Does anybody still play bridge?

Back in my college days in the early 70s, bridge was a given. Around noon, someone would shout out “forth” and the game would begin and continue at least until midnight, with people leaving and being replaced.

Now, it strikes me that people play Texas Hold 'Em if they play cards at all.

I dropped out of playing after college (my wife didn’t know how to play, and it was hard to find two others anyway). I was wondering if anyone still played the game.

Do younger people these days even know what bridge is?

My parents belong to a bridge club, but I don’t know any younger people that play it. On the other hand, they still run that bridge column in the newspaper, so someone must be reading it.

I’m another one who knows of a parent in several bridge clubs, but I don’t play, myself.

Of course I’ll play Pinochle. So, YMMV.

They play it at our college games club.

I have never taken it up because of “The Recriminations Phase” of each hand, where your partner, with the enthusiastic help of the other players, explains exactly what you did wrong.

I dunno, I like lighter trick-taking games, but never had much interest in Bridge. There are so many other more amusing things you can play with four players.

Bridge is an excellent game. Both of my parents were killer players, so I learned as a kid but didn’t enjoy it. (That whole “gentle with the newbie” thing didn’t really come naturally to them.) About ten years ago, I had a weekly game going for over a year with two other baby boomers and a woman our parents’ age. That worked well because the three young uns were all at a similar skill level, and the older, more expert, woman was extremely tolerant. I haven’t played since, though I’d love to get back into it – it’s a lot of fun.

I teach high school and taught a bunch of my students to play spades–which I love. Spades became very, very popular–the BC calculus class quit meeting entirely after the AP test, and hte other AP classes slowed down considerably, and those kids played spades for about three weeks straight–and the ones that are very good at spades–better than I, frankly–have expressed interest in learning bridge. Unfortunantly, I don’t play, so I can’t teach them . But there is definite interest there for complex card games among the younger generation.

When I was in college (60’s) my wife-to-be and her mother had tried many games before deciding we wanted to learn Bridge. Some college friends who were into cards of all types joined us and we got to be addicts. Several of those friends were very good players – at least by my standards. I read several books (Goren, Culbertson, etc.) and tried to become aware of the conventions and systems. But by the time I found I could play chess with one person (instead of three) and that I could learn much more about strategy and tactics in that game, I gave up on bridge.

In recent months, my daughter and her husband have wanted to learn bridge so my wife and I have been trying to help them get familiar with some of the finer points. But my knowledge and experience is 30-40 years old and I can’t remember most of what was cool at the time I was “serious” about it. I do suspect my grandkids will be developing an interest of their own, but I can’t swear to it.

It’s too good a game just to go away. There will always be serious players.

I play bridge (as well as chess :slight_smile: ). However the average age at my bridge club is undoubtedly over 50.

Chess is easy to learn (just the moves of 6 different pieces), and you can estimate your progress in a game by just counting material. There’s no luck. Of course it’s a very deep game, but you can usually find someone to play with (including a computer.)
You can start playing around 6 years old. It doesn’t cost much to play. There are plenty of chess books to read.
However it’s NOT a sociable game, and appeals far more to men.

Learning bridge divides into two parts:

  • the card play (which is easy to teach and measure progress)
  • the bidding, which takes a long time before you can do it without help

The English Bridge Union get round this with a concept called Minibridge, which basically skips over bidding and sets the contract, ready for play.

There is luck in rubber bridge, but you need 8+ players before you can play duplicate bridge.
Bridge is played by roughly equal numbers of men + women, but appeals less to the young.

I used to play every week with three other guys. Then I moved half and hour away and it became much more difficult to play regularly. We still get together once or twice a year and play. I think we all miss it. For what it’s worth, I’ll be 40 this year.

I learned bridge in high school, but didn’t really get into it until my mid-twenties. I guess I came by it naturally. My grandmother was an avid player and a Master of some degree. She was in a club of two tables that lasted at least 50 years. Both my parents play, although not regularly.

Both my parents play regularly. In tournaments and with friends.

My fiance has played in the past but no longer does.

My parents tried briefly to teach me to play, but I resisted successfully (I was eleven - what do you want? Bridge wasn’t cool!).

I started playing bridge in grad school, maybe 15 years ago. We had a once-a-week bridge group and the occasional well-into-the-night bridge party

Eventually, people scattered and I now only play on-line using OKBridge.

Sadly, even though it’s a very social game, not too many younger folks play it. I’m well into middle age now, and last time I went to a bridge club I was still the youngest person there by a decade or two.

I tried to play it, but ran into the problems discussed earlier regarding, “The recrimination phase.” What is it with this game that invites wierd math types who insist on angrily pointing out how, “If you would have played the singleton, then we might have finessed Bob, and we could have X, and Y, and Z, and world peace would have resulted, but no, you fucked it up?”

Maybe I just had a bad crew, but most of the bridge players I know of are a little too into the game. Remind me a bit of role-players/wargamers in that respect; just a little “off.”

Speaking of the recriminations phase, a less-than-stellar player partnered with George S Kaufman, after making numerous mistakes in a hand, timidly asked GSK, “how would you have played that hand?” Kaufman answered “Under an assumed name.”

My parents play bridge and have for at least 50 years. They play separately and together in a number of groups. I have many fond memories in childhood of cleaning up the leftovers from their bridge parties. My dad got very interested several years ago and made a concerted effort to improve his game. My mom (who as far as I’m concerned is the superior player anyway) hasn’t, and we had a talk once about how she would’ve prefered that my dad go through his improvement phase about a decade earlier when she was having her own improvement phase.

I know how to play but I don’t, because I have no one to play with. I don’t like the idea of playing bridge on the internet, which makes little sense because of course I play poker on the internet on pretty much a daily basis. I play on my own computer every so often but I don’t think I’ve played for six months. Back about twelve years ago shortly after I moved to Madison I got involved with a gay bridge club for a couple years but I went through some tough times and drifted away from it (bizarrely enough one half of the founding couple ended up as my boyfriend a couple years ago; he’d also stopped playing bridge, preferring psycho head games instead). Now I’m pretty well consumed by poker so I haven’t sought out any bridge playing opportunities, but I still read the bridge column in the paper. Whether I understand the bridge column in the paper is another story.

EnderW24 plays.

Not much for bridge, but I love cutthroat hearts (the version wth the -10 Jack of Diamonds) and “Oh Heck” (aka “nomination whist” but no one I know calls it that), which are based on the same concepts of trick, suit-following, and trump-suit as bridge.

Well, hearts doesn’t do the trump-suit thing, actually. [Previewing doesn’t catch slips of the brain, apparently]

I love bridge. I learned from my grandmother, and was for a while a quite serious ACBL member, although now I don’t really have a regular playing group.

I’m 31.

I sometimes go to a bridge club in LA with my regular partner down there and we are always the youngest in the room by 30 years.
By the way, Ahunter3, Hearts is SO much better with no Jack of Diamonds. I’ll pompously pontificate on why if you’re curious. And Oh Hell is quite a fun game.

My favorite “recrimination phase” story is from a married couple at a bridge club. The wife laid down the dummy, the husband looked at it, and said, with a totally straight face, “Why didn’t you bid spades like a human being?”

I learned a bit of bridge through the computer, but I don’t know anybody my age (29) who also plays the game, so I’ve never really had the chance to practice in real life. I have two total card geek friends and, since we can never find anyone to share our obsession with, we learned an excellent 3-hander called “Skat” (an extremely popular German card game–perhaps you can even call it the national card game) from a book on cards. In the end, I think I like it better than bridge. It’s a little less cerebral than bridge, quicker, offers more variety of play, and is just plain fun. The perfect trick-taking game (point-trick, to be precise) when you’re lacking a fourth.

There’s a three-handed bridge variant in which you deal out four hands and turn up six cards from the fourth hand, which will be the dummy hand. Each of the three players bid as if the dummy hand is their partner, with the six up cards substituting for the information you’d get from bidding. Once the contract is reached the two non-contractors play as partners.

Both of my parents play regularly with their local bridge club. I used to play every day at lunchtime when I was at uni. I still play every now and again.