Michael Steven (Mike) Lawrence (born May 28, 1940) is an American bridge player, teacher, theorist, and prolific writer.
Lawrence was born in San Francisco. He started playing bridge while he was a chemistry student at the University of California; as result of a self-inflicted hand injury, he had to postpone the final exams and started playing bridge as a pastime. Bridge became his major interest and he devoted his subsequent life to it.
In 1968, he was invited by Ira Corn to join the newly formed Dallas Aces team. He formed a partnership with Bobby Goldman, with whom he played a 2/1 game forcing system. They started by winning several North American Bridge Championships and, after a long Italian Blue Team reign, returned the world crown to America by winning the Bermuda Bowls in 1970 and 1971. Lawrence and James Jacoby left the Aces in 1973.
Under Ira Corn's mentorship, Lawrence started teaching bridge and subsequently writing books. He has written more than twenty books since. He received numerous book-of-the-year awards starting with his first book, How to Read Your Opponents' Cards. He contributed to the theory of 2/1 game forcing systems, and his "2/1 semi-forcing" approach competes with Max Hardy's "unconditional forcing" approach. Together, they wrote the book Standard Bridge Bidding for the 21st Century in 2000. He also helped develop educational bridge software with Fred Gitelman.
In addition to his world championships with the Aces, Lawrence has won another Bermuda Bowl in 1987 in partnership with Hugh Ross along with teammates Hamman, Wolff, Martel, and Stansby.
Dates indicate first and most recent publication.
- How to Read Your Opponent's Cards (1974, 1986)
- Introduction to Contract Bridge and Point Count Bidding (with Gerald Fox, 1975)
- Judgment at Bridge (1976, 1986)
- The Complete Book on Overcalls in Contract Bridge (1979, 2009)
- True Bridge Humor (1980)
- The Complete Book on Balancing in Contract Bridge (1981, 1993)
- Dynamic Defense (1982)
- Play a Swiss Teams of Four with Mike Lawrence (1982, 1993)
- The Complete Book on Hand Evaluation in Contract Bridge (1983, 1993)
- The Jacoby and Texas Transfers Convention (1983)
- The Lebensohl Convention (1983)
- Major Suit Raises (1983)
- Partnership Understandings (1983, 1990)
- Play Bridge with Mike Lawrence (1983)
- Winning Bridge Intangibles (1985), Lawrence and Keith Hanson
- Falsecards (1986, 2003)
- Mike Lawrence's Workbook on the Two Over One System (1987, 1993)
- How to Play Card Combinations (1988)
- The Complete Guide to Passed Hand Bidding (1989)
- Mike Lawrences's Bidding Quizzes Volume 1: the Uncontested Auction (1990)
- Topics on Bridge - Series 1-30 (1990, 1992)
- The Complete Guide to Contested Auctions (1992)
- The Complete Book on Takeout Doubles (1994)
- Disturbing Opponents No Trump (1995)
- Mike Lawrence's Opening Leads (1996)
- Opening Leads for Acol Players (with Ron Klinger, 1997)
- Double! New Meanings for an Old Bid (2002)
- I Fought the Law of Total Tricks (2004), Lawrence and Anders Wirgen