The Difference Between Bridge and Poker

Card games that are popular are typically known by many people, but most people fail to realize that even though they are similar, in the sense that they use playing cards and a standard deck, card games can be about as different as a car is from a tricycle.

Today’s two games that we are going to take a look at are bridge and poker. Both are very popular card games, typically played by at least four people, even though you could play poker with fewer. What are the differences between the two games, what sets them apart?

Poker is a Game of Bluffing and Psychology

Poker is a game where you want to bluff your way out of a situation, no matter the hand that you have. If your hand is either good or bad, you don’t want to let anyone know what you have, or do you? A bad hand and a solid smile might be better, who knows? Poker plays out in such a way that nobody knows what’s going on, and you can only guess by looking at the faces and expressions of the opposing players.

Body language skills, understanding what someone is saying without opening their mouths is a very important skill to learn in poker. 

However, the game is also a game of entropy, where you don’t know most of the cards until every hand has played. Even when most people fold, you still are left with guesses and entropy, which makes it much more of a game of chance, rather than skill.

Reading expressions is a very important skill for playing poker.

Bridge is About Partnerships

Bridge is a game where you partner up with a person and everyone is dealt 13 cards. The goal of the game is to beat the other partnership. As the game unfolds, more and more cards are being revealed as the bids go by. By the time all the hands are played, everyone knows all the cards that were in play, which makes bridge more of a game of skill than a game of chance, compared to poker.

Where in one game, your advantage is bluffing and guessing, in the other, namely bridge, you can always get out of a sticky situation by playing the cards that you were dealt with in the best possible way. Almost no hand in bridge can immediately lead to a loss. This is why the game is played by so many people. 

Both Games Are Games of Entropy

Both bridge and poker are guessing games, however, poker relies more on the element of bluffing, because the level of entropy is much higher. Bridge gives you clues throughout the play and while not easier, it allows for more skill expression.

In poker, you have to express your skills to read the situation and fold or match bets depending on what you see in the room. 

In bridge, bluffing or rather, lying, is not an option. Doing things to mask your cards is considered unethical. The game is all about partnerships and disclosure. What one partnership does is available to another. Typically, bridge tournaments for money aren’t played that often, because people are tempted to cheat and bridge is a game of ethics first, and then everything else. 

While both games of guessing and entropy, bridge and poker have glaring differences.