Why Casinos Don’t Offer Online Bridge

min read
A bridge hand sitting on a table.
BetMGM Jan 29, 2024, 6:54 AM

What is the greatest card game ever? Some argue in favor of card-based casino table games like poker, blackjack, or baccarat, but many players insist that bridge holds the trump card. With a unique style of game-play based on contracts, tricks, and especially partnership, bridge is the kind of game that enables players to make friends for life. It’s also one of the casino card games with the best odds as far as the house edge is concerned. So why does bridge feature so rarely in online casinos? Read on to learn how bridge works and why many real online casinos exclude it from their repertoire.

How To Play Bridge

Bridge is an entirely different experience from chance-based online casino games like online slots. One primary reason that bridge is so popular is that it’s a highly skill-based card game. A card game like bridge online would surely add to the great array of casino games available. Games like bridge online can open a new portal to the online gambling world, as this game would differ tremendously from games of chance. Here’s a short breakdown of bridge rules to see why you need to be on top of your game.

Teams and Dealing

A game of bridge involves two teams of two players each, with teammates sitting across from each other at the table. A standard deck of 52 cards is used, with each player taking turns to deal in a clockwise direction. The entire pack is dealt, leaving every player with 13 cards once the deal is finished.

Bidding for Tricks

Once the cards have been dealt, the bidding process begins. Players bid for how many tricks they think they will win, up to a possible total of 13. The bidding starts with the dealer and moves clockwise to their left. Each player can bid or pass when it’s their turn, but they must bid for at least seven tricks. The final bid is called the final contract, which determines the number of tricks the bidding team has to win to score points.

Playing the Hand

Play begins once the bidding process is complete. The team that makes the final bid has to win at least that number in the hand to score points. If your team scores fewer than the final contract, the other team scores points. The player who makes the final bid is called the declarer, and their partner is called the dummy. The player on the declarer’s left starts play by placing a card of their choice face up on the table center. This card is called the opening lead. The dummy then puts their entire hand, arranged in four suited rows, face up on the table. The dummy plays no further role in the current hand after that. The declarer then plays with their own cards and the dummy’s cards in hopes of making the final contract.

Following Suit

Once the opening lead has been placed, players must follow suit — in other words, they must play a card in the same suit if they have one. A player who doesn’t have a card of the required suit may discard any card. Once a trick (four cards of the same suit) is on the table, the highest card wins. 

Note that the dummy’s partner has a strategic advantage for following suit. Say, for example, that the opening lead is a spade. The dummy will put their cards down, and everyone will be able to see how many spades the dummy has. The dummy’s partner can then play from the dummy’s hand and their own.


Once all the tricks have been won, teams count up the tricks and register the scores. (Bridge scoring is quite complicated, so it’s not feasible to go into the details here). A team that wins two contracts wins what is known as a rubber. Teams can then choose to play another rubber or stop playing.

As you can probably tell, bridge is a fairly complex, technical game that takes a lot of practice if you want to play well. If you’re just looking for a casual game to play with friends, you may want to try these lesser-known card games.

Where To Find Bridge

The key to bridge is partnership. Whereas poker is the ultimate game for one-on-one showdowns, it takes two to win at bridge. This combination of social and competitive aspects accounts for the game’s enduring popularity. The American Contract Bridge League offers many ways for players to compete, including multi-day live and online tournaments where players from different communities can gather. 

However, you’re probably still pondering the all-important question: why isn’t bridge on offer at online casinos (except for the occasional promotional event)? The bottom line is that the nature of the game doesn’t lend itself to the online casino environment. Playing bridge online is a great way to test your card skills. However, there’s no dealer for a start, which is a deal-breaker for live dealer casino games. The pace of bridge is also on the slower side, which makes it less profitable for casinos to operate bridge tables. That doesn’t mean there isn’t money to be made at bridge. Thanks to sponsors like bridge enthusiasts Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, America’s top bridge pros earn as much as $200,000 annually. That figure may pale in comparison with poker earnings, but it’s a respectable amount by most standards.

Should Online Casinos Incorporate Bridge?

We’re familiar with how online casinos have revolutionized how people engage with gambling. As the digital age continues to evolve, the potential benefits of online bridge card games surely should be up for debate. Bridge card games online could positively impact the social aspect, as online casinos could create a platform for players to connect, strategize, and enjoy the company of other bridge players. Players who prefer skill-based games can enjoy flexing their skills. 

Including bridge in the online casino sphere will add a new dimension to the options for those who want to cover the full range of gaming available. However, a comparison of card games will most likely steer online casinos away from including bridge as there are card games with a much better house edge.

Bridge the Gap to Gaming Greatness at BetMGM

Are you looking for bridge alternatives to test your skills and learn all you can about gambling? Register at BetMGM for live poker and blackjack variations that will challenge you to the limit. Casino table games like baccarat and roulette are less skills-based but equally diverting. If games of chance are what you’re after, why not crank up the fun factor and play slots online? BetMGM’s broad range of premium online casino games will keep you entertained, whatever flavor of gaming you savor. Play online casino games right at BetMGM and have the best time going through the vast catalog.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.