History of Bridge
Bridge developed from the card game whist. The name of bridge is said to come from Russian Whist, called “biritch.” In the 1890s, bridge was brought over and introduced to U.S. card aficionados. In the 1900s, a trump suit was added, and a spin-off of auction bridge was introduced. In this method of bridge, a team received points toward winning the game for every trick won above their contract. Across the years, many additional changes were made to the game, but in 1925 Harold Vanderbilt codified the game of contract bridge along with its rules, procedures, and a scoring table. Since the 1930s, contract bridge has been one of the most popular card games played in the world. The difference between contract and auction bridge is that in contract bridge, any tricks above the contract are bonus points rather than helping toward winning a game. The majority of players adopted Vanderbilt's methods, and today there are millions of contract bridge players. Most people play at home, but there are over 1,000 tournaments a year and 4,200 bridge clubs that players can join! The rules for contract bridge are presented in this chapter.