How To Hold Your Cards When Playing Bridge

If you are an experienced bridge or card game player, knowing how to hold your cards seems obvious.  But do you remember when you started?  Perhaps you were just a child the first time you played card games, I know I was.  It was patiently explained to me how to hold the cards so I could see them all.  It isn’t easy when you first start – especially if you are a child and your hands are small.  But practice makes perfect and I soon got the hang of it.

So let me show you how to hold your cards in one hand, so you can use the other hand to play them and so you can make sure that your opponents don’t get to see your cards.

In a game of bridge, four players will sit round a table.  Holding your cards so that the player opposing you can’t see them isn’t difficult, but if you’ve never played cards before, making sure you can see all your cards, but the players to your left and right can’t can be more difficult.

You want to find a way of holding your cards comfortably while making sure the opposing team can’t see which cards you have.

Before the game starts each player is dealt a hand of 13 cards, which will usually have been placed face down in front them. You now need to find a way of holding all 13 of these cards so that you can see them all, neither of your opponents can see them and you are able to pick individual cards to play when your turn comes round.

Start by picking up the cards and sorting them into their four suits.  Once you’ve done that sort each suit in order, with Ace as the highest, followed by king, queen, jack and the numbers in decreasing order.

holding cards when playing bridgeNow you’ve sorted the cards, push them all back together in one block, as if you’ve just taken a part of the original pack from its box.  If you need to put the cards back on the table to do this, make sure you put them face down.  Then pick them back up and place them in your hand with your thumb in front and your other fingers behind.

Now you need to fan out the cards so that you can see them all. You can use your other hand to do this, although I usually use the thumb of the holding hand to help me do this.

Once fanned, you will finish up holding the cards in the same way you did before.  Thumb in front, other fingers behind to support the cards.

how to hold playing cards

holding cards when playing bridge

You should now be able to hold your cards so that they are facing you and no-one else can see them.  You can then use your other hand to pick out the card that you want to play.

If you find you can’t hold the cards for any reason, there is an easy solution – you can use a playing card holder.

There are several different designs available, so you might need to do a little research to find the one that is most suitable for you.  These are a great help if you have stiff or shaky hands, or only have one hand, or find holding your cards tiring.  Having a disability or illness doesn’t need to stop you playing the game you love if a card holder will solve the problem.

Here are a few card holders for you to consider – all from Amazon.