Famous Bridge Players You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

Card games are popular but they are not popular enough for the average person to know the celebrities in the world of a specific card game. A game like bridge is very popular, yet it is a game that is considered to be played by old people only.

That isn’t true, but there is a low likelihood that a non bridge-invested person would know any of bridge’s great players, champions or otherwise ambassadors for the game. These are the greatest and most famous bridge players.

Charles Goren

Charles Henry Goren is known as Mr. Bridge. He was a professional bridge player who managed to win many times, but other than that, he was also very popular in the media. He was quoted saying that you should play bridge for fun, exclusively. If you start to play bridge for anything other than fun, you should move to a competitive sport, something like tennis.

He also said that you should always play the game that your partner plays, no matter how much more you know about bridge than the partner. Goren stopped appearing in tournaments after a stroke in 1966, at the age of 65. He lived until 1991, but his health was deteriorating during the time and he made very few public appearances.

Bob Hamman

Born in 1938, Bob Hamman is a great bridge player, still with us to this day. He played competitive bridge and won many tournaments. He was known to play bridge for the entirety of a day, with partner Ralph Clark. Recognized by the giant names of his generation, namely the aforementioned Charles Goren, Bob Hamman is a staple name in the world of bridge.

Hamman has played in many tournaments and has even won some late in his career, the last one being in 2012.

Benito Garozzo

Born in 1927 in Italy, Garozzo is considered to be the greatest ever player to have played bridge, by many of his fellow bridge players. Himself, he thinks that he had a good team and had the worst temperament among all of them. The team he played in was the famous Squadra Azzura or Blue Team. Even within the Blue team, Belladonna and Forquet, both legendary bridge players, would ask Garozzo when a problem was too difficult to solve. He always had a good idea in the back of his head. One of his mottos was to never stop learning, no matter how much you win.

Helen Sobel Smith

Born in 1910, Helen Sobel Smith was a great bridge player. Her appearance at tournaments was very deceptive. She would fear sunglasses to make people believe that she was a dumb blonde. She was a longtime bridge partner with Charles Goren, and the two won many tournaments together. Despite her competitive nature, she was quoted saying that most points are lost to unnecessary overcalls. 

Bridge is a popular game, but not popular enough that bridge stars will be known outside of bridge. Now, you know of some of bridge’s most decorated professionals.

The Most Popular Card Games

We know how to play card games, or at least some of them. Not all card games are remotely similar, even though they might be using a similar deck. A 52 deck is a standard deck but it also doesn’t have to be. There are games that don’t use standard decks, but use their own special decks. 

There are a plethora of card games that play in their own way, never like we expect them to. Some of these card games are so complicated that they take a lot of time to even become familiar with the basics and only then do you realize how complicated they actually are. 

However, not all complicated games are popular.

In fact, most popular card games are relatively simple. Here is a list of the most popular card games.

UNO

UNO is at the top of the most popular card games that are played today. This is one of those games that uses its own special decks, with cards that are matched according to symbol or otherwise color. 

UNO is a great game to play at parties and is actually one of those games that created a living meme, namely the Reverse UNO trap card. UNO is very simple to play and will always be. 

Adapted variants of UNO using a standard 52 deck exist and have a different name in every country.

Poker

Poker will always be among the most popular card games. It is a game of skill, to a certain point, but also a game of psychology. Your expressions, real or fake, can tell stories of their own, should you master them. 

Poker is a great game to be played in the company of others, particularly if there is actual money involved. Poker has its own World Championships, not to mention local tournaments. Playing in high stakes poker matches is like playing at the Olympics, really difficult to win and against tough, seasoned opponents. 

Blackjack

Blackjack is among the simplest of all the card games. You get a number of cards and you say hit me, to see whether you have reached 21. If you have reached 21 and the house hasn’t, you won. Going over 21 immediately disqualifies the player. 

Blackjack can have huge payouts if you know what you’re doing. 

Bridge

Bridge is one of those games that falls under the category of skill, particularly if you count duplicate bridge. It is a great card game, often played by the elderly, mostly because matches last long. It is one of the only co-op card games.

These are the world’s most popular card games at the moment.

Is Playing Card Games Online Better Than Playing Card Games in Person?

Card games are fun to play. The best way to play card games is in person, of course, right? Some will argue otherwise and there will be good arguments for both for and against playing in person. Playing card games online has become a norm nowadays, like most things. You can open an application and play a game, having your daily fix of whichever card game you enjoy.

But is that the point? For some people, it might be. For others, card games are about socialization. Here is my opinion on whether it is better to play card games in person or online.

Online is More Practical

There is no way around it. If you just want to play a card game and you don’t care who with, even an AI, connecting to the internet and opening an application or website is the way to do it. 

Some people who like playing cards don’t have the time to actually meet with friends and play on a regular basis. In that case, playing online makes the most sense.

You can play a game while commuting or while on a break, which wouldn’t be possible if you wanted to play in person. 

Playing in Person Is Much Better

When you play cards in person, you don’t just play cards, you socialize. As social beings, we need other people to talk to and have fun with. Cards are often very fun and when we share that fun with others, we can make a good day a better one or any type of day a good one.

Cards are a social activity for most people and not one where you simply want to play cards. Even though card games can be fun, interacting and playing with others is what makes 90% of the fun. When you introduce a social aspect, almost everything becomes more entertaining.

Both Are Valid

Playing cards in person or online doesn’t really matter in the end if you like playing cards. Some people don’t have the time or have friends who are continents away. Playing online seems like the most logical thing for them. When you play online, you can meet new people and then have frequent game nights with them. Yes, it would be online, but it would still be a game night.

Playing in person is also a great choice, if you have people to play with. If not, card clubs exist, where all sorts of card games are played, from more traditional card games to trading card games and other more complex innovations like Magic: The Gathering. 

Whether online or in person, playing card games is the goal, so choose whatever works best for you. 

Is Bridge Considered a Sport?

Card games are typically not considered sports. However, some card games get that elevated status and are entered into a different world, where they become sports. How does that happen?

Well, card games are competitive, and some of them are ethical enough that they can become sports, in the same way that some esports titles are considered by the International Olympic Committee.

The game of bridge is a card game, but also one that is a sport. While this answers the question in the title, it still needs more elaboration.

Bridge is Recognized by the IOC

The IOC recognizes bridge as a sport, which is more than good enough to give it a status worthy of worship amongst other card games. When the IOC recognizes something as a sport, it means more than that it is a physical activity which is friendly and competitive.

The IOC considers everything from ethics to violence when they are looking into a  potential sport. Some esports titles are not recognized because they are too violent, the object of the game being to kill others. 

Bridge, chess, go and draught, have founded an organization called International Mind Sports Association, which is recognized by many other international entities, such as UNESCO and WADA.

Bridge is very strict about stimulants, given that games may last up to 6 hours or more.

Some Don’t Recognize Bridge

The European Court of Justice is not all that happy about others calling bridge a sport, themselves denouncing it as such. The reason for bridge not being a sport is that it lacks significant physical exertion. While that is true, bridge is still a very friendly game that people can benefit from, mentally and physically. A relaxing game of bridge is much better than a tension-filled game of basketball where you might end up injured. 

Having significant physical exertion should not be an obstacle for something to enter a world of sports, even though it could be further classified as a mind game. 

Why Bridge is Good for You

Bridge has many mental health benefits, one of the first ones being combating dementia, or rather, preventing it. Most youths who engage in bridge and learn how to play games typically score a lot better in various logical tests and otherwise.

Bridge is a very mentally engaging game that requires lots of strategy and forward-thinking. Bridge allows the player to play any hand and win, which is not something you could say for other card games, which are more luck-based.

Bridge as a game has many social benefits, encouraging the players to socialize and build trust. Bridge has partnerships which are basically random at the start of every game. Joining a bridge club is a great way to socialize and practice strategic thinking. 

Bridge is considered a sport by some people, while some people disapprove of it. This, in the end, is not that important, considering how many people love playing bridge. It is a great game, no matter what a committee might think about it. 

A Brief History of Playing Cards

Playing cards are a large part of our history as a species. They are always there, everyone’s got a deck, often a standard one. What more do you need, except another deck if you’re playing with more than two people? 

Playing cards, like most things in history, had to begin somewhere. With how we tend to twist and turn things, it becomes harder to find the right information about almost anything, let alone something specific like playing cards.

Here is a brief overview of the history of playing cards, where they began and how they progressed.

14th Century Europe

Playing cards in Europe appeared around 1370, in either Italy or Spain. Like most things during that time, playing cards were toys of the rich. They were hand-painted and very expensive. 

Playing cards changed hands and during the 15th century, most of Europe’s upper class had playing cards in their possession, and used them as a pastime activity.

Cards Getting Cheaper

It didn’t take long after the invention or discovery of playing cards for them to get cheaper. The German printing techniques brought prices down, because hand-painting was no longer necessary.

In the late 15th century, around 1480, a French technique of stenciling made card making cheaper, but also managed to simplify the process enough, so that we ended up with the symbols we still use to this day, trefle, pique, carreau and coeur, which translates to clubs, spades, diamonds and hearts. 

Cards Getting More Popular

During the 16th and 17th century, cards were becoming a lot cheaper and were now accessible to the general public. Along with dice, cards were the favorite pastime in pubs and underground gambling dens, or simply gambling dens, because gambling wasn’t regulated at the time.

King Louis XIV used gambling as a way to fund the country, having a single casino which was controlled by the throne. Other countries at the time simply taxed card production. 

The Standard Deck

During the creation of the cards at the end of the 15th century, England imported the French design and we got the 52 standard deck, even though there are other decks. A deck of cards typically has numbers 1 to 10, with the first card also being called an Ace. The cards are colored red or black, with diamonds and hearts being red while spades and clubs black.

Aside from the numerical cards, there are also the royal cards, the jack (which was once a knave), the queen and the king. There are also the joker cards, which have variable value depending on the game.

This is a brief history of playing cards, from the day they were reportedly created to today, when we have all sorts of decks in all sorts of styles.

What is Bridge?

As far as card games go, most people have heard of poker, blackjack and UNO. These are fun and competitive games, some played in casinos for money, even though all of them can be played for entertainment purposes. Card games are plentiful, but one of them stands above them all, and that is bridge.

Bridge might not be for all people, but it is a fun and tactical card game that will test you and your partner’s strengths as players. Bridge is a game of ethics, even though it is a card game.

Here is everything that you should know about bridge, a somewhat mysterious game to the uninitiated.

A Brief History of Bridge

Like most card games, it is hard to pinpoint when bridge was created, but we know that it is a derivative of the game of whist, which was played in 18th and 19th century England. The first rulebook for bridge was written in 1886 by John Collinson. The book was named Biritch, or Russian Whist. Collinson was a financier who worked in Istanbul. The name of the game is said to come from the Russian word for a diplomatic clerk.

Another story says that British soldiers fighting in the Crimean war named the game after the Galata Bridge in Istanbul. 

Earlier mentions of similar games date back to easily 16th century France and Italy, with Rabelais and his game La Triomphe and Francesco Berni and his game Triomfi. Both were trick-taking games.

What is Bridge, Exactly? How do You Play it?

Bridge is played through partnerships. Typically, four players play, with a standard 52 deck, the order of cards being from ace, king, to number 2, from highest to lowest ranking. Partnerships are selected through drawing cards, the two partners being the first ones to draw the highest cards.

The game is dealt to the left of the dealer, each player getting a card until everyone has 13 cards. Typically, two decks are used, one shuffled one while the other is dealt. A trick when all players play a card. A leader can play any card, while the following players must match it if they are able to.

To begin a hand, players can pass, bid, double or redouble. If a play is a bid, double or redouble, and three consecutive plays are a pass, then the game is put into a contract and the state can be trump or no trump. At the end of a game, or rather, contract, the side which makes the contract wins points. 

Is Bridge Played at Tournaments?

Bridge can be played at tournaments but typically isn’t, at least not for money. Bridge follows very clear ethical rules, where you should play the game according to the rules and those people who do not, are often considered unwelcome. It is a game that practices decent behavior and transparentness, meaning that it is a lot different to games like poker. Lying about your hand is very bad in bridge. 

Tournaments are played for pleasure and skill expression, even though some may be played for money. When they are, the players are mostly ethical ones, with cheaters here and there, every once in a while.

Bridge is a rather complicated game that takes a bit of time to learn. It takes even longer to master, but it is a game worth your attention if you want to strategize and express your skill in a game of cards.

How to Play UNO: Here Are The Rules

Card games are popular and we tend to play them to socialize. Some card games are more popular than others, with bridge, blackjack and poker sitting at the top. However, younger people do not like playing games which are too complicated. This is where card games such as UNO come in.

Interested in the rules? Look no further!

UNO – The Rules

UNO is a game that uses a deck with 112 cards and is typically played with three other people. The cards are as follows. There are 19 number cards ranging from 0 to 9, for each of the four colors. The colors are blue, green, red and yellow. There are 8 skip cards, 2 cards per color. The game also has 8 reverse and 8 draw 2 cards, each color having two cards. The game also has 4 wild cards and 4 wild draw cards.

The Object of the Game

The game is won by getting 500 points. In order to win points, the player must not have any cards in their hand. Every player starts with 7 cards, dealt by the player who got the highest number card from the deck. Once the cards are dealt, the top most card is picked, and is added to the DISCARD pile. The rest of the cards are turned face down and are then considered the DRAW pile.

Gameplay

The game is played clockwise, with each player having to match the card on the DISCARD pile, which is facing up, by number or color. The draw cards force the next player in line to draw more cards. The reverse card reverses the order of play. Draw cards can be matched by the same draw cards, thus making the next person in line drawing the sum of the card’s amount. 

If the player has no card to match the topmost DISCARD pile card, they have to draw a card and play it. If they don’t draw a matching card, they lose a turn.

Wild Cards and Skip Cards

Wild cards can change the color of play. Wild draw cards do the same, but they have to have a matching card in the deck, or rather, a card they would be able to otherwise play. Illegally placed cards can be challenged. 

A successful challenge makes the person committing the illegal action draw 4 cards while a failed one makes the person who challenged draw 6 cards. The challenge can be made by only the person who initially had to draw the 4 cards.

Skip cards make the next person skip their turn.

The Endgame

When a player has only one remaining card in their hands, they need to say UNO. If they don’t and the other players are aware of it, they have to draw 4 more cards. The player who has no cards remaining gets a set number of points, based on the remaining cards in the other players’ hands. 

UNO is a great game that is very easy to pick up and even easier to play. It can get very competitive, so pay attention to your friends. It is a great pastime and a good way to socialize.

Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Poker

Card games have grown in popularity recently and even though we spend a lot of time using the internet, we still play card games. Some of these games are the ones you have heard of, such as blackjack and poker.

Today’s topic will be poker, a card game that can be learned in minutes, yet still be difficult enough to master and could take years before one is able to compete at a higher level. The game is also partly luck-based and falls under the category of gambling, but does have a high skill ceiling, as well.

Here is everything you should know about poker.

Poker is a Comparing Card Game

The more you learn, the more you are surprised. Poker is a card game, which is what most people are aware of. However, most people also don’t know that poker is a comparing card game. The object of the game is to have a better hand than the opposing players. The way you determine who has the better hand is by comparing cards in the end, after everyone has received their cards and decided whether they want to fold (stop playing for that round), or call (match) the bet. 

Comparing card games are aplenty, from blackjack to baccarat, to name a few of the ones that you will know off the top of your head.

Poker Has Many Variants

Unlike most games which are relatively fixed and bound in tradition, poker has tons of variants which revolve around the four main ones, straight, stud, draw and community. Texas Hold ‘em belongs to the community group of poker variations, and it is one of the most popular poker types.

Games are also considered to be poker variants if they follow the poker hand rankings, going from five of a kind if wildcards are used, then straight or rather, royal flush, down to the higher card. Given this rule, there are thousands of poker variants. Video poker, for example, is based on the draw poker family, and is more akin to a slot machine than actual poker.

Poker Has Tournaments

Poker has many tournaments. They range from local to international.

The problem with poker is that it has so many variants. Being so versatile, poker is hard to pin down and players would have to adapt and learn new variants if they would want to attend and compete in different poker tournaments. Some World Championships exist, however, neither of them is a single, most anticipated event, like the FIBA and FIFA World Cups are, for example. 

Poker Has Many Video Game Counterparts

Poker is available online, as a video game. Some poker variants can be played online, for free, without any financial stakes. There are also poker games which can be played for money, also available online. Some games can be played against computers, while others can be played against people, albeit still online. Online poker is considered to be harder than regular, because bluffing and other psychological aspects of the game are not available.

Poker is an interesting comparing card game that has been around for centuries. It is still played, online and in person, depending on what the player prefers. Poker has many variants and would take a while for a person to even track them all down, let alone learn their rules.

Bridge is a Game of Skill – Here is Why

Card games are not typically considered games of skill, because there is a huge element of luck involved. Some card games are more skill-based than others, but when you have an element of randomness, it is difficult to attribute winning a game to skill, if a player receives a random card that turns the tide completely in their favor.

Or is it? Bridge is a game which is often considered a gambler’s game, but it can be argued that it is a game of skill. Here is why it is also considered a game of skill. 

Bridge Is Played Against Others

There is no house in bridge, which makes it a perfect card game to play. Given that one is playing against other players, there is a very huge element of skill involved. Games like Duplicate Bridge are considered to be almost completely games of skill, rather than those of chance.The thing that makes bridge different from other card games is that the player gets ample opportunities to play the right hand, as well as the wrong one. Given that most of the error is up to the player, the game is mostly a game of skill. Sure, errors can be made, but that happens all the time, except in bridge, the starting hand doesn’t matter as much as how you play the hand.

Bridge Is Not Easy

Bridge has one of the most comprehensive rulesets that exist for any card game. If you are playing duplicate bridge, as mentioned above, the game becomes almost entirely a game of skill. When the cards are dealt, partnerships need to play together, trying to find the best solution to beat the opposing partnerships. In the end, if duplicate bridge is played, scores are compared because the partnerships are dealt the same cards, hence the duplicate. In this case, the better partnership will win, regardless of the cards they were dealt.

Bridge is a Fun and Social Game

While being a game of skill, bridge is primarily a fun and social game. It is and has been used for socialization more than many other games. While comparable to poker in some regards, bridge is still a game where most of the luck factor is eliminated.

Being a social game, it is always played with at least three other people. In tournaments, partnerships can be teamed up with other partnerships, to make things interesting and remove the element of luck even more.

Due to the nature of bridge and the way the game is played, the cards you’re dealt mean very little. The game is determined by how the cards are played, on both sides of a partnership.

The Differences Between Online and Offline Poker

Games have become different nowadays and what we used to know as regular games have now become digital games. Video games have changed how we play and how we socialize. Card and board games have drastically changed and most people prefer playing video games online rather than playing them in person.

Poker is one of those games that people still prefer playing in person, even though online variants have been available for a long time. The differences between the games can be huge, but also subtle. Here are some of the major differences between the two games.

Online Poker is Practical

Practicality is important in today’s world. Everybody is rushing to get somewhere and with that, it is important to get things done quickly. People talk to other people on the go and they rarely take the time to stop and slow down. This is where online poker fits in perfectly, as a way to play a game of poker relatively quickly. You simply choose an application or website, log in, deposit some money and start playing. Online poker has everything that you want from poker except…

Socialization is Missing

While online poker is practical, it’s missing that one thing that poker was always about, the human factor. A game of poker can change directions in a matter of minutes, if one person assumes a different body position or facial expression. Bluffing, being overly confident, playing psychological games with the competition, this is a huge part of poker.

When you take a look at online poker, none of these things are an option. Players are just names on a rendered table. Telling who is bluffing or who is serious about their hand is next to impossible, which makes online poker much more dangerous.

Online Poker Has More Variety

Given the fact that we can store infinite amounts of data on various storage units, having a multitude of poker variants at your disposal is easier than teaching all your friends to play a different poker game every other week. 

The world is huge and how huge can be found out by queueing for a poker match and instantly finding players to play with. 

Regular Poker Is Still A Favorite

Online poker tournaments are not uncommon, yet people want to watch live poker tournaments, in person and otherwise. There are plenty of international poker tournaments, and they are typically not the same variant of poker. Regular poker tournaments are much more exciting than online poker tournaments. 

You can see the players, sweating, fake-sweating, trying to fool others and find hints of who is actually winning. Online poker removes that tension and makes the game duller, and more of a game of chance than it should be.

Both Are Great

Both online and offline poker are great, simply because they fill a different need in a huge market. Some people have time and patience and will opt for regular poker while others just need a quick game while they are waiting for something.

Whichever type of poker one chooses to play, there is no wrong answer, at least not in general. There might be a wrong answer in a given context, but not in general.

The differences between online and offline poker are not that many, though they are big enough to validate both games and take nothing away from the other.