By Bridge Club
“No matter where I go, I can always make new friends at the bridge table.” – Martina Navratilova
Perhaps you are more familiar with the simpler, more casual version of bridge commonly played at social gatherings, called floating bridge—abound with sub-4-point washes, hysterical bidding, confused cardplay and random partner calling. But we don’t do that here. With an enormous inherent luck factor, floating bridge isn’t much different from gambling. It… isn’t a hardcore game of skill and intelligence. Where’s the challenge?
Here in Bridge Club, we shun this primitive, unstimulating form of bridge in favour of the real deal—Contract Bridge. Rather than leaving the outcome of the game in Lady Luck’s hands, Contract Bridge demands and rewards concrete skill—extensive bidding knowledge, masterful card play technique, astute card-counting skills, and muuuuch more. The often-heard complaint in floating bridge, “why does my hand have no points zz no point playing :(“ isn’t a problem in Contract Bridge! Each game result is compared with the results of other players who played the identical hand, giving an excellent measure of how well you actually played. Therefore, you can still net the top score with expert defence, regardless of your hand strength.
Each round of Contract Bridge pits two partnerships against each other, North-South and East-West. Play involves 2 stages—bidding followed by cardplay. In the bidding phase, each player utilises a systematic arsenal of bids to convey information about their hand and find the optimal contract to play or defend. The subsequent cardplay phase is where players work their magic, employing various strategies to maximise the odds of defeating their opponents’ contract or making their own. At first glance, all these new terminologies being thrown around can be intimidating. Declarer? Dummy? Vulnerable? Slam? Finesse? What are those?? Don’t worry, these terms will soon be part and parcel of your vocabulary within a few weeks of joining us!
Our training sessions are held weekly on Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:30 to 6:30. Trainings include lessons to help improve your gameplay, followed by informal playing sessions where members hone their skills and put what they learn into practice. Our members also head down to the Singapore Contract Bridge Association nearby at Bishan CC on Friday nights to spar with other bridge enthusiasts. The highlights of each year are surely the numerous competitions we participate in, such as National Schools Teams, Matchpoint Teams, Hwa Chong Cup, and our very own Raffles Pairs.
Don’t worry if you do not have experience playing Contract Bridge or even floating bridge; many of us did not when we first joined Bridge Club! Your friendly seniors are more than willing to offer help and advice to nurture you into an accomplished bridge player in your own right. As long as you are interested and willing to learn, do consider joining us :) We’re confident that your passion and enthusiasm for the game will only grow throughout your journey in this CCA :D So what are you waiting for? The fascinating world of bridge awaits!