Bridgepoint Playing Cards

This is a boxed set of vintage Bridgepoint Playing Cards.

Bridgepoint Playing Cards were invented by Maurice Freedman, and sold by the Bridgepoint Playing Card Company of Philadelphia, PA. The "exclusive point count feature" claims to "speed bidding" and "help beginners".

The set contains two decks of bridge-sized playing cards, featuring a mirrored swan design on the card back, one deck in black, the other in red. The Ace, King, Queen, and Jack of each suit is marked with a point value (4, 3, 2, and 1, respectively) just below the pip. The Ace of Spades is unique, showing North, East, South, and West designations in the design.

In addition to the 52 standard cards, each deck contains two "Bridgepoint Summary of Point Count Bidding" cards, which give a brief description of the point system and how it's used.

The summary cards also state that "Bridgepoint Playing Cards" may be used for all types of card games. Use this card as a Joker for games other than bridge." There are thus two "jokers" with each pack.

The cards say "©Maurice Freedman" and the box says "©Bridgepoint Playing Card Co.". Not sure how old this vintage Bridgepoint Playing Cards set is.

Bridgepoint Playing Cards SetThis is the set -- box, 2 decks of cards, instructions.

Bridgepoint Playing Cards BoxThis is a close-up of the front of the box.

Bridgepoint Point CardsA detailed look at the four point cards.

Bridgepoint Summary CardA detailed look at a summary card.

Bridgepoint Playing CardsThese are the 52 standard cards.

Bridgepoint Playing Cards were granted a patent (#488797) by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office in 1952 (see patent filing). Here is the description, as provided by Maurice Freedman:

This invention relates to contract bridge playing cards and more particularly to playing cards marked with numerals for the purpose of assessing the value of the hand.

For many years experts have used systems for the evaluation of contract bridge hands based upon attributing numerals to the higher ranking cards. The higher ranking cards are assigned numbers or points which reflects their relative trick taking values. The assessment of the value of a hand involves totalling the numbers of the high ranking cards in the hand to ascertain whether the hand conforms with prescribed requirements for opening or other bids as the case may be.

In the most widely known system popularized by Charles Goren the following values are assigned:

  • Ace: 4 points
  • King: 3 points
  • Queen: 2 points
  • Jack: 1 point

In addition some players count the 10 as being worth 1/2 point.

In the system generally known as the Work count the Ace is worth 3 points, the King 2 points, and the Queen 1 point.

Beginners and intermediate players have encountered considerable difficulty in using systems of the type described above in that the mental process of recalling the number to be attributed to each high-ranking card and adding it to the total already obtained for other high ranking cards is usually slow. Frequent errors occur and concentration on the numerical totalling of the hand is apt to distract a players attention from other matters which should be considered.

In accordance with the present invention the number of points assigned to each high ranking card is printed adjacent to the corner symbols at present used to indicate the rank and suit of the card.

This reduces the task of evaluating the hand to a simple addition of a series of numbers visible on various cards in the hand. The counting of the number of points in each hand will be speeded up, errors will be virtually eliminated, the mind will be freed from having to concentrate on the number of points to be given to each high ranking card and the total present in the hand, and the teaching and learning of any method of bidding using these points as a basis will be greatly simplified.

The "most widely known system popularized by Charles Goren" is detailed in Charles H. Goren's Point Count Bidding in Contract Bridge, which is described thus on the cover:

Here is a method of bidding which is simpler to learn and is far more accurate than any methods or "systems" that have ever been used. Coming as it does from the most successful bridge player in the world, it is a book of impeccable authority, but -- perhaps equally important to the average bridge player -- it is written with clarity and grace.

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