Gift for Bridge Player?
June 15, 2021 6:58 AM   Subscribe

I have the BEST DAD EVER and want to get him an awesome Father's Day present. He's a total Bridge dork. I know nothing about Bridge other than it involves doing math in your head for an extended period of time, which sounds awful. I'd love some suggestions for presents.
posted by jumanjinight to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Subscription to The Bridge World magazine.
posted by Perplexity at 7:51 AM on June 15

This is going to depend a little bit on the style of bridge he prefers. Duplicate bridge is what's often played at organized clubs, and what's basically always played at competitions. Rubber bridge is what couples usually play after a dinner visit. For groups in between, both are possible. The distinction might matter because some of the equipment is different between them.

If he doesn't have some, you could consider a nice set of bidding cards, for example: This would be good for both styles.

I'm sure you've already thought of decks of cards, and they would make a fine choice too. Keep in mind that bridge decks are smaller than a standard bicycle / poker deck.

Duplicate bridge requires brackets, called boards. They're pretty utilitarian, and only one person in the group actually needs to own a set. Here is a page that includes boards, shufflers, dealing machines, etc: These again are really things that are typically owned by a club or a host rather than individual players.

You could design or purchase some personalized score cards (again, they are different depending on the style of bridge being played).

There are lots and lots of books out there, but much like chess books, what an individual player would find interesting or useful can vary quite a bit. And he may already have a substantial library. But an avid player certainly will enjoy reading such books, if you could find a way to get him the right ones.

Finally, if he plays online you might consider a paid subscription to bridge base online ( It's a very lively online bridge community with continual tournaments, tables, etc., as well as professional tournament coverage, learning tools, etc. Especially if he already plays there with a free account, he might really enjoy the upgrade.

Good luck!
posted by dbx at 8:01 AM on June 15 [1 favorite]

As dbx noted, there's not all that much that's really specific to the game. If he's into kitshy joke T-shirts, you could get him one that references bridge.

How about a bridge puzzle of the day calendar? They give a setup that you have to figure out the best answer to (which is basically what bridge is all about).
posted by Candleman at 8:16 AM on June 15

Etsy is fantastic for this. Just do a search for Bridge Game and you'll find lots of great gift ideas for bridge players.
posted by Coffeetyme at 8:47 AM on June 15 [1 favorite]

Bridge is played with regular playing cards. Does your dad have any OTHER interests? Get a deck of cards with a cool design on the back related to that other interest.
posted by aniola at 8:57 AM on June 15

Best answer: Book? "Ian Fleming thought so much of bridge that he inserted a well-known bridge problem into one of his James Bond novels (the “Culbertson hand” in Moonraker, where one player has the majority of face cards yet cannot take a single trick)" from list of other bridge-books.
posted by BobTheScientist at 10:48 AM on June 15 [2 favorites]

The problem with buying gifts related to someone's interests that you don't know much about it is, they are likely to already have the things they want or need. And by definition, since you, the gifter, don't know much about their hobby, you might easily get something that is considered to be bad by practitioners.

A good formula for gifts is to try to think of something nice that people probably would not buy for themselves. Like if you were doing this for a chess player, maybe they feel like it is self-indulgent to spend hundreds of dollars on a nice wooden board and set. But should you just buy what seems nice to you and gift it? Not at all, they might have very strong preferences about what woods should be used, maybe they are one of those weirdos who likes dark red for the black pieces, etc. You see this on guitar forums - spouses turn up, they want to buy a dream guitar for father's day or a birthday, he's always talking about some guitar called Ibanez, what should I buy? No, no, you need to let the person try out and select what guitar they want.

But I don't know what would be a bridge analogue to that. If they talk about wanting to get their game to a higher level, maybe lessons?
posted by thelonius at 11:06 AM on June 15 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Bobthescientist, you're a total hero! The literally only other thing my dad likes is James Bond. Yas!!!!!
posted by jumanjinight at 4:44 PM on June 16

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