Why Bridge Players Would Feel at Home Around Poker Tables

Subtle similarities of bridge and poker

Poker and bridge are two different card games that have much in common. Both share a unique history and unwavering patronage that still make them popular today. From their list of enthusiasts to their present online setting, the trick-taking game and the “bluff” game are almost mirror images. Before I became a serious tournament Bridge player, I supplemented my income in college at the poker table! Here are the top three areas where both games are alike:

1. Mental Exercise gets you ahead in life

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Business Insider reported that the best bridge players are often the Wall Street guys, which includes business tycoons like Warren Buffet and David Einhorn. When they are not studying patterns in the stock market, these people look to bridge to test their analytical skills. The article goes on to expound the analytic side of the bridge. You see, the card game deals heavily with pattern recognition and quick decision making skills and so it’s not surprising they turn to bridge which employs the same skills. In the political arena we have many poker players. Betfair has a list of Top Five Poker Playing Presidents  – a list that includes Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower (Ike was also an avid Bridge player). From these sample participants, we might say that both card games attract intelligent people whose professions involve careful planning and strategies. When I taught Bridge back in New York City I would always ask my class why they were taking up the game. One student who worked in the financial sector said, “Career advancement.” His big bosses played both games and he already knew how to play poker.

2. Online Presence And Opportunities For Travel

Poker is arguably the most popular card game to date. According to the New York Times, it is slowly becoming America’s quintessential sport. But before it claimed this glory, Bridge was America’s most famous game several decades ago. In the early days, Bridge was referred to as Contact Bridge to distinguish it from the previous form of the game, Auction Bridge, and it earned a huge following from both men and women alike. Today, both tactical games have expanded their horizons with online portals. Like bridge tournaments, especially for professionals, poker involves plenty of travelling and this could be exhausting for people who have never experienced the thrills of hopping from one tournament to another.

3. Quick Decision Making And Pattern Recognition Skills

Poker is relatively an easy game to learn even for beginners. On the other hand, bridge is quite complicated for starters and it takes a lot of skill in order to master it completely. Poker also popularized the term bluff. This bluff element in fact has paved way to today’s poker related terms like poker face, among others. Both games involve some psychology too – reading your opponent’s move and coming up with the best strategy to counter it. As for the game of bridge, it is essential for every player to understand the process of bidding, and underlying intentions that come with it. Bridge players make good poker players because they already know how to employ the basics of mathematical odds and tactical thinking.

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