Monday, December 29, 2008

50 Ways to Improve your Life: Learn to Play Bridge

In its end/beginning-of-the-year issue, U.S. News and World Report suggests "50 Ways to Improve your Life".

Among those? Mike Salmon suggests Learn to play bridge!

Never mind the obvious benefit of taking your brain out for a vigorous stroll. The real beauty of bridge is the other players.

When I mention my passion for the world's best card game to the uninitiated, the subject of little old ladies always arises. Certainly, that contingent is represented. Crafty little old ladies. Cunning. But the truth is, the bridge subculture is diverse...Learning to play bridge will allow you to match wits and witticisms with an array of folks whose only other commonality is that they tend to be pretty clever.

You don't need to be a genius to become good at the game, though. Judgment and the ability to focus are greater assets than sheer mental muscle, and both develop with experience. The basics of bridge can be learned in an afternoon. It's a trick-taking game, like spades and hearts, but with a few extra layers that make it much more interesting....

With about 3,200 bridge clubs in North America, the ACBL can help find one near you. Clubs typically charge a small fee (generally about $5) for three hours of play, and that often includes snacks. Clubs are eager for new members and will usually help you find a partner. There are thousands more clubs worldwide. You'll no doubt find a warm welcome at every one.

If it helps, I have a guide to learning bridge (with basic and beginning bid sheets) on my website.

I learned to play in my Calculus class as a senior in high school. (I didn't learn much math!) And I've played off and on over the years, including a number of years with my Memaw and two of her octogenarian friends.

I've never played at a bridge club; maybe when the kids are older. For now, I still play at Yahoo Games on occasion. And we used to have a Bridge group-- before we broadened it to a Games Night (emphasizing so-called "German" board games).


At December 30, 2008 at 5:21 PM , Blogger Mike said...

The link to your website is not correct. Moreover, the PDF guides on your website appear to no longer be on the server.

At January 7, 2009 at 12:22 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

Thanks Mike. I've fixed it now!

(And sorry it took so long; I haven't been back to school since Christmas.)

At March 16, 2010 at 10:56 PM , Blogger entog said...

Very nice lens! Bridge is fun to play, but the better you play, the more fun it is. As you improve, you will be fascinated at discovering how much there is to the game. Despite popular opinion to the contrary, bridge is not difficult to learn. Learn how to play bridge contract card game and improve your bridge game in less than five minutes a day. Keep on posting interesting stuff, more power to your blog.


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