Bridge Game: Know the Origin & History


Everything in this world had a beginning. Every object, every living thing, even every game. Speaking of games, history of which games or card games do you know? Do you know how the Bridge game was invented? Also known as Contract Bridge, it is a trick-taking card game played by 4 players divided into 2 teams. Millions of people around the world know how to play bridge game and play it online and offline in clubs. It is completely different from Indian Rummy. Let us know the beginnings of the bridge game.

The Early Origins

Today’s modern bridge game has its oldest known ancestry in the early 16th century England. In fact, the first reference of the game is found in a sermon written by Bishop Latimer that was published in 1529. But the name at that time was ‘whist’ and it was more popular among the English nobility as they knew how to play bridge card game. Many other names were used for the game: trump, slam, triumph, ruff, whisk, ruff and honors, whisk and swabbers, etc.

The 18th Century Popularity

The game gradually became popular and spread to other regions of the world, especially in the middle east. The bridge card game rules at that time were different than those that are today. The first book dedicated to the game of whist appeared in the year 1742, the famous ‘Short Treatise on Whist’ by Edmond Hoyles. This book quickly became a bestseller and even pirated copies of it were made. By this time, thousands of people all over the world knew how to play call bridge.

The 19th century: Precursor to the Modern game

Thanks to Mr. Cavendish, the 1st game of duplicate whist was played in London in 1857. This game went to the American continent as people there learned the bridge card game rules and how to play bridge cards. In the USA, it was played privately in Chicago in 1880 and also in New Orleans in a club in the year 1882. The first ever inter club match of this game was played in Philadelphia in the year 1883. The 1st match of duplicate in the old world was played in Scotland’s Glasgow city in 1888.

The 20th Century: In India

Mr. Henry Barbey privately wrote the book ‘Laws of Bridge’ in 1892, and with whose help the game reached New York in 1893. It is said that Lord Brougham learned how to play bridge game from some army officers in India. Whereas, he brought the game to India from Cairo as stated by W. Dalton in September 1927’s Auction Bridge Magazine. By this time, many Indians knew how to play call bridge and the bridge card game rules. The game that we know today, was derived from auction bridge and plafond in 1925.

In the subsequent decades, interest in the game remained constant thanks to magazines like ‘Sports Illustrated’ which published regular bridge articles & columns. The world championship that used a team variation of duplicate bridge, started in 1950. It was first dominated by the USA team until 1957 and then the Italian team. The popularity of Contract bridge has increased after that. Today, just like online rummy, it is one of the few games played by people of all races, nationalities and ages, as millions of people know how to play bridge card game.

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