What is Bridge?
The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge by Henry Francis defines Bridge as "A partnership game of cards derived from Whist and played by four persons."
The ACBL (American Contract Bridge League) captures the essence and spirit of the game when it says "The world’s most challenging mental sport, bridge is a game of skill, communication and infinite possibilities." See more of ACBL's description at Our Game, Our History.
More History of Bridge.
The mission of ACBL is "to promote the fun and challenge of bridge and support educational and playing opportunities for bridge enthusiasts throughout North America." It does a superb job and should you take up Bridge, please consider joining ACBL to avail yourself to the manymember benefits provided.
How Can I Learn to Play Bridge?
The ACBL's Learn Home Page offers a variety of ways to learn Bridge: How to play bridge, Free software you can download, an An Introduction to Duplicate Bridge , Find a Teacher and Find a Club.
Joining a Bridge Club is a wonderful way to learn bridge; an added benefit is the new friends you make!
You're in luck! There are lots of Bridge books which target the beginner. Many Bridge Clubs have a library available to its' members and most public libraries also have books on Bridge.
Need a recommendation? Try Audrey Grant's ACBL Bridge Series consisting of five volumes: Bidding (Club), Play of the Hand (Diamond), Defense (Heart), Commonly Used Conventions (Spade) and More Commonly Used Conventions.
Audrey Grant (Book, Software, Videos)
Mike Lawrence (books)
Bridge World Recommended Books
Master Point Press - The Bridge Publisher
Bridge software, which runs on your home computer, can be grouped as either Bridge Playing programs that you actually play bridge with or educational programs. Both are terrific tools for learning and improving your bridge. Plus, they are fun.
For your home computer, start with the ACBL free download of the two part course "Learning to Play Bridge." It runs on a Windows PC only.
Bridge Playing programs commercially available are:
The Bridge Baron
Micro Bridge 11
Bridge Buff 12
Introductory Bridge Courses on the Internet.
The Bridge World web site has a 5 lesson Introduction to Bridge consisting of:
Lesson 1: The Mechanics of Bridge
Lesson 2: Bridge Scoring
Lesson 3: Introduction to Declarer's Play
Lesson 4: Introduction to Defender's Play
Lesson 5: Introduction to Bidding
What to do Next ...
Richard Pavlicek's Learn to Play Bridge! is a nice introduction to Bridge. His free online courseBridge Basics is a great place to start learning how to play bridge.
Karen Walker's Karen's Bridge Library offers a wealth of information about Bridge. Start with "On-Your-Own activities", a brief article about Learning Bridge. Try some of her lessons - The Basics.
Bridge School - Fifth Chair Foundation offers a series of lessons for the beginner and also has an archive of articles on various bridge topics. Also check out the Fifth Chair Foundation'sBridge Jargon page for explanations of many bridge terms and conventions.
Colin's Bridge Lesson #1 gives a quick overview of Bridge from the deal, to the Auction, to the Play of the hand and finally, the scoring.
Other interesting links are:
Bidding, Conventions, Defense
21 Rules of Being a Good Partner by Marty Bergen
Bridge Bidding Guide by Richard Pavlicek
There are many places to Shop for Bridge Software, we've created the following as a place to start.
Bridge Software at Baron Barclay
Bridge Base Inc. - Software Index
There are numerous Bridge Teaching software titles available. Below are a few sites to check out.
Larry Cohen (books and software)
Eddie Kantar (books and software)