Ready to Deal You a Winning Hand
This month’s Spotlight features our Prime Timers Bridge Club, where they’re offering a good time to you that’s all in the cards.
The PT Bridge Club was formed in January 2011. The group started with a small mix of PT members who either had not played bridge before, or were extremely rusty at the game. The desire to both learn the game and to play it well drove those initial members to make a regular commitment to play the game together.
The Bridge group plays weekly on Monday nights (except for holiday weeks), and usually convenes at one of the member’s homes. The group assembles starting at 6:30 pm strictly for socializing and eating, before the card game actually starts at 7:00 pm. The card game time normally wraps up around 9 pm each week.
The weekly gathering regularly consists of two tables of four players, with everyone playing at the same time. There are about eight regular players and a few other PT members who attend less frequently. The group is very interested in growing at the present time and is happy to welcome anyone wanting to play, including first-timers who want to try learning the game.
According to organizer Jim Harp, “The game is appealing, because every hand is a new challenge, where sometimes you’re on offense and others on defense.” With many rules to be learned, including some that are strictly situational, he adds that, “the game is a wonderful mental challenge, for those who are so inclined.”
Members who are willing to host the club night gathering normally do so on a rotational basis, with each taking their turn in sequence. Those who are willing to host the group normally provide either hearty appetizers or a light dinner and drinks, in conjunction with hosting the game. It is important to know that members are not required to host; some members do, while others do not. However, those attending each week are expected to contribute a nominal $5 to the host, to help offset some of their expenses related to the food and drinks.
Once during the weekly rotation of hosts, the group changes to a unique day-time gathering. That special session occurs every six weeks or so, and is always held at Central Market on 38th and North Lamar, instead of being at hosted at a member’s home. Card play that day starts at 1 pm and is staged in the upstairs area of the The Café at Central Market; those wanting to eat arrive slightly earlier at 12:30 and make a purchase there.
Anyone wanting to play the game for the first time should be aware that learning the game requires a significant investment of time, in order to become a proficient player. Those who wish to join but have no prior bridge experience are encouraged to get started in several ways including: (1) seeing what they can pick up watching the play of others at a weekly game night, (2) reading a recommended book on how to play the game, before or while watching, and/or (3) taking a short class available locally that others in the Prime Timers have used to get up to speed with the game’s rules.
The PT bridge group characterizes their play of the game as being strictly casual; the game is not played aggressively, nor is there any attempt to play for money here. Although the original members of the group have evolved their overall level of proficiency from when they first began, they would not consider themselves to be experts and are still learning as they play on today.