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Friendship Built by Bridge

Bridge is a game requiring four players just to play and it sounds complicated. These are the two main reasons why most potential players stay away from it. But for neighbors Robert and Elizabeth Smith and Harry and Martha Stevens, all in their late adulthood find such games enjoyable. It in fact was what started their friendship.

'It was Bob one Sunday afternoon that invited Harry and me over to their home for a card game. And since we pretty had not much to do that time, we decided to go', Martha recalled. 'It was hard at first; thankfully they were very patient with us'.

Harry said that at first he was thinking that the Stevens wouldn't be back next time for another game. 'Bridge sounded complicated and at the table I was thinking they would not appreciate it. It was quite a surprise they accepted our next invitation'.

Bridge just like any card games require just a deck to cards to play - no more expensive gears to buy. A good deck like KEMS costs a little more than $20. Then when the deck is bought, look for three more players, there are four players in this game.

'There are two parts in this game', Harry teaches, 'the betting then the actual play.' He advises to learn the play before training on betting.

In this old gambling game, there is a dealer that deals out the cards. Each player is given 13 cards. The distribution is done clockwise beginning with the dealer's left. On who gets to be partners, cards are dealt. Those with the high cards are in one group against those who have low cards. For ties, suits are compared; spades are the highest followed by hearts, diamond and then clubs. As for face value, aces are the highest and twos are the lowest.

The goal in Bridge is to win as many tricks for the team. A trick is made up of cards from each player on their turn. In one whole game of Bridge the highest number of tricks is 13. The first to lead in the trick can place any card while the following player will have to follow the suit of the previous card. If following suit cannot be done, no one is obliged to.

In Bridge, it is not necessary to win all tricks. When all four cards have been laid, the winner of the trick is determined. In the absence of a trump card (that is any suit decided to beat the other suits), the highest valued card of same suit as the lead card wins. The winning pair will decide which suit is trump in the next round.

Before the tricks are discarded, players decide on what suit will be the trump. The dealer opens it and another member may bid or pass. Bidding ends when three consecutive players pass.

'…With that and some practice, you will be playing Bridge in no time,' Harry ends but the friendship continues.

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