An excellent late in life hobby is duplicate bridge. If you do not know how to play bridge, many bridge clubs offer guidance and lessons or can get a teacher for you.
Playing duplicate bridge in clubs is a good place to make new friends It is not unusual that bridge partners start dating and sometimes marriages have resulted. Playing bridge requires concentration, which is also good for maintaining a healthy brain. In duplicate bridge, unlike social bridge, the partners you play against play the same cards you played.
To get started, you should find your closest bridge club by looking in the yellow pages or contacting the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL). Their website is www.acbl.org.
Once you find your local club, the director will usually be able to obtain a partner for you. After you finish playing a hand, the cards are placed in metal card holders and passed to the next table to be played again. This process continues until all the players have played the same cards. Your score depends upon how well you did compared to the other partners who played the same cards. Thus, skill is more important in duplicate than in social bridge where good results usually reflect possession of better cards.
Once you start playing, it would be wise to do some reading. A good book for beginners would be Bridge for Dummies by Eddie Kantar. That and other books can be purchased directly from Barclay Bridge Supplies (1-800-274-2221). Your local bookstore may also have the books or will be able to order them for you.
Dick Avazian of Suffern, New York, was a Bridge Life Master, President of National Field Service Corporation, and author of Surviving Loss: The Woodcutter’s Tale. He passed away from cancer on July 14, 2015, before this article was published. He played Bridge until the end – even from his hospital bed.