Bridge cards are one of two standard sizes of playing card – the other being Poker cards. Bridge cards measure 3.5 inches tall and 2.25 inches wide (88.9mm x 56mm). This is slightly narrower than Poker cards which measure 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches (88.9mm x 63.5mm).
Why Are Bridge Cards Smaller?
In many card games, participants are only required to hold a few cards at once. That’s normally not too difficult, even for a child or someone with small hands.
But in bridge, and other similar games, you need to hold a hand of thirteen cards. The wider the cards, the harder it is to hold them all in such a way that you can see them and pick one out at will. The reduced width of bridge cards (about a quarter of an inch narrower than poker cards) helps people to hold them easier.
By being easier to hold, there is a reduced risk that someone will drop and accidentally reveal a card. This is especially important in a tournament situation where one incident could have a significant impact on the result.
Can You Use Poker Cards For Bridge?
You can in a pinch, but it’s not ideal. The larger card size makes it difficult to hold the entire hand. It is also worth noting that some duplicate boards and wallets will only fit bridge cards and may not have enough room for poker cards.
For this reason, you’re unlikely to want to use poker cards in a bridge club or tournament. In your own home you can use whichever size you have to hand.
What Games Use Bridge Cards?
Typically, bridge cards are used when the player needs to hold more cards (bridge, whist, hearts, etc.) while poker cards are used when you hold fewer.
In terms of popularity, you are more likely to use bridge cards than poker cards. For example, many casinos don’t use poker cards for poker; they use bridge cards. If you went in to play Blackjack, however, it’s more likely that you’ll be using poker cards.
What Can You Do If You Can’t Hold a Full Thirteen Cards?
Playing bridge is difficult if you cannot comfortably hold thirteen cards. Luckily, there’s a solution: bridge hand holders can be bought to hold the cards for you without displaying them to your neighbours. Perfect for small children or those with arthritis!
Why Do Some Bridge Cards Have Barcodes At The Top?
Most cards used in bridge clubs and at tournaments have bar codes at the top to enable automated card dealing machines, such as duplimate, to track the hands that have been dealt. This functionality enables the machines to create print-outs of boards for use at the end of a session or tournament.
These barcodes also enable dealing machines to create specific deals that have been designed in advance (as opposed to just dealing random hands). This can be highly useful in a teaching scenario when a teacher may, for example, want to provide many tables of students with the same hand to play.
This functionality is also useful in competitions. For example, clubs can take part in Simultaneous tournaments where players in many clubs play the same boards and compare results. This is also useful in larger competitions, where a club may want to hold several smaller sessions with each one using the same set of boards.
Do Bridge Cards Come With Jokers?
Despite the fact that bridge doesn’t use jokers, many standard-sized packs will come with them. However, this is less likely if you buy a gift set that is specifically labelled as being for bridge. If you want to use your cards for more than just bridge it is wise to check what the pack contains before you order.