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List of bridge books

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List of bridge books

Bridge, or more formally contract bridge, is a trick-taking card game of skill and chance played by four players. This article consists of lists of bridge books deemed significant by various authors and organizations.


Books on bridge and its predecessor games have spanned centuries with the earliest known popular book on the subject of Whist having been published by Edmond Hoyle in 1742[1] or 1743.[2]

The timelines in the evolutionary path to modern contract bridge books are generally as follows:

  • 17th century: the emergence of Whist from earlier games such as Ruff and Honours and Triumph
  • 18th and 19th centuries: Whist is widely played with many variants in scoring methods; similar games such as Vint and Khedive are also played
  • 1886: Evidence that Bridge-Whist has emerged with John Collinson's four page pamphlet entitled Biritch, or Russian Whist.[3] (Earlier, in 1869, Christian Vanderheid, an Austrian writer about card games, published Gründlicher Selbstunterricht zur Erlernung des Jarolasch oder das russische Whist (Extensive Self-teaching of Yeralash (Jarolasch) or Russian Whist). The game described by Vanderheid is almost identical to Collinson's Biritch, with the exception that it is not played with a dummy.[4])
  • 1903-1932: from the first known publication on Auction Bridge (also known as Royal Auction Bridge and simply, Auction) to the last publication of Laws of Auction Bridge by the Portland Club
  • c1915: Bridge Plafond emerges in France and Belgium and is essentially contract bridge without vulnerability
  • late 1925: a significant new scoring system was proposed by Harold Vanderbilt introducing the concept of vulnerability, large bonuses for slams and heavy penalties for underticks. Within two years, "Auction was swept off the tables" in the dawn of modern contract bridge.[5]
  • 1926-1935: numerous books on bidding are published and compete for status as the 'official system' of choice. Ely Culbertson rises to prominence in the USA as a self-promoting bridge player, challenging his English and European counterparts to international matches all the while building a business empire based on his bridge writing and related investments. In the early Thirties, Acol is fashioned by S. J. Simon and Jack Marx, and eventually becomes the most popular bidding system in Britain.
  • 1935: Culbertson publishes the first Encyclopedia of Bridge.

Precursor games

The following are books on the various precursor games to modern contract bridge; the first books on contract bridge appeared in 1927.[6]

  • / Thomas Osborne (London), 10th Edition, 1750, 224 pages
  • / 8th Edition, 1868, 120 pages; 9th Edition, 1872, 120 pages; 11th Edition, 1876, 268 pages; 12th Edition, 1879, 268 pages; 13th Edition, 1881, 268 pages; 15th Edition, 1885, 272 pages; 20th Edition, 1892, 303 pages; 21st Edition, 1893, 320 pages; 22nd Edition (The Seventy-fifth Thousand), 1895, 306 pages; 23rd Edition (The Eighty-sixth Thousand), 1898, 306 pages; 24th Edition (Containing the New Code of Laws Revised in 1900), 1901, 306 pages. American Editions published by: John Wurtele Lovell (New York), 1880 from the 12th English Edition, 257 pages; John Wurtele Lovell (New York), 1881 from the 12th English Edition, 257 pages; Charles Scribner's Sons, 1899 from the 23rd English Edition, 348 pages.
  • / Second Edition, 1870 / First American Edition: Henry Holt and Company (New York), 1874, 153 pages. / New American edition from the second English Edition, 1880, 163 pages.
  • Article on the evolution of Whist.
  • / G.W. Carleton & Co. Publishers (Londom) 1879, 144 pages. / Longmans, Green, and Co. (London), 14th Edition, 1883, 112 pages. / G.W. Carleton & Co. Publishers (Londom) 1884, 114 pages. / Frederick A. Stokes (New York), 1887, 136 pages. / 1889, 128 pages.
  • / Brentano's (New York, Chicago, Washington), 2nd Edition, 1891, 168 pages. Frederick Warne and Co. with Mudie and Sons, (London), 2nd Edition, 1891, 168 pages. Brentano's (New York, Chicago, Washington), 3rd Edition with American Leads, 25th Thousand, 1896, 195 pages. Frederick Warne and Co. with Mudie and Sons, (London), 4th Edition, 1899. Frederick Warne and Co. with Mudie and Sons, (London), 5th Edition, Thirty-fifth Thousand, 1900, 168 pages.
  • / Brentano's (New York), 5th Edition, 1895, 109 pages
  • / 1903, 136 pages / 1907, 136 pages / 1911, 136 pages.
  • / 6th Edition, Charles Scribner's Sons (New York), 1907, 297 pages.

People and culture

The following books provide insights into the people and culture of contract bridge and while they may contain occasional references to certain technical aspects of the game, they are generally not instructional in theme. Fictional novels with a bridge theme are listed separately.

Fictional novels

Encyclopedias, dictionaries and almanacs

The following are listed chronologically:

  • 32 pages.
  • 477 pages.
  • 252 pages.
  • 691 pages.
  • 674 pages.
  • 793 pages.
  • 858 pages.
  • 922 pages.
  • 277 pages.
  • 827 pages (plus 38 page Bibliography)
  • 826 pages (plus 60 page Bibliography)
  • 490 pages.
  • 536 pages.
  • 423 pages.
  • 634 pages (plus two CDs: 1. The Encyclopedia and 2. Biographies and Results).

Book of the Year Awards

American Bridge Teachers' Association (ABTA)

Each year since 1982, ABTA has recognized one or more books as contributing significantly to the teaching of contract bridge. The following are the award recipients:[7]

  • 1982 -
  • 1983 -
  • 1984 -
  • 1985 -
  • 1986 -
  • 1987 - Commonsense Bidding by William S. Root
  • 1988 -
  • 1989 -
  • 1990 -
  • 1991 - Basic Book:
  • 1991 - Advanced Book:
  • 1992 -
  • 1992 - Advanced Book: To Bid or Not to Bid, The LAW of Total Tricks by Larry Cohen
  • 1993 - Basic Book:
  • 1993 - Advanced Book:
  • 1994 -
  • 1995 -
  • 1996 - Points Schmoints! Bergen's Winning Bridge Secrets by Marty Bergen
  • 1996 -
  • 1997 - Advanced Book:
  • 1997 - Basic Book:
  • 1998 - Beginner/Student Book:
  • 1998 - Advanced Book:
  • 1999 - Basic Book:
  • 1999 - Advanced Book:
  • 1999 - Student Book: 25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know by Barbara Seagram and Marc Smith
  • 2000 - Advanced Book:
  • 2000 - Beginner/Intermediate Book:
  • 2001 -
  • 2002 -
  • 2003 - Beginner/Novice Book:
  • 2003 - Intermediate/Advanced Book:
  • 2004 -
  • 2005 -
  • 2006 -
  • 2007 - Beginner Book:
  • 2007 - Intermediate Book:
  • 2008 - Intermediate Book:
  • 2008 - Novice Book:
  • 2009 - / 176p.
  • 2010 - Beginner Book: / 231p.
  • 2010 - Intermediate Book: / 160 pages.
  • 2011 -
  • 2012 - Beginner/Intermediate:
  • 2012 - Intermediate/Advanced:
  • 2013 - Intermediate/Advanced Book:
  • 2013 - Beginner Book:

International Bridge Press Association (IBPA)

Since 2004, the IBTA has chosen one bridge-related title of exceptional merit. Thus far, recipients include:[1]

  • 2004 -
  • 2005 -
  • 2006 -
  • 2007 -
  • 2008 -
  • 2009 -
  • 2009 -
  • 2010 -
  • 2011 -
  • 2012 -

American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) surveys

The ACBL has conducted the following surveys:

1994 survey

The ACBL survey of 1994 was a poll of well-known players and writers only[8] and resulted in the following list of the 20 best books of all time:

2007 survey

The ACBL survey of 2007 resulted in two lists of favourite books[9] as follows:

The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge (7th edition) recommendations

The 7th edition of the Encyclopedia recommended[10] the following books with the caveat that the "list on this page is by no means definitive. It was influenced to a degree by surveys published in 1994 and 2007 in the Bridge Bulletin." Listed alphabetically by first author surname.

  • Points Schmoints! Bergen's Winning Bridge Secrets by Marty Bergen
  • Declarer Play the Bergen Way by Marty Bergen
  • 52 Great Tips on Declarer Play by David Bird
  • Another 52 Great Bridge Tips by David Bird
  • Matchpoints Versus IMPs by August Boehm
  • To Bid or Not to Bid: The Law of Total Tricks by Larry Cohen
  • Right Through the Pack by Robert Darvas and Norman de V. Hart
  • Bridge with the Blue Team by Pietro Forquet
  • Commonly Used Conventions in the 21st Century by Audrey Grant
  • How the Experts Win at Bridge by Burt and Rose Hall
  • Two Over One Game Force (Revised and Expanded) by Max Hardy
  • The Mysterious Multi by Mark Horton and Jan van Cleeff
  • Canada’s Bridge Warriors: Eric Murray and Sami Kehela by Roy Hughes
  • Roman Keycard Blackwood: The Final Word by Eddie Kantar
  • Take All Your Tricks by Eddie Kantar
  • Modern Bridge Defense by Eddie Kantar
  • Advanced Bridge Defense by Eddie Kantar
  • Test Your Play II by Eddie Kantar
  • Topics in Declarer Play by Eddie Kantar
  • Killing Defense at Bridge by Hugh Kelsey
  • Adventures in Card Play by Hugh Kelsey with Geza Ottlik
  • Guide to Better Duplicate Bridge by Ron Klinger
  • Modern Losing Trick Count by Ron Klinger
  • A Bridge to Simple Squeezes by Julian Laderman
  • A Bridge to Inspired Declarer Play by Julian Laderman
  • How to Read Your Opponents’ Cards by Mike Lawrence
  • Judgment at Bridge by Mike Lawrence
  • The Complete Book on Balancing by Mike Lawrence
  • The Complete Book of Overcalls by Mike Lawrence
  • Play Bridge with Mike Lawrence by Mike Lawrence
  • Bridge Squeezes Complete by Clyde Love
  • Winning Endplay Strategy by Clyde Love
  • All 52 Cards by Marshall Miles
  • Bridge in the Menagerie by Victor Mollo
  • Card Play Technique by Victor Mollo and Nico Gardener
  • The Devil’s Ticket: A Night of Bridge, a Fatal Hand and a New American Age by Gary Pomerantz
  • A Great Deal of Bridge Problems by Julian Pottage
  • Thinking on Defense by Jim Priebe
  • Reese on Play by Terence Reese
  • Master Play by Terence Reese
  • Play These Hands with Me by Terence Reese
  • The Expert Game by Terence Reese
  • The Rodwell Files by Eric Rodwell and Mark Horton
  • Commonsense Bidding by William Root
  • The Secrets of Winning Bridge by Jeff Rubens
  • 5 Weeks to Winning Bridge by Alfred Sheinwold
  • Why You Lose at Bridge by S. J. Simon
  • Frank Stewart’s Bridge Club by Frank Stewart
  • The Great Bridge Scandal by Alan Truscott
  • Watson’s Play of the Hand at Bridge by Louis Watson
  • The Lone Wolff by Bobby Wolff
  • Matchpoints by Kit Woolsey

Mark Horton's book recommendations

In his 1999 book, The Mammoth Book of Bridge,[11] Mark Horton lists his recommendations for "Bridge Books You Should Read", grouped as follows:




Declarer Play

For beginners

For advancing players

For experienced players

British Bridge Almanack survey

The British Bridge Almanack[12] reported on a survey of leading British bridge personalities. The survey presented a chronological list of 16 books by British authors deemed to have made a significant contribution to the development of the game and asked those surveyed to add up to 3 titles of their choosing and then identify their top 5. Of the 24 reported respondents, 19 identified one or more titles.

Initial list

Added titles

The following additional titles were nominated by respondents.

  • Bridge is an Easy Game by Iain Macleod, 1952
  • Country Life Book of Bridge by Maurice Harrison-Gray, 1972
  • Adventures in Card-Play by Géza Ottlik and Hugh Kelsey, 1979
  • The Bidding Dictionary by Alan Truscott, 1996
  • The Big Game: Rubber Bridge in a London club by Richard Sheehan, 1999

Most mentioned

The following books received the most mentions:

  • 17 mentions: The Expert Game by Terence Reese, 1960
  • 14 mentions: Why You Lose at Bridge by S.J. Simon, 1945
  • 12 mentions: Killing Defence at Bridge by Hugh Kelsey, 1966
  • 11 mentions: Reese on Play by Terence Reese, 1947
  • 8 mentions: Play Bridge with Reese by Terence Reese, 1960
  • 7 mentions: Card Play Technique by Victor Mollo and Nico Gardener, 1955

No other title received more than 3 mentions.


Encyclopedic bibliographies

Several encyclopedias on the subject of bridge have provided bibliographies of bridge related publications.

The Encyclopedia of Bridge

The Encyclopedia of Bridge of 1935 acknowledges certain authors' publications in their brief biographies but no summary tabulation or categorization of bridge literature or evaluative commentary is provided.

The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge

The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge (OEB) is a publication of the American Contract Bridge League first published in 1964 with the 7th edition published in 2011. 8th edition will be published in 2014. Up to the 6th, each OEB edition contains a bibliography of bridge related publications grouped by subject (history, bidding, play, reference, etc.) and rates selected publications as: (a) having made a significant contribution to the technical development of the game; (b) being mandatory for inclusion in a modern technical library; (c) being optional for inclusion in a modern technical library; or (d) none of the foregoing. Subject categories and ratings for a publication may vary between editions of the OEB. The 1st edition bibliography spans 8 pages and lists about 400 titles; the 6th edition bibliography, prepared by Tim Bourke, spans 60 pages and lists approximately 4,100 titles; Up to the 6th, each edition of The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge contains a bibliography of bridge and bridge related books; the following is a summary of their contents.

Page Range Number
of Pages
of Categories
of Entries
1 684-691 8 15
2 783-793 11 15
3 849-858 10 15
4 902-922 21 17
5 Not numbered 38
6 Not numbered 60 29 4096
7 Not included 0 0 0

The Bridge Players' Encyclopedia

The Bridge Players Encyclopedia (BPE) was published in 1967 by Paul Hamlyn (London) and is an International Edition based on The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge of 1964 but geared to the needs of British and European players. The edition modified American spellings, 'translated' bidding structures to the more widely used Acol system, omitted biographical notes on some lesser known Americans and added biographical notes on some British and European players. Although content differs from the 1964 OEB, the publication contains a 9-page bibliography of approximately 500 titles with subject categorization and rating schemes similar to those of the previous OEB editions.

Bibliographies in World Heritage Encyclopedia articles

By subject

By author

Other bibliographies


Following are details about books referenced in preceding sections, listed by first named author's surname beginning with:

- A -

- B -

- C -

- D -

Donnelly John L Happiness is a Squeeze (1972)Standard Book No.533-00319-9 Vantage Press, New York

- E -

- F -

- G -

  • / 190 pages.

- H -

- I -

- J -

- K -

  • Kantar, Eddie (Edwin): For a complete listing of Eddie Kantar books, see Edwin Kantar bibliography.
  • 108 pages.
  • 151 pages.
  • 200 pages.
  • 200 pages.
  • 214 pages.
  • 240 pages.
  • 1121 pages.
  • 191 pages.
  • 192 pages.
  • 120 pages.
  • 217 pages.
  • — (2009) The Modern Losing Trick Count: Bidding to Win at Contract Bridge (13th impression). London: by Cassell in association with Peter Crawley, pp. 143. ISBN 978-0-304-35770-3.

- L -

- M -

- N -

- O -

  • Also,

- P -

- Q -

- R -

- S -

- T -

- U -

- V -

- W -

  • — (1958) Enlarged and modernized by Sam Fry, Jr.
  • — (reprinted 1988 and 1992) Louisville, KY: Devyn Press Inc., pp. 343, OCLC 477153995.
  • — (reprinted 1991), pp. 303, ISBN 978-0-910791-68-7.
  • — (reprinted 1992) Louisville, KY: Devyn Press Inc., pp. 64, ISBN 0-910791-40-6.

- X -

- Y -

- Z -

See also



External links

  • books for beginners
  • books for intermediates
  • books for advanced players

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