Bridge Quotes and Bidding Conventions

Bridge is played with the standard 52 cards in four suits. The game developed out of whist, which is a relatively old card game. Whist is played with the trump suit chosen by chance, whereas in bridge it is chosen by a process called “bidding”. A trump is a card which can beat any card from the other three suits.

In whist, the winners had to get most of the tricks (a trick is a round of four cards), that is, seven or more tricks. However, in bridge the players bid in sequence to decide what the “contract” shall be. The contract is decided by the last bid, and will be in one of the four suits, or in “no trumps”, without a trump suit. (source Wikipedia)

Bridge Quotes and Bidding Conventions

Warren Buffett

(b. 1930) – Billionaire investor and philanthropist. Buffett has a reputation of a die-hard player, having been quoted as saying “If I’m playing bridge and a naked woman walks by, I don’t even see her.

Martina Navratilova

(b. 1956) – Tennis legend and winner of 59 Grand Slam titles. On the topic of bridge, she has been quoted as saying “No matter where I go, I can always make new friends at the bridge table.”

Omar Sharif

(1932 – 2015) – Charismatic star of “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Doctor Zhivago”, Omar Sharif has also enjoyed a long career as an expert bridge player and columnist.


Yes, Snoopy is a bridge player too. Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz, a long-time player, occasionally penned comic strips in which Snoopy, Woodstock (and Woodstock’s buddies) play bridge. Alan Truscott once wrote an article about Snoopy’s bridge game for the New York Times.

Dwight Eisenhower

(1890 – 1969) – WWII General and 34th President of the United States. Eisenhower had a reputation as an excellent bridge player in a 2009 NY Times article.

James Bond

Special Agent 007 chalked up 7 redoubled in Ian Fleming’s novel “Moonraker.”


Frontman Thom Yorke and fellow members of the mega-band Radiohead also play bridge. According to a 1993 interview, Yorke plays on tour, reads the daily bridge columns in England, and has high praise for Omar Sharif.

Bidding Conventions

While there may be many conventions, some with very colourful names, don’t be deterred. The Darling Bridge Club has settled on a very popular convention to keep the bidding understandable and to find good playable contracts.


Famous (some infamous) Bridge Quotes

  • It is not enough to win the tricks that belong to you. Try also for some that belong to the opponents. Alfred Sheinwold
  • The real test of a bridge player isn’t in keeping out of trouble, but in escaping once he’s in. Alfred Sheinwold
  • Webelieve that contract is particularly attractive to people with a scrappy disposition. Frank Perkins·Bridge is a great comfort in your old age. It also helps you get there faster. Rueful Rabbit
  • Since the average person’s small supply of politeness must last him all his life, he can’t afford to waste it on bridge partners. Alfred Sheinwold
  • Bridge is essentially a social game, but unfortunately it attracts a substantial number of antisocial people. Ian Truscott
  • One advantage of bad bidding is that you get practice at playing atrocious contracts. Alfred Sheinwold
  • Where’s the hand you held during the auction? A comment Jan Janitschke has made when dummy hits.
  • South: Alert! —East: Yes? —South: I’m requested to further miss-describe my hand.·It is not the handling of difficult hands that makes the winning player. There aren’t enough of them. It is the ability to avoid messing up the easy ones. Alan Sontag
  • Most bridge players prefer consistency in their partners rather than brilliance. Matthew Granovetter
  • Thesum of all technical knowledge cannot make a master contract player. Ely Culbertson
  • A knowledge of the mechanics will suffice to put a player in a commanding position in the post-mortem. To become a member of the upper crust calls for more, much more. Resilience, imagination, occasional flashes of inspiration, these are the hallmarks of quality. And this transcends the realm of science. Victor Mollo
  • The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.
  • Card sense is when it’s technically right to do something, the little man that sits on my shoulder or anyone else’s shoulder says, “Don’t do that.” And you say to yourself, “Well, wait a minute, that’s the right way to play.” And he says, “Yeah, but you don’t wanna play that way.” That instinct is card sense. It’s almost an ability to feel where the cards are. It’s something that you can’t buy, you can’t find; you’re born with. The ability to do the right thing at the wrong time or really to do the wrong thing at the right time. Barry Crane
  • I’m not sure whether glory or masterpoints is first on the list, but I know learning to play better is definitely last. Eddie Kantar
  • I’d like a review of the bidding with all the original inflections.
  • The average defender operates in a fog of uncertainty. H. W. Kelsey
  • Regardless of what sadistic impulses we may harbor, winning bridge means helping partner avoid mistakes. Frank Stewart
  • A player who can’t defend accurately should try to be declarer. Alfred Sheinwold
  • The real secret of the expert is to make logic seem like flair. Hugh Kelsey
  • If you play bridge with your wife as partner, you need at least 20 points to open, and it wouldn’t hurt to have 25. Joe James
  • Learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make them all yourself.
  • AND from my pickup partner at a recent tournament–when asked what system he played, Dan said “Substandard.”

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