Duplicate bridge? Learn and play at the club in Las Cruces


Kathy Clark decided to try duplicate bridge to keep her brain challenged.

“I did crossword puzzles and read many books, but I wanted to be with people and stimulate my brain,” Clark said.

Clark’s sister suggested she go to the Belton Bridge Center, the duplicate bridge club at 1214 E. Madrid Road, which will offer free lessons 10-11:30 a.m. every Saturday starting June 3.

Bob Kimball compares duplicate bridge to pickleball: “Both are games, and great fun. Both provide several kinds of exercise. In bridge, reasoning, judgment, memory, logic, psychology and creativity come into play. And both games provide benefits in a social, communal setting.”

Many new players have watched parents or college friends play social bridge or have played other card games like hearts, pinochle, canasta and Spades. Bridge is played with a standard deck of 52 cards with partners playing against another pair of partners at the same table.

The game involves bidding, a contract and then playing the hand to make that contract. In duplicate bridge, the hands you play are saved and played by other partnerships. Ultimately, the contract you make is compared with the contracts others make.

Because you play as you learn, you have fun in the process and enjoy the friends you will make at the table. And once you learn, the Bridge Center, which has been going since 1994, has games on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for all levels of player.

“If you are interested in life-long learning, bridge is the game for you,” said Pat Calhoon. “There’s always something new to learn in bidding and play of the hand, and the people at Belton are patient, friendly and fun!”

The Belton Bridge Center is affiliated with the American Contract Bridge League. To learn more about the free classes that start June 3 and to register for the classes, email LearnBridgeLasCruces@gmail.com. If you are already a duplicate player and want to join a game, call the center at 575 524-3031.

Norman Duttweiler is a Las Cruces bridge player, actor and director.