Judy Kay-Wolff

Great Misconception:       “ Bridge is Just Another Card Game! ”

HARDLY!!! I know my serious followers will agree!

Bobby has always heralded the numerous areas of our lives, outlooks and achievements (logic, reasoning, predicability, etc.) which have strengthened our thinking trends! I wanted to share with you the following tribute to the many assets of bridge learning with those who do not read Bobby’s daily Internet Column Aces on Bridge which appears on the same bridgeblogging.com site as mine (courtesy of Master Point Press).

The following was his thinking and reflections upon the learning process.

…. While some people feel that card playing is, at best a waste of time, in truth and at least as far as bridge is concerned, becomes a tremendous exercise in psychology; it delves deep into what adversaries (whether it be cards, business or even love) are thinking and so (in old times during wartime) hastened the building of walls, moats, mined areas and barbed wire fences as well as developing whatever amounted to counter espionage during those time periods.

I believe what he is alluding to is .. one must consider the many possibilities in bidding, declaring and defending! Bridge is an all-consuming game if we want to succeed!


LisaAugust 11th, 2017 at 4:58 am

Dear Judy,

My family has played bridge for eons. I often overheard them discussing that there is a big difference between the ‘social’ and ‘serious’ aspects of the game — and that to elevate your status, you must give it your all! But, listening to them discussing some of the world class players they have met, they were mightily impressed with their accomplishments. I am convinced that bridge is not just another card game!

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 11th, 2017 at 6:14 am

Hi Lisa:

Your assessment is indeed on target! There is a huge difference between good, excellent, expert and world-class players. The last category separates the men from the boys.

Being bright has little bearing on one’s bridge capabilities; similarly, being an ultra-successful businessman does not automatically transform one into a talented performer! I must add that surprisingly intelligence, in itself, is not the key to bridge success! Inate ability (or numeracy as Bobby refers to it) is the key factor which leads one to great heights.

Few people are blessed with that God-given quality. The majority of players enjoy the sociability of getting together at home to chat, nibble and gossip; others are drawn to the challenges of rubber bridge .. while the majority of bridge devotees adore playing non-stop at duplicates, local tournaments plus the three annual national tounaments held around the country. The latter was my happy involvement for over five decades!

In fact, when I learned the game in college, I was totally consumed with it (to the exclusion of all else till I was thirty). I kid you not. I found little time for socialiizing. Then by some lucky quirk of fate, I met and married a bridge player named Norman Kay and learned what ‘real bridge’ was all about. What a revelation .. or more candidly .. a ‘shocker.’

I was finally awakened to the reality that bridge was not ‘just another card game.’

CPAugust 12th, 2017 at 5:26 am

One does not understand the transcending levels of bridge until he or she move from Kitchen Bridge to Duplicate to Regionals/Sectionls and eventually to the National level. It can be better viewed as bridge and BRIDGE.

AlanAugust 12th, 2017 at 5:42 am

Well said, CP!

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 12th, 2017 at 5:51 am

No one ever said bridge was an easy game. The more you learn, the sooner you realize how little you know (including Yours Truly)! Perhaps the never-ending challenge is a great incentive! The majestic aspect of bridge is like no other card game!

JoanAugust 12th, 2017 at 6:28 pm

This is a bit off topic, but I am curious what you think was the greatest contribution to enhance the game. Would be interested to hear from other readers as well.

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 12th, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Yes, Joan, off topic but a great subject. I am sure there are many different views.

However, in my mind, NOTHING is comparable to Fred Gitelman’s ingenious introduction of BBO (Bridge Base Online) making it a universal operation.

And, going one step further .. as far as famous bridge sayings, I credit Marty Bergen for his hilarious term: POINTS, SCHMOINTS. I always cringe when I hear players say … “But I only had ____ number of points” .. wanting to blurt out that your score is based on TRICKS TAKEN/NOT NUMBER OF POINTS HELD!

richard e willeyAugust 16th, 2017 at 1:42 pm

FWIW, the roots of what we now call the field of Probability and Statistics was actually developed to analyze various problems that arose in gambling.

There’s a reason why so many of the example and methods seem well suited to analyzing card games, rolling dice, and the like. (And why you have examples trying to infer whether or not a coin is “fair”)

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 16th, 2017 at 10:14 pm

Hi Richard,

Thanks for writing .. although I am not certain to what you are alluding. Please fill me in.

richard e willeyAugust 18th, 2017 at 10:25 pm

I am simply agreeing that bridge can be an extremely useful pedagogical tool

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 19th, 2017 at 3:47 am

Agreed, Richard! Unfortunately, most people overlook positive ramifications like that!

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