Players bluff, strategize and try to outwit their opponents.
Poker? No. It’s bridge. And local players say the game is a lot of fun.
Jean-Paul Nicol started playing when he was 11 years old. His parents taught him the game. Nicol is the director for the Auburn Duplicate Bridge Club, which plays at 6 p.m. on Thursdays at Frank Brown Recreation Center, 235 Opelika Road, Auburn. The Auburn Afternoon Bridge Club plays at 12:30 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays.
“It’s fun. It’s a challenge,” Nicol said, who’s been playing for 50 plus years.
Faye Whidbee started playing when she was freshman at Auburn University. She took a break from the game, but went back. Whidbee also teaches bridge at the recreation center.
“It is without a doubt one of the best mental (challenges) you can have because you’re always learning,” Whidbee said. “There’s never a point where you know everything about bridge.”
Bridge is game of partnership. There are four players in partnerships of two. A standard deck of cards is used, and bidding is the way partners share information.
Duplicate bridge is sanctioned and how players earn points. Those with less than five points are Rookies. Life Master is a high rank in the American Contract Bridge League. Nicol reached the rank of Life Master in March. Whidbee, who is also a director, needs a little more than 20 points to be reach Life Master. Ranks beyond Life Master are Bronze Life Master, Silver Life Master, Gold Life Master and higher.
There are a number of bridge conventions, and players can also go on bridge cruises where they can listen to lectures, play and take in the sights.
Nicol and Whidbee said bridge is also a great way to meet people. They met through bridge.
“I think it would be a great game for anybody…,” she said.
The games at the recreation center are open to the public.