Princess Muse

Monday, September 5, 2011

Musings on Playing Bridge

I will never be a Grand Master.  Or a Life Master.  Heck, I'll never earn even 1 point towards any of that.

The ACBL (The American Contract Bridge League) hates my style of play.  'Cause, baby, we roll casual.  We trash talk.  We sing songs.  Last night, we even rolled gangsta-style.  (Okay, white-bread suburbia sanitized  gansta, with no bling, but still....leave me to my fantasies.)  Yeah, this ain't my momma's Bridge Club.  Taunting (good natured, but still taunting) is encouraged.

Spades are the Boss suit.  Queens are Strumpets.  Jacks are Gigolos.  If the contract is for 3 No Trump, a portion of the "My Three Sons" theme must be hummed.  If the contract ends up being in Diamonds, "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend," is sung.  If the opposing partnership ends up taking enough tricks for a slam, but slam wasn't bid, your partnership must high-five and say "Slam Defense!"-- especially if your partnership entered the bidding, no matter how briefly.

We discuss a lot of bidding--while we're bidding.  I have a tendency to get lost in the details and Bridge is a lot of details and conventions.  If you're really good, the game is all but won in the bidding.  With the conventions, you describe your hand to the table, but that's okay, because everybody else is describing their hand to everyone as well.

I am not very good.  I'm not even sure I describe my hand very well.  Luckily, my friends, Kim and Charlie, and my husband have played with me long enough that they understand what I'm saying, even if I don't say it very well.  If Charlie is my partner, I tend to bid a little more recklessly.  Luckily, Charlie's a good enough player that he manages to make the game.  I'm a good enough player that I can make it 85% of the time.  And they know that if I keep bidding a suit, even in the face of daunting opposition (like my partner all but shouting, "Stop bidding that suit.  I have no support for it.  I don't care that you have honors!"),  that I have honors (at least 4 of the 5 top cards in a suit) and I want the points, dammit.  We might go down, but I'm getting my points for honors.  If Kim is my partner, I try to focus on what's going on--and if Ken's my partner, well, all bets are off.

Every now and then, at least 3 brain cells rub together and then the magic happens.  I am One with the Bridge Universe and there is no stopping me.  It usually happens when I partner with Kim--probably because I'm actually trying to play Serious Bridge.  I tend to get hands that are heavy on points and good suits.  A few times it all backfires, but unless you know you lost because of dumb playing, hands are dissected and discussed.

But I play Bridge the way I like it.  For fun.  No pressure.  Trash talking encouraged.

Although I like to aMuse myself with the fantasy of leaving some plush salon in Monte Carlo wearing a faux fur floor length coat with my 4 inch stilettos, with the red dress slit-not-all-the-way-to-there.  I take back the leash of my sleek designer dog (Afghan, or maybe a Borzoi or a Wolfhound of some sort) from the bouncer in a tux.  Omar Sharif is slumped at the table, pale and trembling, and says to someone, "Damn, that girl got some serious game."


  1. The closest I've ever gotten to playing bridge is Euchere and I sucked at that. So I'm going to take you at your word on 95% of what you just said, just because. You can't go wrong incorporating music into your game. I could totally get behind playing a game that way, even if I have no clue what to do in Bridge. Or Euchere. And I applaud your Monte Carlo-style fantasy at the end. Borzois are the traditional fancy rich-lady large dog. They're very Art Deco, very Erte. Just because.

  2. My mom actually has a few points towards being a Life Master, and she doesn't appreciate my style of play. But, let's face it, I play for the social aspect, not for the points.

    Everybody needs one "I OWN you!' Fantasy. Part of this fantasy comes from watching Bond films as a child.