"Bridge? You mean that card game for old ladies?" some of you may ask. Yes, that's the feeling one gets when one sees bridge in a movie, yet bridge is much more than that. Tournament bridge actually is the only card game in which card luck plays norole at all.

"Now how is that possible?" you may ask "The cards wil, after all, be random, won't they"?

Indeed, the cards are randomly dealt, yet everybody plays the same deals.

"Ok, but at a table the cards the players hold are still different, and hence they will favor one pair or the other".

Ah, but here comes the little trick: It is the mode of the tournaments that does it. Basically there are two different knids of tournament modes:Pair torunaments and team tournaments. Let us start with the team tournaments; it is easier to explain there.

In team tournaments a team consists of two pairs, who play against another team. Let's call them team A and B.

Now pair 1 of team A will play several boards (a board is a single game of bridge; it is called that way because the cards are predealt and put into special boards, so the deal can easily be transported from table to table) against pai one of Team B. The second pairs also play against each other, but with cards reversed.so that in the whole all teams get the same cards. Now you only have to compare the results from the two tables, et voila!

With pair tournaments it is a bit different, but basically the same. Since it would usually take too long to have all pairs coupled against each other only a few rounds will be played with a certain number of boards each, then the pairs will get up, go to another table and face other opponents in the next round.

Now it is clear that the same method can not quite be applied, so for pair tournaments there are two ratinss; and each pair tournament has two winning pairs, onen for the N/S holdings and one for the E/W holdings. (the places the four players sit in are named after the points of the compass). Now all the pairs of hte N/S holdings will be compared agaisnt each other,and all the pairs ofthe E/W holdings too. They will all have held the same cards, and again card luck is completely out of the question.

If that sounds complicated to you: The game is a lot more complicated, as complicated as chess, and findeed many chess players also play bridge.