Bridge, the mysterious, complex card game you remember your grandmother and her friends playing on folding tables in your living room, is for everyone today. With books on how to play the game and monthly magazines dedicated to the art of playing it well, it’s safe to say that this four-person card game is more than just a pastime.
This trick-taking game played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards is a way of life for some — yes, there are professional bridge players — and a way to make friends for others. What’s the appeal? According to the Evansville Duplicate Bridge Club, playing bridge encourages socialization, brain stimulation, and provides an exciting competitive outlet for players. “Anybody can play, but it’s difficult to play well,” says Betsy Becker, president of the club. “It’s not like slapjack.” Also, she adds, it’s a social game that requires two-person teams. “That’s a big part of the fun; real friendships are formed through partnerships.”
The city’s club began in 1952, when a man named Max Blum began hosting bridge games at the Downtown YMCA. Over the years, those small, inaugural get-togethers blossomed into a full-scale nonprofit organization, which today hosts daily bridge games and offers regular lessons for beginners. Now located at 1551 S. Green River Road at the corner of Covert Avenue, the club welcomes an average of 32 players per game — or eight tables of four players — and hosts about nine games each week, including four limited masterpoint games for new and intermediate players and one Easybridge! game for beginners. “It’s so interesting,” says Becker. “Bridge is one of the most challenging card games there is.”
Each bridge game is $5, which includes snacks, and drinks are available for purchase. For more information and to view a schedule of the club’s game times and lessons, call 812-471-3838 or visit www.freewebs.com/edbc. Also, to learn the rules of bridge, visit www.acbl.org.