Bridge isn’t just another card game.
What other card games have clubs dedicated to them, or tournaments, or international leagues? Unlike most other card games, winning in Bridge does not involve luck. Being a good Bridge player requires only skill. There have been thousands of books written on Bridge. Books dedicated to what card to play first.
I hope that got you interested. Now how do you play Bridge?
Well, first of all, you need 4 players to play Bridge, two partnerships, using a standard deck of cards without the Jokers. That’s 13 cards a person (52/4). Each person plays one card at a time, and the highest card wins (Aces being the highest).
But it’s not that simple.
Before the first cards a played, the players ‘bid’ on the contract, to choose a trump suit. A trump suit is a suit that is higher than all other suits. When the four cards are played, if one is out of the suit that was first led, one can discard a card from another suit, or play a trump. This trump then defeats all other cards played that round. The trump suit can either be Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs or No Trump. These five options are the possible ‘strains’ that one can play in. One also bids on a level from 1 to 7. Bidding 1 means that you are claiming that you can win 7 rounds in that particular strain (a majority of the 13) bidding 2 would mean you can win 8 rounds, all the way up to 7 meaning you can win all the rounds or 13. So bidding 3 No Trump would me you can make 9 tricks if you played without a trump. The highest bidder wins, the rankings of the strains are from highest to lowest No Trump, Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs. Therefore if 3 No Trump were bid, and nobody could claim anything more than that, that would become the contract. The partnership who made the bid would try to win 9 rounds, while the opponents would try to stop that from happening.
Mind you, there’s much more than that to bidding, and we haven’t even played our first card.
After the contract is determined, the first card can be played. Cards are played clockwise, and the opponents play the first card. After all thirteen rounds are played, it is determined whether or not the contract was made. Now in a tournament, everybody plays the same hands, and they are scored relative to each other. Talking is not permitted, all in an attempt to make the game as fair as possible.
Bridge is not just a game, it is truly an intellectual sport. There are many things that I did not have the space to discuss, such as a position known as the dummy, or game and slam contracts. You’ll just have to figure that out for yourselves. Luckily, there are many websites and books on the subject, and you can start playing online for free. You can even make a living and travel the world playing Bridge, as many have before you.