Developed in the 19th cent. from whist and is believed to have originated in the Near East. The word itself is doubtful, but may derive from the Russian biritch meaning no trumps. The essential difference from whist is the bidding process to establish the trump suit and the forecast. The large number of local bridge clubs are affiliated to the English Bridge Union, which issues points, enabling players to qualify as club masters, district masters, and the like.
Subjects: British History.