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How to Play Bridge Online

You're never without a bridge partner if you play online. The Internet provides a vital forum for bridge players all over the world. Currently, you can find hundreds of bridge-related websites that offer everything from bridge games to bridge instruction.

Playing online bridge (against humans)

The Internet allows players all over the world to play against each other online, keep abreast of the latest conventions, find out what’s happening in the bridge world, and connect with suitable partners. One can also kibitz (or observe) famous experts because bridge players from novices to experts all enjoy playing online. Here are some tempting options:

  • Bridge Base Online (BBO): A free online service in which more than 100,000 people (including many new players) from all over the world play bridge over the Internet. BBO regularly produces live broadcasts of major tournaments. This is a great way to watch the world’s best players in action.

  • MSN Games:A free online service that offers the possibility to play many different games, including bridge. Players from all over the world participate at this site, which offers the following:

    • Great practice or a low-pressure game

    • Casual play with other gamers

    • Playing in better games when you’re ready to get serious

  • OKbridge: OKbridge Bills itself as the original Internet bridge club. The resources available here are easily among the finest offered on the Net. For a fee of some $100 a year, OKbridge offers possibilities of playing 24/7 with your own foursome, playing with a partner of your choice, or just digging up a partner if you don’t have one.

    You can match wits or kibitz some of the game’s top players. If you intend to play on OKbridge, don’t forget to stop by the library to check out the glossary of abbreviations used during the play — otherwise, how could you possibly know that “GLP” stands for “Good luck, partner.”

Finding bridge information online

You can locate plenty of entries of bridge-related topics by accessing search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. In addition, the following Web sites have links and useful information for all kinds of bridge players:

  • The American Contract Bridge League (ACBL): The ACBL is an excellent source of information about current events in the bridge community, bridge clubs all over America, and new conventions and techniques. Membership is $26 for the first year. After that, membership is $35 per year or $95 for three years. If you’re 26 years old or younger, membership costs $14 per year. (The ACBL encourages younger players as much as it can.)

  • The Bridge World: The popular offline publication The Bridge World puts a sampling of its content online at this site. Here, you can find a brief introduction to the game, bridge practice hands and puzzles for intermediate-level players, and the obligatory plea for subscriptions to the offline magazine.

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