Down the rabbit hole

I recently read a piece in the FT by the author Kate Summerscale on playing bridge and playing cards over the years.

‘Down The Rabbit Hole’

“My parents were fussy about their playing cards. At the formal bridge parties they hosted for other diplomats in Chile in the 1970s, the decks had to be perfectly smooth. Each card was glossy and supple, each back identical to the next. When shuffled, they slipped off each other with a shush, fluttered together, pattered and clacked. They were kept in lacquered boxes with thin wooden partitions and fitted lids. And if a single card’s corner was bent or scuffed, the whole deck was banished to a drawer.

We used these cast-off cards when I learnt to play bridge, aged about eight. The lessons were sometimes fraught – my father would become exasperated by my mistakes, my mother would rebuke him for being too hard on me – but the pattern of the game could iron out our differences. Once I got the hang of it, there was a lovely rhythm to putting down the cards, gathering tricks, letting a hand work itself out. You could feel that you were a vehicle for the game’s luck and logic – as if the cards were playing you.”

Kate Summerscale on Playing Cards


Bridge Question from Christine Tomkin, EBU teacher

You opened 1Heart
Partner responded 1Spade

What do you re-bid?

New Arrivals

Bridge Answer

Bridge Answer: 3Diamonds

3Diamonds is forcing and shows at least a 5 card Heart suit.

3Hearts is also possible; it is highly invitational, but not absolutely forcing.

Mirror Mirror

Did you know?

The first published reference to the game of poker was on this day;
1st November 1834 –
described as a ‘Mississippi riverboat game’!!