Ten reasons to play bridge: presenting the game we love to the community

We have plenty of material on this site on how to attract new members to your club, but perhaps not enough on the heart of the matter: why play bridge? Please feel free to use or adapt this in your own bridge promotion.


Ten reasons to play bridge

1. Bridge is an endlessly fascinating game, easy to learn but also mentally challenging to play at the highest level. It is played with 52 cards dealt into 4 hands, and every hand is different; you will almost certainly never see the exact same deal in your lifetime (there are 53,644,737,765,488,792,839,237,440,000 possible deals, if you are mathematically curious).

2. Bridge is a lot of fun. At a typical club, participants play around 24 hands in a session (though fewer if you are just starting out), and each one can be triumph or tragedy as you try to out-play and out-wit your opponents.

3. Bridge is good for you. Dr Caroline Small at Imperial College London researched the topic and found:

  • Recent research has demonstrated that individuals taking up membership of a club at retirement live longer.
  • The results of the model suggest that individuals who play bridge have higher levels of overall wellbeing

There are also benefits for young people in learning bridge. It helps to teach mathematical concepts like probability as well as learning to work in partnership with someone else – because bridge is played in pairs.

4. Bridge is a great way to meet people. Young people make friends easily, but it can be harder when we are older, for example when moving to a new location. Joining a bridge club is an excellent way to meet people in the context of a shared activity, so you can socialise as little or as much as you want.

5. Once you learn bridge, you will never be bored again. You can play bridge whenever you want. The best place to play bridge is in a bridge club, but you can also play online, without a partner, and at your own pace, for example with Funbridge.

6. Bridge is inexpensive. Most EBU clubs ask between £2.00 and £3.00 “table money”, that is, the cost of playing in a session that lasts for two to three hours. That’s not much more than the price of a cup of coffee, and less than what you would pay for a pint of beer in a pub.

7. Bridge is so absorbing that you leave your worries behind you. Since you have to concentrate on the game, all the other things on your mind will be forgotten.

8. Bridge is a game for all ages and levels of physical fitness. As long as you can see the cards and handle a bidding card, you can continue to enjoy bridge. Clubs can arrange for you to be seated at the same place at one table throughout the session if you would rather not move about.

9. Bridge is not just for experts. Even if you score badly, you will still probably do well on some of the hands in a session; it is not like chess where there is one winner and one loser. Less experienced players can enjoy seeing how they improve over time.

10. Bridge presents lovely opportunities. Once you can play the game, you can travel to compete in tournaments, some of which are tailored to suit less expert players. You can also enjoy bridge holidays and cruises. Learning bridge is the passport to many enjoyable experiences.

What bridge players think

We asked thousands of bridge players what they like about the game. Here are some of their responses:

  • Bridge is very stimulating. Every hand is new, so you never get bored. It’s absorbing, frustrating, challenging, addictive, satisfying – I love it.
  • I enjoy the mental gymnastics, the infinite variety, and the succession of unique challenges.
  • My wife and I wanted something to do together – as we both were logically-minded and played other card games, we took up bridge.
  • My husband, sometimes uses a wheelchair so it is an activity we can do together.
  • I love the achievement in winning without being aggressive towards others – it’s friendly competition.
  • “Walking into the club, greeting friends, chatting, then being totally absorbed by the bidding and playing of each hand is a wonderful way to spend a happy and sociable evening with the huge bonus of enhancing brain power”
  • I play to socialise and catch-up with friends doing an activity we enjoy. I enjoy being part of a team or partnership – it’s more sociable than games such as chess.
  • I learned as a way to get to know people when I moved city – there’s a real bridge community.
  • I play to meet new friends and enlarge my social group. I recently returned from abroad after many years and it got me back into the community.
  • It gets me out of the house and with people. It gives me focus. When things go well I feel good.

What some celebrities think

Martina Navratilova (tennis champion) “No matter where I go, I can always make new friends at the bridge table”

Bill Gates (co-founder of Microsoft) “Bridge is the king of all card games”

Alex James (pop star, bassist in Blur) “Bridge is utterly compulsive … it isn’t too hard to learn and you actually start enjoying it before you get very good.”

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