An Introduction to Duplicate Bridge

Are you a serious bridge enthusiast looking to explore club or tournament bridge? Then duplicate bridge might be just what you’re looking for. Many residents of Lake Ashton FL retirement community enjoy the fun yet competitive nature of bridge and have taken to playing duplicate bridge in the ballroom. If you and your partner are interested in playing this variation of contract bridge, go along and give it a try.

Duplicate bridge is the most popular variation for club and tournament play. It gets its name because the same bridge deal is played at each table. Rather than coming down to chance, by duplicating the same deal at the start, players truly get to show off their skill and aren’t necessarily hampered by a run of bad deals. Everyone has the same hand to play, evening the start of the game, but players and pairs shine as scoring is based on relative performance.

Four-way card holders, called bridge boards, are used so that each player’s hand can be passed along intact to the next table that will be playing the deal. To help with the actual process of the bidding, bidding boxes are used to minimize the noise level and to prevent the accidental passing of information. Pairs typically play together throughout an event, although this can change in team or individual tournaments.

When playing in a pairs tournament, each deal is played a certain amount of times by different players, at which point the scores are then compared. After a hand is played, the North player writes the results on the travelling sheet. As well as the numbers of the North-South and East-West pairs and the score achieved, the travelling sheet also frequently includes the contract, the number of tricks won, and the opening lead. The traveller is so named, because it travels with each board. By being able to see how they did on each board, pairs potentially can change their strategy, playing more conservatively or aggressively. This can be both a positive and a negative.

The scoring technique, particularly in matchpoints scoring, is where duplicate bridge really differs from rubber bridge. Since pairs are playing the same cards, the goal is to do better than all of the other pairs, rather than simply winning more points than the pair you’re playing against. For example, in matchpoints duplicate bridge, 30 points above the line for an overtrick can get you a top score and can be worth the risk. Alternatively 800-point penalties are no worse than any other bottom score.

If you’re interested in learning more about duplicate bridge, talk to the director or players at the Lake Ashton FL retirement community. They are sure to welcome you and explain any differences along the way, helping you enjoy this variation of a very popular game.