Bridge–social, sociable, rubber, Part II

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September 6, 2014

My last blog defining social, sociable and rubber bridge brought me an email from Al Levy offering a few correcting suggestions. Remember, he says, the ACBL writes the laws of both duplicate and rubber bridge and, “A new version [of Rubber Bridge Laws] is coming out as we speak.”

As to the term rubber bridge being dead amongst social players, Al reminded me that it is not a dead term amongst duplicate players who still use the term to distinguish it from duplicate bridge, and who do play in rubber bridge clubs.

Mr. Levy wears several hats in the world of bridge and among them is membership on the ACBL Laws Commision and the World Bridge Federation Laws Committee. I also learned from his email (or didn’t remember) that the present laws for Rubber Bridge are called Laws of Contract Bridge, but that the word “contract” will be dropped from future bridge terminology.

Which is as it should be since the term contract bridge was created in the 20s only to differentiate the new game invented by Vanderbilt from auction bridge. People still reminisced about auction bridge when I learned to play contract in the 1950s—no longer happens. Does anybody reminisce about Culbertson’s huge role in making bridge a raging fad by the 1950s? People do still mention Goren—at least here in Florida’s social/sociable bridge.

The revised version of ACBL laws will be simply Laws of Rubber Bridge. A revised version of Laws of Duplicate Bridge is due out in 2017.

But here’s the thing—the version of rubber bridge played by social/sociable players may be far less rules-run than required by the ACBL rules for rubber bridge and the rubber bridge game duplicate players play when they play rubber bridge. I think I’m going to print out and actually read the Laws of Rubber Bridge when the revision comes out—see how it compares to what happens out here in the world of social bridge.

I shared Levy’s email with a few bridge-playing friends and one of them—Patti– a very good player who has played duplicate and social bridge for years, plays regularly on the internet, wrote back: “I never even knew that the acbl delved into rubber bridge. I thought they only oversaw duplicate type bridge. Very interesting.”

We really are TWO separate worlds with a chasm between—no communication!

Social/sociable bridge, has been a word-of-mouth pop culture phenomenon for so many decades—no visible means of support keeping it going—and I guess that’s why it fascinates me.

I believe the lastingness of social/sociable bridge as part of America’s popular culture, without any of the resources that maintains the ACBL —an establishment, financial resources, a system of laws, etc.–should also fascinate thoughtful people at the ACBL. Or at least those charged with planning and implementing a marketing strategy for bridge.

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