Bridgette is a two-player bridge game that has been popular since 1970. It features a 55-card deck: the regular pack of 52 cards plus three extra cards called "Colons". These special cards separate the pack into three groups: aces (A), picture cards (JQK), and spot cards (2—10). On an opponent's lead, the colon from the corresponding group may be played instead of following suit. The colon so played loses, but forces the opponent to lead one of the other three suits to the next trick. The colons' skill is quite subtle and the addition of these cards makes up for the fact that there are only two cards to a trick, instead of four cards as in the game of standard bridge.
Bridgette was invented by Joli Quentin Kansil, who has designed 36 card games, word games, board games, and dice games. He was the personal assistant to Albert Hodges Morehead, the first bridge editor of The New York Times. Morehead hired Kansil soon after first seeing Bridgette, and through this game, the latter met many famous bridge players, notably Oswald Jacoby, Waldemar von Zedtwitz, Alfred Sheinwold, John R. Crawford, and Alan Truscott. Von Zedtwitz, who played over 30,000 deals of Bridgette, contributed the funds needed to start Gamut of Games, Inc. (later Xanadu Leisure, Ltd.), which published Bridgette, My Word, Marrakesh, Itinerary, Krakatoa, Knock-on-Word, Montage, and other games invented by Kansil. It was Jacoby who called Joli Quentin Kansil 'the best combination game inventor/game player in the world'. Kansil was honored as Game Inventor of the Year in 1992 at the annual Game Fair in Essen, Germany, and earlier, in 1986, Bridgette was added to GAMES Magazine's Hall of Fame. The magazine's stated criteria for the Hall of Fame encompasses "games that have met or exceeded the highest standards of quality and play value and have been continuously in production for at least 10 years; i.e., classics."
In 2002, Joli Quentin Kansil completed work on a variation of Bridgette called 'Bridgette Showdown', and this game was introduced to the public in 2004. Bridgette Showdown uses additional equipment, notably bidding boards, dice, dice cups, and chips. All Bridgette games sold today contain both the Showdown variation and the classic game. Kansil is the editor of the popular book 'The Official Rules of Card Games' (U. S. Playing Card Co.), and in the 1970s he wrote two books on backgammon.
- Speech to Hawaii Backgammon Club, December 6, 1980
- Games Magazine, November 2007, or any November issue from 1986 on
- GAMES Magazine Hall of Fame. Retrieved 26 July 2010
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