Millions of people across the globe enjoy a card game called Bridge. Even folks who have never played the game have definitely heard of it. Especially those of us in our “seasoned” years.
Bridge was hugely popular in the 1960s. Lots of us remember our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and neighbors getting together to play the game. Many of us played ourselves. Some still do.
Bridge is a complex game so it can take some time to learn, but the game is lots of fun once you get down the basics. Bridge is engrossing and invigorating. It challenges you, keeps you thinking, and makes use of your reasoning, memory, and communication skills. Yet, because Bridge is not a rushed or hurried game, it also can be quite relaxing.
Although not as popular as it once was, Bridge has plenty of fans and enthusiasts. You may be surprised by some of the well-known people who play Bridge. Business magnates Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are both avid Bridge players. In fact, Warren Buffett has been quoted as saying that he “wouldn't mind going to jail” if he had “three cellmates who played Bridge."
There are lots of great things about Bridge that may inspire you to learn the game if you’ve never played or to call up some fellow bridge players to set up a game if you just haven’t played in a while.
Bridge is ageless. Just about anyone of just about any age can play Bridge. It is a pastime that you can continue far into the later years of life. Most of the physical limitations that often come with getting older do not get in the way of playing Bridge. It is a game that generations can enjoy together, from children to seniors.
Bridge stimulates the brain. There are few games around that offer as great a mental workout as Bridge. Every time you play Bridge you use a wide range of mental and behavioral skills. Bridge makes you think, problem solve, plan, predict, and retain information. It involves communication and partnership.
Bridge might even be good for our health. Findings from a 2000 study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, indicate that Bridge players may have a higher number of immune cells because of the brain functions involved in playing the game. Information about the study is available onthe UC Berkeley website at www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2000/11/08_bridge.html.
Bridge is cheap. Another great thing about Bridge is that it is an inexpensive and entertaining way to spend time with family and friends. There are no hidden costs involved in playing Bridge. Of course, you do need to invest in a pack of playing cards. If you are hosting a Bridge game, you may want to serve some refreshments as well.
Bridge is never boring. Although a Bridge game may be lengthy and sometimes frustrating, it is always engaging and challenging. Throughout the game, there are decisions to make and challenges to face. There are countless ways to play a hand and each hand takes just five to ten minutes to play so everything keeps moving and you are always engaged in the game.
Bridge skills improve with time. The more you play Bridge, the better you get. And, no matter how much you play or how good you get at the game, there is always more to learn and figure out. Like in life, making mistakes in Bridge gives you an opportunity to learn and evolve.
Bridge is social. One of the best things about Bridge is that it brings people together. It takes at least four people to play in person. There also are plenty of software programs that allow you to play alone. And the Internet offers websites that make it possible to play Bridge with people at other locations.
Bridge is easy to begin. Bridge may be a complex game, but that does not mean it is hard to learn how to play. If you are willing to put in the effort and time needed, you will be able to pick up the rules and nuances of the game without too much frustration. Because it is impossible to completely master the game of Bridge, playing is an ongoing learning experience. Once you have the basics down, the rest will come with time.
Bridge is available locally. In most parts of the United States, it is not difficult to find a Bridge game to join. You can usually find a local Bridge Club by contacting your public library or town recreation department. Many senior centers, Agencies on Aging, social organizations, and religious institutions offer Bridge games. Some even run competitive Bridge tournaments.