won American Bridge Teachers’ Association Book of the Year Award for 1994.
Defensive Bridge Play Complete by Edwin B. Kantar – This book is put here for a more complete view of bridge defense books. It is out-of-print and other of the books might cover topics better, but before those books this was the book to go for learning bridge defense. Edwin B. Kantar is in the American Contract Bridge League Hall of Fame, and it wouldn’t hurt to get all of his books. That’s how I see it. This book is also mentioned in William S. Root’s other book How to Play a Bridge Hand. Omar Sharif in the introduction names it as one of the best bridge books ever written.
I hope that this gives you a wide and helpful view of the books on bridge defense. If you are just starting out, all you’ll need is Introduction to Defender’s Play, but the others will be necessary once you get past the basics.