The Best 10 Bridge Books for Holidays (& Beyond!)

The Best 10 Bridge Books for Holidays (& Beyond!)

By Alex J. Coyne © Great Bridge Links

Setting up your reading list for the end of 2021, or the beginning of 2022?

The bridge greats have had a busy time, and there are more than a handful of new bridge books to read. Barry Rigal, Kit Woolsey, Mark Horton, and Barbara Seagram are only some of the veteran bridge writers who have had just one more thing to say – and we’re very glad for it!

Here are 10 of the best bridge books for the holidays.

1. Test Your Bridge Judgment (Barry Rigal)

Test Your Bridge Judgment was first released in the 90s, and is still one of the top-selling bridge books of our age. The collection of tests in this book is great for any skill level, and designed to teach a great volume of information in a short time. 

It’s been released again, with a 2021 update by the author. 

Even if you’ve read it before, read it again: it’s like a whole new book!

2. The Language of Bridge (Kit Woolsey)

The Language of Bridge explores bridge and one of its most important aspects: partner communication.

Released in 2018, Woolsey’s text became the 2018 IBPA Book of the Year – and should make an essential part of your reading list if you want to better your partner communication (and on the side, know what your opponents might be going on about).

Bridge communication can be complicated: Kit Woolsey shows you that it doesn’t have to be.

3. Misdefend These Hands with Me (Mark Horton)

One of the most important things about learning a new skill is the freedom to make mistakes. Misdefend These Hands with Me is a unique book: it shows readers the wrong way to do it first, and then explains how it can be done better. 

It’s a refreshing change from most instructional books about cards or board games. In a sense, what you’ve got here is a how-not-to-do-it-guide from the author.

Recommended, even advanced players can learn something.

4. Bridge Crosswords (Jeff Chen)

If you like mixing your puzzles together, the Bridge Crosswords collection is a wonderful book of bridge crosswords by Jeff Chen that can keep any crossword enthusiast busy for hours. A first and second book is available for complete crossword nuts.

5. Pancakes & Waffles (Alan Deserpa)

Pancakes & Waffles is a book of quirky columns and bridge bidding by writer Alan Deserpa, a regular feature in The Bridge World. He’s got a great, fun writing style (and if you aren’t familiar with his bridge writing yet, this book is the perfect excuse to get to know his work).

6. Barbara’s Quizzes

Barbara Seagram has been in the business of teaching bridge for several decades.

Barbara’s Quizzes is a collection of her best tests and question papers on the game, with answers at the end – though no cheating! 

The book collects 30 updated quizzes that cover a range of different topics that’ll give you a real mental workout.

7. Bidding in the 21st Century

Bidding in the 21st Century is one of the most popular bridge books of all time. It’s a frequent recommendation for new and novice players – or older ones who are just a little more rusty. Here’s a new release that sports an updated cover. Content, for the most part, is the same as prior releases (but still as good as ever!)

8. LOL (Danny Kleinman)

LOL is an acronym that, for this book, means loser-on-loser – a technique whereby a player deliberately throws a losing card into play against a lower card. 

There aren’t many bridge books out there which are this technique-specific, and LOL is a very unique (and very, very useful) take on how to use your lowest cards to their highest benefit in play.

Jude’s note: Years ago – in the 1990s, the term LOL first came up in online bridge (back when a person needed a Unix Box and bridge was white type on a black screen) and meant ‘Little Old Lady’ – typically someone at a bridge table people assumed they’d be able to get a good board from. At some point it morphed into Laughing Out Loud – and then apparently Loser-on-Loser!

9. Bridgerama+

Bridgerama+ is a new, expanded version of Bridgerama Magazine, covering current bridge news, features, strategy and player interviews. 

No, not everyone reads books, but articles and magazines still count as reading!

Bridgerama is available as a subscription, or by-issue.

10. Barbara’s Bridge Tips (Barbara Seagram)

Barbara’s Bridge Tips is the second book on this list from Barbara Seagram: while they are not technically companion books, Bridge Tips and Quizzes are a great bridge book bundle suggestion that can be read together.

Barbara’s Bridge Tips was released in November 2020, and collects some of her best bits of advice through the years in a single book. 

Bonus Content

Bridge at the Top, by Samantha Punch featuring interviews with many of the world’s top bridge players, and Bridge with a Twist, by Simon Cochemé, a witty and informative look at the world of bridge, were tied for the 2021 International Bridge Press Association (IBPA) Book of the Year Award – you can find them both on Master Point Press

What’s on your reading list to end 2021, or start 2022?