If, like me you love card games then you will want to try Bridge. I discovered this game when I was trying to find other card games as opposed to Poker which I play all the time and tried my hand at this.
The game of bridge is played primarily with four players with two teams of 2. The teams are pitted against each other and then in normal Bridge evenings are passed to another table until all the tables have played all the cards. Lost yet?
It does sound complicated but it's actually quite simple really to pick up the basic rules of the game. However, it may be easy enough to learn, but to master the game and become really good you need a lot of practice. So it can be complex and simple really.
There is a betting session before you play your cards where you bet that you will win more tricks than the other team.
There is one thing I found about this game and that is that it involves a lot of skill and you need to really work at it to become good which is a great challenge. In addition it is very addictive and is a battle of wits against other players. It has a similar feel to it like Poker or Chess as you have to really be good to acheive success in this game and work on getting better every time you play.
The games characteristics of luck and wits. I would put it as more wits than luck. Luck aspect is there because of the cards you and your partners receive. As we are well aware of the play, four players and two players form a team. As far as card luck is concerned that is only the first step. Rest all is pure skill. Bidding is an aspect where understand between you and your partner is more useful that luck. There are many styles in Bidding. The actual play is more interesting than anything else. How the contract is reached or broken that is fun. When I started to play I found that it is more interesting that actually it looks.
I've chosen the title of this opinion because some people say that Bridge is a card game that equals Chess. The rules are very easy but the strategy makes the game and that's what makes this game difficult. I can somethimes play it very long and the better the other players are, the more I get the feeling that I play very bad but I'd like also to say that there is no need to learn it for years, but you need to practice it and the more you play, the better you get. :) Bridge - the origins, the presence and the future ================================================== Today's variants of this game developed out of a game called Wrist that is very similar to Bridge and that's one of the oldest card games. Wrist developed probably out of a game called Trump and there are notes about Trump from the 16th century. Bridge is the one and only card game that is acknowledged as a sport and the WBF (World Bridge Foundation is an olympic acknowledged sports organisation. In Salt Lake City 2002 there will be first olympic competitions in Open, Women and Juniors. WBF exists since 1958 and organizes every year world championsships and Bridge - olympics. Bridge - the rules =================== Like I written, Bridge is pretty easy. It's played with 52 french cards and four players in pairs. The game bagins always with a bidding and each player tries to delare how many tricks he's able to make. The bidding then look like that: North East South West 1Spade Pass 2Hearts 1NT 3Spades Pass 5Spades Pass Pass Pass In this case north plays 11 tricks, beacause once the suit or also no trump means that the player declares that he makes seven tricks and then you add it out of the number of the suit, that means that twice the suit makes 9 tricks, three times - nine tricks etc. and 7x the suit are all the 13 tricks and that's also called grand slam. When you decide to play
by suits, then it's very important to have also a lot of cards of this suit and it's also very useful when you have big cards like aces, kings, etc. If you have a lot of big cards in every suit then it's recommended to play without a trump. There is a possibility to signalize the partner with the way of bidding how many aces you have, but I cannot explain it how it goes because it would take a very long time. It's also imprtant to know that the suits have also their value and it looks like this: clubs - diamonds - hearts - spades - NT (no trump), that means that if someone else bids 2 hearts, you cannot bid 2 clubs anymore, but you may bid 2 spades. There is also a possiblity to double or redouble the points. In the normal case double is used when one of the players thinks that the opponent is not able to make the contract and redouble may use only the played that sets the contract, if he thinks that he's able to do the contact. A bidding with double and redouble could look like this in our example: North East South West 1Spade Pass 2Hearts 1NT 3Spades Pass 5Spades Dbl Rdbl Pass Pass Pass Note: After a redouble there is only a possiblity for other players to pass the contract or to set another contract. In our example game the player on the north has to try to make 11 tricks and that's why because north was the first one who set the contract in spades. The hand of his partner is now visible to all players and east starts to play. To play spades means that spades are now the trump suit and spade always wins but if there are still enough cards in trumpless suits then it wins the highest card. When you play no trump then it wins always the highest card and when the other players don't have one suit anymore then it wins every card you play. Bridge - the strategy ====================== That is probably the most difficult and there is no strategy that you can say if you
always play like this then you'll always win. I'd say that one of the most important things is that you always count the cards that are playing and there are 13 cards of each suit. If you and your partner have about 9-11 cards of one suit then it's mostly better to play then the trump directly and after the last opponent's cards of the trump have fallen than you may play the game like a game with no trump. Very important for this type of game are singletons and doubletons, beacause if you don't have any cards of a suit you may slam even kings and aces with a very low trump card. A big part of a good strategy is also to mislead the opponents, beacause every good player starts always a game with a try to forsee how the hand(s) of his opponent(s) look like and you should also try to do that. :) One thing I'd like to say too in this chapter. There are no bad hands in Bridge. It always depends on you what you make out of your hand. The last few words ==================== Bridge is a game for people who like to use their brain and composite fun with thinking. When you find a good team that it's a question of time that you find out which type of strategy is the most suitable for you and you'll don't want to miss anymore. If someone would like to try this game, I'd like to recommend a game network at http://www.zone.com and maybe you'll meet there one day. :) I hope I made this game more understandable for you and if someone has any questions don't mind to mail me. © ewka - 6th Oct. 2001 (at Dooyoo Germany) 15th Oct. 2001 - translated to english
Well, how do you go about starting to explain the fascination and intricacies of a game like Bridge to somebody who has never played it before. Lets start by stating the rules and taking it from there. Bridge is a game for four players in pairs facing each other. The whole pack is dealt out and each pair forecast how many tricks they will win with a particular suit as trump or with no trumps. This part of the game is known as bidding. The suits are given an ascending sequence of clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades followed by no trumps. Every bid made has to be higher up the scale than the previous one. The highest bid when everybody has stopped bidding means that pair have to try to win the number of tricks they bid or forecast. This is known as the Contract, in other words you are contracting to make x tricks. But how do they know what to bid and in particular how do you know what your partner has in their hand? Well, this is where the fascination and strategy of Bridge comes in and what separates it from other card games. First of all each person gives a value to their hand allocating one point for each jack, two for a queen, three for a king and four for an ace. Depending on whatever system they are playing, and there are many, they bid or not. For example they might have agreed that they will not bid with less than 13 points for example. Signals are sent to your partner about the strengths and weaknesses of your hand during the bidding process. There are even what are known as false bids which are merely asking or answering a question. For example, if you both know you have really strong hands your partner might bid 4 clubs, which you know means they are "asking for aces". If you have none you answer 4 diamonds, 1 four hearts etc upwards. This then tells your partner whether you have all the aces between you which is vital when attempting to win a small slam or a grand slam, 12 or 13 tricks respectively. Obviously to win ev
ery trick on the table you must be pretty sure of your information.. When the final bid has been made the first player of the winning pair to call that suit then plays the cards, their partner takes no further part in the game and is called the Dummy. Dummy is not allowed to coach, give advice or interfere in any way except to prompt their partner if they think they are illegally failing to follow suit. The person sitting immediately to the left of the winning player lays the first card and Dummy then lays all their cards face up on the table for all to see. Its quite alright for Dummy to comment on how good or bad their cards are etc. but not to comment on how their partner plays them. The game now goes on with each player following suit if they can. If not they may play a trump, if there is a trump, or discard any card they want to get rid of. The person playing the highest card of the suit led wins the trick unless it has been trumped in which case the highest trump played wins. The player who wins a trick always plays first to the next trick. The idea of the person playing the contract is to win at least the number of tricks they forecast, the role of the other pair is to try to stop that happening. At the end of the round each side gets points according to whether or not the player made the contract or if the defending pair "put it down". Expressions like "I went 2 down" or "They put me 2 off" mean that the player failed to make their target by two tricks, one over etc is equally self-explanatory. As I said earlier there are many systems in Bridge and you must tell your opponents which one you are using if asked. Good Bridge players develop an almost telepathic understanding with their partners and can often even realise if their partner makes a mistake. It takes a while to become good at Bridge, but even mediocre players can get a lot of enjoyment out of the game. Sometimes you might ma
ke a silly wrong bid and the split of the cards in your opponents' hands goes in your favour and you make an unlikely contract. One very popular form of playing Bridge is to go to a club where Duplicate Bridge is played. Say there are 12 tables in the hall. You and your partner sit at table one and play a hand against the other couple and mark your scores. The cards are then carefully collected and put in a box so that the next foursome to sit at table one get the same cards. All the players now move with for example the winners going to table 12 and the losers to table 2. The whole tournament is decided by determining which pair scored the highest points playing with the same cards as everybody else.
Basically bridge is a card game with 4 players,2 teams of 2,but usually with several tables of teams.The teams play against one another and then normally the cards are passed to another table until all tables have played all cards.In this way you play not only against the team at the table but also against everyone else in the room also.This type of contest is called a "Pairs" contest.there is anothwer type of contest that is called "Teams" which is slightly more complex but i would be happ to outline it to anyone who asks(throw in a comment for it). Bridge is a card game that it is quick to pick up the basic rules but your style of "bidding" (basically a betting session before you play your cards where you say you will win more tricks than the other team) will evolve throughout the years,in my case disimproving as trime goes on.This is a game where you learn a lot more from your mistakes than anything else.The main thing is that you and your partner have to be PATIENT with one another-if your partner makes a load of mistakes don't get on his/her back because next week it'll probably be you. One thing about bridge is that it is extremely addictive.It is more a battle of wits than anything else,like chess or poker in that regard, and it is gratifying when you win barely by sneakiness or pure fluke.It is like golf where you remember the good times but not the bad.Hopefully however the former will far outweigh the latter.
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I started Bridge a few years ago and am still hooked. I went to Local Authority evening classes for a year. This was quite helpful as it gave you the basics but unfortunately while the teacher was a very good bridge player he had a lot to learn about teaching ! I have since been to classes run on a commercial basis and here while the lady was a better teacher the large numbers inolved meant I did notr feel I was really getting my money's at around £4 an hour. The moral here is if you are thinking of classes try to get a taster session before commiting yourself to a lot of expense. Once you have learnt it can be quite cheap - two packs of cards, a table and some stationery or it can be expensive - club membership.... However I am still playing Bridge - with a group of friends made from the evening classes. We play weekly and enjoy it for its mental stimulation and social aspects. We also learn at own pace and, especially at the start. felt no embarassment about mistakes. Bridge played at a club can be alittle intimidating and surrounded with custom which puts some beginners offbut among friends it is fun. The main attraction is obviously the mental stimulation of trying to outthink your opponents. Concentration to last the game, patience - it is not a game to be hurried and a good memry for all the playing and bidding conventions are all attributes needed to play bridge well but you can spend a lifetime doing it so there's no hurry ! By the way I am often the only female in the four players - men play too.
As time passes it seems that games are having to become bigger and more amazing to be fun nowadays. Take Scaletrix for example, in my day we were more than happy with a single loop of about 5 metres but kids nowadays would have a circuit of some 30 metres distorted into all sorts of corners and loops. Now bridge is a game which has been with us for some time, most people associate bridge with old ladies (I must say that a lot of them do play bridge) but that doesn't mean it is something which younger people won't find interest in. Bridge is a game of strategy, cunning and of course like any good card game you can bet on it. Take my word for it start playing bridge and your skills at finnessing will come along in leaps and bounds!!!!