Alex D, Year 11, delves into the reasons why bridge should be taken up by anyone of any age and explores why Eton Bridge Club should be considered to be one of the School’s best societies:

Perhaps you’re afraid that bridge is too complex for you to learn? Maybe you have always wanted to learn but you feel you do not have the correct train of thought? Start by asking yourself why millions of people all around the world are hooked on this game.

Of all the many fantastic reasons to play, the most important is that it’s so much fun to play. It offers the suspense created in poker, the cerebral qualities of chess and the high level of excitement that athletic sports provide, all whilst being in a very relaxed, sociable environment. Each hand provides a new and exciting challenge allowing you to test yourself and provides the feeling of great accomplishment when you are successful. For the more competitive individuals, Eton has a bridge team with several pairs allowing you to contest against those from other schools as well as your peers.

Bridge can never be boring. It can be an extremely exciting, challenging and frustrating game providing all sorts of variety with more than 635 billion possible hands in the game. You can be sure that you will see something new each time you play. It is also a very fast-paced game with hands taking roughly 5-10 minutes each before moving onto the next deal.

With each hand a new challenge awaits to stimulate your brain which sharpens you up, improving both your reasoning and memory skills. Bridge also utilises communication skills, logic, mathematics, and psychology. It’s truly a mental workout like no other. Whilst allowing you to relax, it is also invigorating, allowing for much self-satisfaction.

The communication and cooperation side of the game, through interactions with your partner and opponents, mean that bridge help to develop strong social ties. In a similar way to joining a sports club, powerful new friendships can be formed through joining a bridge club as the social opportunities can allow for you to meet and interact with new people and to catch up with existing friends in a more focused environment.

It can be a lifelong pursuit. It requires rudimentary knowledge to begin playing and players get hooked very quickly. Improvement comes quickly with new things learnt with every hand. The game is impossible to master completely so the constant influx of new challenges means that it can be actively pursued throughout your entire life.

All you need is a deck of cards and three other people to start playing. However, online Bridge allows for you to play wherever you are, regardless of whether you are alone or not. Monday nights at the Eton Bridge Club are therefore always highly enjoyable occasions.