How Bridge’s Origins Compare to Those of Other Classic Card Games
Everyone knows that Bridge was originally a derivative of Whist, which was then refined by figures such as Harold S. Vanderbilt, who replaced Auction Bridge with Contract Bridge.
However, did you know that British civil servants stationed in India also played a part in shaping the game we all know and love today, or that President Dwight D. Eisenhower was an avid follower of the game and would invite Bridge masters into the White House to teach him its vagaries?
As with any classic card game, it is never as simple to trace its origins back to just one man or one gaming firm. Instead, they are usually adapted and augmented over time by the people who matter the most; the players.
Here are some other classic card games whose origin stories are well worth a read.
Whereas it is generally accepted that Whist and Bridge were developed by Brits and Americans, the origins of Poker are far more difficult to pinpoint. Some historians draw a link all the way back to the 16th century Persian game of As Nas, and others maintain that the French founded the game a century later, deriving it from the then popular card game called Poque.
What is clear is that it was French immigrants who took the game to America, where it became something of a national pastime.
Of course, these days the game of Poker, and especially the Texas Hold’em version, have gone on to outshine Rummy or Bridge, at least in terms of popularity, with people playing in live tournaments as well as those that can be found on the internet. Because those first steps at the poker tables can be tricky, there are free online poker options available before players progress to real money buy-in tournaments.
The game has come a long way from the Persian souks and Parisian cafes all those centuries ago, with records constantly being broken for the highest prize pool or player registration seen at a tournament.
Bridge might have come from the UK, and Poker may have started life in Persia, but Rummy almost certainly has a more Latin flair. It is generally believed to have been invented in Mexico or Spain.
However, it should be noted that there are some striking similarities between Rummy and a game from ancient China by the name of Mahjong.
As you can probably guess, the game borrowed its name from the beverage rum, and is thought to have been called this because it was played by sailors as they drank on the high seas or back in port. Having said that, there are others who say that the name comes from a form of Poker called Rum Poker, which was later altered to become what we know today as Rummy.
Either way, this is a great game that requires nothing but a pack of cards and players ready to do battle.
Dominoes Were the Original Playing Cards
All the games we have mentioned thus far tend to use western card decks, but there are some that came to life long before anyone in Europe or America had dreamed up a 52-card deck.
The very first playing cards ever made resembled something more like Dominoes than cards, carved as they were from ivory or timber cuts by monks from ancient Chinese dynasties.
It was these cards that eventually evolved to become what players know and love today.
So, the next time you see a friend or colleague getting into an argument about card games being older than Dominoes, you can inform him or her that it was in fact the latter that gave birth to cards. Such is the weird and wonderful world of classic games like Bridge, Poker, Rummy and Dominoes.