Duplicate Bridge is a great game that provides social interaction, mental exercise, and just plain fun. But it's not the best game for the casual player. You can learn the basics quickly but to truly master it takes years. This is why the game draws many highly intelligent players. With duplicate bridge, you don't win by getting the best cards dealt to you; you win by playing the same cards as other people but playing them better.
Bridge consists of two sets of skills you will need to learn: bidding and playing. With bidding, you determine who will get to name trump and how many tricks they must win. After bidding is complete, the hand is played. Sounds fun, doesn't it? Lets' get started!
The easiest way to jump in and start is to sign up for Bridge lessons. The American Contract Bridge League has developed a standardized course offering and you can visit their web site to find a local teacher. The beginner lessons will teach you the basics of bidding and playing the game. The biggest advantage of lessons is that you will learn in a group and will be playing the game from lesson one.
You can also start to learn on your own by reading books or purchasing software that will teach you the game. Books are good for improving your game but it's hard to beat the interactive play you get from lessons.
Once you get started, play as often as you can. Find a local bridge club and stop by and play in the novice games. Bridge is a partnership game but if you don't have a partner, the bridge director (the person running the game) will usually be able to find a partner for you or may play with you himself. Don't be worried about your skill level, bridge players love to help newbies get into the game.
Play in tournaments. You may think tournaments are for pros but you'd be wrong. Tournaments offer games for all skill levels from raw beginners through world champions. This is true from your local tournament to major national tournaments. I highly recommend attending a regional or national tournament. It's a fun way to immerse yourself in the game and meet other enthusiasts.
Play online. There are interactive games on the internet in which you can play against other people any time, day or night. You will be asked to tell your skills level if you play online and be honest. Expert players can get testy if pitted against new players unknowingly.
Jump in and get started learning and playing duplicate Bridge now.