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Slightly oblong duplicate bridge table

A table shaped to give North/South and East/West equal space around the 'board'
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All of the bridge tables I have seen are square. For rubber bridge, this makes sense. In duplicate bridge, however, the center of the table is usually occupied by a 'board' or stack of boards which are a few inches longer in the North-South dimension than East-West. Consequently, on a square table, if North or South is declarer, the dummy may be somewhat cramped on a smaller table. Using a table that's larger in all dimensions would ease that problem, but such a table would either take up much more space or leave less room between people. If the table was slightly oblong, it would take less space than a larger square table but allow North/South more room to play.

For a further improvement in convenience without increasing the required space, a non-rectangular table could be used. For example, instead of using a 32" square table, one could use a table whose shape started with a 36" square with 3" deep cutouts on two opposite sides. Such a table would place the North/South players 4" further apart than a conventional table while putting East/West players 2" closer together. It would also give all players more room for the score sheet, bidding box, and refreshments.

As a still-further enhancement, the table could have a recess in the center shaped to match a standard bridge board but whose depth was adjustable. The recess should have finger holes at the edges to allow boards to be inserted and removed conveniently. This would reduce the apparent height of a stack of boards sitting in the center of the table, and make it easier for short people to see cards played by their partner.

supercat, Feb 10 2005

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       This is one of the reasons I always play E/W. Very practical +   

       (But I also wonder why they don't make the card holders square.)
phundug, Feb 11 2005
  

       never played but this sounds very sensible. oblong tables must exist surely?
po, Feb 12 2005
  

       Could you link an illustration for this?
Susan, Feb 12 2005
  

       phundog: the boards are oblong to ensure that they don't get played sideways. Although it sometimes happens that boards get played 180 degrees rotated, that is not a real problem since the same partnerships get the same hands. If a board were turned 90 degrees, however, that would mess up all the scoring.   

       That having been said, a somewhat squareR board might be good if it didn't go against so many years of tradition. A couple of designs come to mind--I'll see if I can come up with some pictures.   

       The current standard board is just over 9"x3.5"; a slight adjustment to the design would make it 8"x4.5" without confusing players. This adjustment would also allow the two corners nearest North to be beveled as as to yield an "arrow", helping to avoid North/South reversals.
supercat, Feb 12 2005
  
      
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