Bridge, the greatest card game

Bridge is by far the greatest card game of all, and it can provide immense challenge and enjoyment for the rest of your life. The first lesson is intended for the complete beginner, one who knows nothing, or almost nothing, about bridge. If that is you, please join.

Where to begin? Bridge seems to be more complicated than other card games, and beginners are sometimes discouraged by this. Relax! After the first few lessons you will understand the card play involved and be well on your way to becoming a bridge player. Take your time! There is no hurry.

A Few Basics

The game of bridge has two main parts: the Bidding (also called the Auction) and the Play. You should learn the play first because it will give you a better sense of what the bidding means. In fact, learning the bidding first is a mistake and can be a turnoff to new players.

Bridge is a partnership game requiring four players. Each player sits opposite his partner at a square card table.

Bridge is played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards. One of the players deals all of the cards, 13 to each player, in clockwise rotation, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer.

One way to determine the partnerships and the first dealer is to draw cards. The two highest cards are partners against the two lowest, and the highest card deals. In the case of a tie (e.g., two aces) it is broken by the suit rank. Partnerships can be prearranged if desired and just draw to see who deals first.

In bridge there are four suits, and they are ranked: spades (highest), hearts, diamonds and clubs (lowest). The ranking is for bidding purposes only. In the play all suits are equal, unless one suit has been named as trumps, then it beats all the others. Suits are sometimes shown as symbols, or abbreviated: S, H, D, C.

The cards of each suit are ranked from the ace (highest) through the two (lowest). The exact order, using common abbreviations, is: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. Note that the ace is always high, unlike some card games, such as poker or gin rummy, where it can be low.

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