Enjoy the Bridge Game with Friends and Family Online
Introduction: What is bridge and why should you play it?
Bridge is a card game played by four people, two against two as partners. A standard 52-card deck is dealt out one at a time, so that each player holds 13 cards. The object of play is to win tricks, each trick consisting of one card played by each player. One suit may be designated the trump suit, but the methods of designating the trump suit differ in the various bridge games.
Bridge provides both mental stimulation and social engagement for its players. It challenges your memory, logic, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. It also helps you develop teamwork, communication, and cooperation with your partner. Playing bridge can also improve your mood, reduce your stress, and enhance your well-being.
If you want to learn how to play bridge, or if you want to improve your existing skills, this article will give you some useful information and tips. You will learn the basic rules, history, and tips of bridge, as well as how to use a bridge scoring table to keep track of your points.
Bridge rules: How to bid, play, and score in bridge
A bridge deal consists of two phases: bidding and card play. In this phase, players bid for the minimum number of tricks they think they can take to win the deal. The dealer makes the first call. He is the "opener". Then the auction proceeds clockwise. There may be several bidding rounds. The bidding ends when three players in succession say Pass, meaning that they do not want to bid higher. The final bid becomes the "contract".
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A bid in bridge consists of:
A number from 1 to 7 called "level".
A suit (spades, hearts, diamonds or clubs) or "notrump" (NT).
The number refers to the total number of tricks (six plus the number indicated in the bid) one pair has contracted to make.
The suit indicates the trump suit or notrump.
The rank of suits from highest to lowest is: notrump (NT), spades (), hearts (), diamonds (), clubs ().
The rank of bids from lowest to highest is: 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1NT - 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 2NT - ... - 7 - 7 - 7 - 7 - 7NT.
For example, if the dealer bids 1, he is saying that he and his partner can make at least seven tricks (six plus one) with hearts as trumps. If the next player bids 2, he is saying that he and his partner can make at least eight tricks (six plus two) with diamonds as trumps.
The bidding has a special language that allows partners to exchange information about their hands, such as their strength and distribution. There are many different bidding systems and conventions that players can use to communicate effectively. Some of the most common ones are:
Opening bids: These are the first bids made by either pair. They usually show how many high card points (HCP) and how many cards in each suit the opener has.
Responses: These are the bids made by the partner of the opener after an opening bid. They usually show how many HCP and how many cards in each suit the responder has.
Reb [assistant](#message) or 5 (one ace), 5 (two aces), 5 (three aces), or 5NT (four aces).
After the bidding is over, the card play begins. The player who made the final bid becomes the "declarer". The declarer's partner becomes the "dummy" and lays his cards face up on the table. The player to the left of the declarer makes the "opening lead", playing one card from his hand. Then the declarer plays one card from his hand or from the dummy's hand, followed by the other two players in clockwise order. The four cards played constitute a "trick". The trick is won by the highest card of the suit led, unless a trump card is played, in which case the highest trump card wins. The winner of a trick leads to the next trick, and so on until all 13 tricks are played.
The declarer's goal is to win at least as many tricks as he bid in the contract. The opponents' goal is to prevent him from doing so. The number of tricks won by each side is recorded on a score sheet or a bridge scoring table. The scoring depends on whether the contract was made or not, and whether it was doubled or redoubled by the opponents. There are also bonuses for bidding and making slam contracts (six or seven level) or game contracts (three or four level in a major suit or notrump, or five level in a minor suit). The score for each deal is added to the previous score to get the total score for each pair.
Bridge history: How bridge evolved from whist and became a global phenomenon
Bridge is derived from an older card game called whist, which originated in England in the 16th century. Whist was a simple game of taking tricks with no bidding or scoring. In the 19th century, whist became more popular and complex, with variations such as duplicate whist, solo whist, and auction whist.
Auction whist was the precursor of bridge, as it introduced the idea of bidding for tricks. However, auction whist had no dummy and no trump suit. The first version of bridge that resembled the modern game was called "bridge-whist" or "biritch", which was invented by a British diplomat in Constantinople in 1886. Bridge-whist added the dummy and the trump suit to auction whist, and also changed the scoring system.
Bridge-whist soon became popular in Europe and America, and evolved into different forms, such as "plafond" in France and "auction bridge" in England and America. Auction bridge was the most widely played form of bridge until the 1920s, when it was replaced by "contract bridge". Contract bridge was invented by Harold Vanderbilt, an American millionaire and avid card player, who modified the rules and scoring of auction bridge to make it more challenging and strategic.
Contract bridge became an instant hit among card players around the world, and soon developed into a highly competitive and organized sport. In 1935, the first world championship of contract bridge was held in New York City, with four teams representing America, Britain, France, and Austria. Since then, many national and international bridge organizations have been established, such as the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL), the World Bridge Federation (WBF), and the European Bridge League (EBL). Bridge tournaments are held regularly at various levels, from local clubs to world championships.
Bridge is also widely played as a social and recreational activity by millions of people of all ages and backgrounds. Bridge clubs, online platforms, books, magazines, software, and apps provide ample opportunities for bridge enthusiasts to learn, practice, and enjoy the game. Bridge is more than just a game; it is a culture, a community, and a way of life for many people.
Bridge tips: How to improve your bridge skills and enjoy the game more
If you want to become a better bridge player and have more fun playing bridge, here are some tips that you can follow:
Learn the basics: Before you start playing bridge seriously, you should learn the basic rules, terminology, bidding systems, card play techniques, and scoring methods of bridge. You can find many resources online or offline that can teach you these fundamentals.
Practice regularly: Like any skill, bridge requires practice to improve. You can practice bridge by playing with your friends or family, joining a bridge club or class, or using online platforms or apps that allow you to play with other players or against computer opponents.
Read books and magazines: Reading books and magazines about bridge can help you learn new strategies and tips from experts and champions. You can also find many articles and quizzes that can test your knowledge and skills.
Watch and analyze: Watching and analyzing bridge games played by other players can help you learn from their mistakes and successes. You can watch live or recorded bridge games online or on TV, or attend bridge tournaments as a spectator. You can also use software or apps that allow you to replay and review bridge deals.
Get feedback and advice: Getting feedback and advice from other players can help you improve your bridge skills and confidence. You can ask your partner, opponents, friends, or teachers for their opinions and suggestions on your bidding, play, and score. You can also join online forums or groups where you can discuss bridge topics with other players.
Have fun and be positive: Bridge is a game that should be enjoyed and appreciated. You should have fun playing bridge, wheth