Common Myths About the Game of Bridge – Debunked!

Myths about Bridge – Debunked!

By Alex J. Coyne © 2017 Great Bridge Links

What’s the most ridiculous myth about bridge that you’ve ever heard whispered around the table? We take a look at some of the most common myths about bridge – and then knocked them right out of the park. Kind of like Mythbusters, except we didn’t get to blow anything up to write it.

Bridge is only for old people.

Hey, who are you calling old? We’d say that this myth has been long-since debunked by the thousands of people who play bridge every day. Bridge, all versions thereof, is played by people from all walks of life, every income level – and every age! There are even great books on bridge available for kids, including Teach Me to Play Bridge  and Bridge is for Kids . Recently the World Bridge Federation launched a wonderful online magazine just for young bridge players called Youth World Bridge. And there are many other resource online – you’ll find a good listing on our own Youth and Junior Bridge Page.

Bridge is extremely complicated.

Bridge can be played by literally anyone, and you don’t need to have ten years’ experience around the poker table to decide that you suddenly want to start playing bridge. It’s one of the most popular trick-taking games out there for a reason: Because it’s not ridiculously complicated to play. As we’ve already pointed out, it can be played by anyone who feels like playing bridge. That’s the great thing about it. On our Learn to Play Bridge pages you’ll find LESSON ONE including YouTube videos. What’s stopping you?

For really simple play, we found something called BIDittle – a game to enjoy with children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors to teach bidding and trick-taking concepts in a game that moves quickly. Not only is BIDittle fun… it’s a great way for you to introduce basic Bridge fundamentals.

Our article Is it Hard to Learn to Play Bridge will set the record straight.

Only sighted people can play bridge.

This is a complete myth! There are many resources available for visually-impaired or blind bridge players, including braille card decks. Take a look at “Modifying Games for the Blind” on the Games Journal (written by Eddie Timanus)  and “Making Bridge Accessible for the Visually Impaired” from Bridge-Tips (written by A DeJordy).

Our research also turned up the story of blind bridge player Peggy Brady, who achieved the title of Life Master at the incredible age of 86. Whoa! You can read the orginal story over at The Messenger.

Bridge can only be played by X amount of people

Nope, nope and nope. While bridge is a game of pairing partnerships, it can be played by nearly any combination of players, including as little as two and as many as eight, ten, twelve or up – so there’s no need to worry if an extra couple make their turn to show up to the next bridge game.

Tally bridge is a fun party bridge where you can let people play against each other in an Individual format or as Pairs – and the Tally Scorecard tells everyone how to move around the room. More information on Tally Bridge can be found here

Honeymoon Bridge is the name for any adaptation of bridge that can be played by two players. Here’s a great list of these games on Pagat click here.

Table Up! Cut in and cut out: In rubber bridge, it is customary on completion of a rubber to invite other players in the room to play in the next one, often by a cry of “Table up”. The players in the completed rubber draw cards to determine who will withdraw; the one or more who draw the lowest card or cards are said to cut out, and their replacements to cut in. In this way, bridge can be played with a crowd of any number.

Bridge is bridge is bridge… 

Nope! There are many different types of bridge, including contract and duplicate bridge – but that’s only the very tip of the house of cards. Here are just a few other forms of bridge you might find fun to play. 

  • Minibridge: Minibridge serves as a simplified version of traditional bridge; according to the English Bridge Union, it was first developed in France and then came to the Netherlands as a way to teach bridge to schoolchildren – but is now enjoyed by all players who feel like a quick game.
  • Duplicate Bridge: Duplicate bridge is one of the more popular forms of bridge, played most often at bridge tournaments and clubs – it’s best played by teams of four making up pairs. It is called Duplicate because all the hands for an evening are duplicated and put into metal ‘boards’. These boards are moved around the room so at the end of the game, everyone has played the same hands. This removed the ‘luck of the deal’ from a game and since its inception in the 1930s it has become extremely popular and is the primary form of bridge played today at clubs and tournaments around the world. The first well-documented duplicate team event took place in England in 1857.
  • Rubber Bridge: This  is a very popular form of money bridge. Unlike duplicate, the hands are shuffled and dealt rather than played from a duplicate board. The scoring is different as well, allowing the players to ‘play the score’ more than they are able to at tournament bridge.
  • Money Bridge Online: Like most other casino and card games, it’s now possible to play money bridge online. This is managed through the use of robots and other restrictions to prevent cheating. Bridge Big is one of the main money bridge clubs online. Here’s an interesting article Where’s the Money Bridge? You can also find small sum money bridge on many of the online bridge clubs these days. Click here for a list of online bridge clubs.
  • Variations – there’s lots of different variations of bridge play including Individual, Team Bridge, there are Bridge Team Leagues, and of course, there are Club Games and Home Games and Party Bridge.

Bridge History Myths

The American Contract Bridge League recently published a great article on Bridge History Myths. You can read it here!

Bridge is a game for humans

Not always! Modern computers and bridge ‘robots’ play thousands of bridge hands every day. And once a year, some of the best bring their humans to the World Championships. You can find out more on the Bridgebot Championships page.

Dogs can play bridge

OK, yeah this is a myth. There is no proven evidence of a dog playing bridge. However, Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz often drew a bridge game into his comic strip – the players were Snoopy (a dog), Woodstock (a little bird) and some of Woodstock’s friends. Alan Truscott once wrote an article about Snoopy’s bridge game for the New York Times.

Photo: ACBL Bridge on Twitter: Dogs playing bridge! Who will win?! @PawsintheCity #nabcdallas #playbridge