Bridge is a partnership game using a standard deck of 52 cards dealt equally among four players. The players bid in a coded language to describe the strength of their hands to their partners in order to determine how many tricks they should be able to take. Generally, one suit is determined as “trump,” leading to the expression, “Play your trump card.” An option is to play without a trump suit named or in what is called a “no-trump” contract. They then play to take that number or more tricks. Duplicate Contract Bridge, in which each competitor or partnership plays identical hands under similar conditions, is the main form of competitive bridge. The primary goal of Reno Youth Bridge members is to become proficient in the game and be a part of the team that wins the “RYB Silver Cup” a perpetual trophy awarded to the School who’s bridge team wins the WCSD RYB Spring Team Game Championship in April of each school year. Participants in one or more of the three Major Tournaments sponsored each year by Reno Youth Bridge will receive a fully paid youth membership in the American Contract Bridge League. Founded in 1937, today it is the largest bridge organization in the world, with more than 160,000 members living in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Bermuda. A not-for-profit organization, the ACBL determines internationally recognized rules of bridge, sanctions clubs and tournament games, and encourages participation at all levels of proficiency and experience.
The history of Bridge traces its origins to the British game of Whist, first played in the 16th century. It may be named for the Galata Bridge in Istanbul, which British soldiers crossed during the Crimean War of the 19th century to reach a coffeehouse where they played cards. Contract bridge as we know it today began in the 1920s when Harold Vanderbilt came up with the early scoring system.
Reno Youth Bridge, Inc. offers Middle School and High School students the opportunity not only to learn how to play the World’s most popular card game but to become members of their school Bridge team and compete in intramural tournaments against other Reno-Sparks schools. Winning or placing high in these tournaments can help students earn “Reno Youth Bridge Achievement Points” (RYBAP) and thereby lead toward earning a $1000 College Scholarship and/or gift certificates of $100 to $500 for redemption at the major department stores in the County. The students ranking in the top twenty positions for accumulating RYBAP points are awarded one or more gift certificates aggregating over $3000 in value.
Research studies by Dr Christopher Shaw of Carlinville Illinois showed that students who learn to bid and play bridge score better on standard Iowa tests. When asked why, Dr. Shaw said he believed it was their development of inferential analysis, something that can’t be taught. The studies were carried out with 100 peer students over a three year period during which 15 were taught to learn and play Bridge and the other 85 were not. Over that 36 month period, the students took standard Iowa proficiency tests each year and the rate of acceleration in improvement in all academic studies grew faster by the students who learned and played bridge.