10 Great Bridge Resources - dummies

By Eddie Kantar

When you get hooked on the game, you may want to reach out for bridge information. Here’s some help! Keep reading for ten great references and resources that you may find handy.

The American Contract Bridge League

Joining the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) is a must-do. The ACBL is an excellent source of information about current events in the bridge community. The league can help you find bridge clubs throughout the country as well as locate local and national tournaments all over America. At times it even offers sanctioned bridge cruises at sea. The ACBL also maintains a fabulous website with a wealth of information for new players.

Bridge Bulletin is the official publication of the ACBL and is worth many times more than the yearly dues. The magazine includes a special “New Players Section” as well as sections for intermediate and advanced players with monthly articles by various bridge writers, including yours truly.

Membership is $29 for the first year. After that, membership runs $39 per year or $111 for three years. If you are 26 years old or younger, membership costs only $15 per year. (The ACBL encourages younger players as much as it can.) You can contact the ACBL by phone at 662-253-3100.

Your local bridge club

The local bridge club is a great place to go when you’re starting out with bridge. Clubs offer all kinds of enticements, including beginning and intermediate lessons, but best of all you can get together and play with people who are at approximately your skill level. Nothing can supplant actual play for gaining experience. Suddenly the books you read make more sense because you actually experience what you read about.

Visit the ACBL website for more information about how to contact bridge clubs in your area.

Adult education classes

Some adult schools offer bridge classes at modest prices and give you an opportunity to meet newer bridge players like yourself. Check your local high school or parks and recreation department for adult education classes in your area. You may get lucky.

Your local library and bookstore

Most libraries have a reasonable selection of bridge books, and borrowing a book is cheaper than buying one, especially if you’re just starting out with the game. Of course, your local bookstore also may have the latest bridge books if you want one of your own.

The Daily bridge column in your newspaper

Some people who don’t even play bridge read the bridge columns because they’re amusing. A good column is informative, instructive, and entertaining. The major bridge columnists usually come through on all three counts. Here are four good bets, in no particular order (they’re all winners):

  • “Bridge” by Frank Stewart
  • “Goren on Bridge” by Tannah Hirsch
  • “The Aces on Bridge” by Bobby Wolff
  • “Bridge” by Steve Becker

Shop around in other major newspapers if you can’t find the column you want to read in your regular newspaper.

Bridge magazines

Some of the information in the following magazines may go a tad over your head until you have played a little bridge, but all of them offer articles for beginners.

Bridge Bulletin

This fabulous magazine comes from the ACBL.

The Bridge World

The Bridge World is the granddaddy of all bridge publications and is the most respected bridge publication in the world. Unfortunately, the magazine is aimed primarily at advanced players. However, don’t despair; The Bridge World offers information for players of all levels, including beginners, at its website.

You can contact The Bridge World at the website or email circulation@bridgeworld.com for current subscription information.

Better Bridge by Audrey Grant

Audrey Grant, a top international instructor, offers a bimonthly 24-page magazine. Each issue is full of useful information brought to you by the world’s best players and writers. Many up-to-date tips will have you playing better bridge. The price is $29. Check out BaronBarclay.com or phone 800-274-2221 for more information.

Bridge software programs

Many excellent teaching programs are available for the computer.

The internet

You can surf the Net to find all kinds of bridge information and to play bridge online. By the way, kantarbridge.com, is loaded with tips, quizzes, books, travel plans, and even a section on bridge humor. Check it out.

Bridge supply sites

Want a bridge book, bridge software, or a bridge-related gift? Here are a couple of proven suggestions for obtaining these items.

Baron Barclay Bridge Supplies

3600 Chamberlain Ln., #206

Louisville, KY 40241

Phone: 800-274-2221

You can ask for a free catalog before you make any command decisions.

Amazon.com also offers many bridge-related items, including books, cards, special bidding boxes, and other useful paraphernalia to enhance your game.

Bridge travel

Would you like to go on a bridge cruise? Would you like to spend a week at a beautiful five-star hotel and be surrounded with bridge activities? Read on.

Bridge instruction on cruise ships

Cruise ships offer an unequaled opportunity to immerse yourself in bridge activities. Many major cruise ships set sail with a bridge teacher on board. When the ship is at sea, you get a lesson in the morning and the chance to enter a friendly tournament in the afternoon. However, you can simply play bridge in the card room, if you prefer. Check with the cruise line you’re interested in to verify whether it offers a bridge program.

Bridge tours

Bridge tours offer great opportunities to play bridge to your heart’s content at some really great places. There are several travel agencies that deal specifically with bridge groups, but you can type “contract bridge tours” into your favorite search engine for more options.

Liz Nixon’s World of Cruise and Travel

Phone: 800-548-2789

Email: cruzqueen43@gmail.com

Bridge Holidays with Roberta and Arnold Salob

Phone 800-807-7009

Alice Travel

Phone: 800-229-2542

Finesse West Tours

Phone: 800-548-8062