ADRENALINE SNEAKING IN TO ONLINE BRIDGE
Bridge players opening their wallets in heart-pounding money games.
In recent years, poker has come to be seen as the game for adrenaline-junkie card players. But in the last three months, more than 2,000 competitive bridge players have put money on the table in a new, poker-like style of drop-in online bridge. Players from Norway to India are taking a seat in duplicate bridge “cash games” on bridgebig.com, including a table where players can win—or lose—more than €100 in each 5 minute hand.
Is a renaissance under way?
Rubber bridge, a form of contract bridge often played for money, long dominated card tables around the world. Though low-stakes money tournaments and friendly penny games can still be found in a few clubs and on a handful of websites, big money bridge is inaccessible to most of the world’s 50 million bridge players.1
And many of those bridge players have turned to poker for the winnings element they can’t find in bridge today. In upcoming film Bridge Documentary, iconic player Zia Mahmood laments that “Poker is a good game to earn money if you win, but the…challenge mentally… doesn’t compare to bridge,”a sentiment shared by many bridge players, 30% of whom also play poker.2 Sidebar: Zia Mahmood compares bridge to poker. Watch video.
Netherlands-based Bridge Big is the first to combine “the high-stakes cash and 24/7 access of online poker with everything we love about bridge,” according to CEO Rene de Waele. In their new cash games, IMP scores translate to cash stakes; and with beginning stakes of €0.20, €1, and €5, the amounts changing hands quickly becomes exciting. Cash games are scored and paid out after each hand, ensuring the full attention of players whether they play one board or 40.
In the first week alone, cash tables filled up 5,204 times; about 40% of those games were at €1 stakes. The Bridge Big team was pleasantly surprised to see players immediately joining the €5 tables; with average scores around +/- 4 IMPs and resulting wins/losses of €20 per board, these games offer the highest cash bridge winnings available anywhere online.
“I think I was more excited as a player than as a business owner when our first €5 table filled up and the bidding started,” says de Waele, an avid bridge player who holds the title of Dutch Student Champion 2005, among others. “This is the game I’ve been dreaming of playing since I first put a few euros on the table on a poker site.”
Founded by bridge fanatics with a love for geeking about with new technologies, Bridge Big offers online, individual bridge games and tournaments for real money stakes. Bridge Big is licensed and registered in the Netherlands; their offices are in Rotterdam. www.bridgebig.com
For details on cash games, please visit http://www.bridgebig.com/#cashgames. To learn about our scoring systems: https://bridgebig.com/#scoring. If you’d like more information on this topic or to schedule an interview with Rene, please contact Trika Harms zum Spreckel +31 6 3932 6981 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 ACBL (2005), Sports Illustrated (1957, 1961), World Bridge Federation (2001)
2 ACBL (2005)