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Become a Bridge Lifemaster

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Contract bridge, or simply bridge, is a trick-taking game using a standard 52-card deck. Millions of people play bridge worldwide in clubs, tournaments, online and with friends at home, making it one of the world's most popular card games, particularly among seniors.

The game of bridge has two main parts: the Bidding (also called the Auction) and the Play. You should learn the play first because it will give you a better sense of what the bidding means. In fact, learning the bidding first is a mistake and can be a turnoff to new players.

Bridge is a partnership game requiring four players. Each player sits opposite his partner at a card table (in this age of computers the concept could be a simulated).

One of the players deals all of the cards, 13 to each player, in clockwise rotation, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer.

One way to determine the partnerships and the first dealer is to draw cards. The two highest cards are partners against the two lowest, and the highest card deals. In the case of a tie (e.g., two aces) it is broken by the suit rank. Partnerships can be prearranged if desired and just draw to see who deals first.

In bridge there are four suits, and they are ranked: spades (highest), hearts, diamonds and clubs (lowest). The ranking is for bidding purposes only. In the play all suits are equal, unless one suit has been named as trumps, then it beats all the others. Suits are sometimes shown as symbols, or abbreviated: S, H, D, C.

The cards of each suit are ranked from the ace (highest) through the two (lowest). The exact order using common abbreviations: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. Note that the ace is always high, unlike in some card games such as poker or gin rummy, where it can be low.

As an interesting side note, the one person who brought the game of bridge to the American and European bridge playing public, Mr. Ely Culberson never attained the level of an ACBL Life Master, but he was named Honorary Member in 1938. Source:

The rank of Life Master was once the highest rank any bridge player could achieve. The designation was created by the American Bridge League in 1936 and the selection of the first Life Masters was based on national tournament successes.