Bridge is a card game similar to whist but with infinitely more pretensions.

There are three main forms of bridge:

Contract bridge. The most popular version in which losers put out a contract on the winner and have him or her killed by an assassin dressed as Omar Sharif.

Caster bridge. A form of the game invented by Thomas Hardy, in which the dummy hand is hidden under a pile of sugar and the dealer is known as the ‘mayor’.

Humpback bridge. A version traditionally played on 19th century whaling ships, with cards made from scrimshaw and invariably won by a bid of four no blubber.

Bridge was included in the 1948 London Olympics (where it was won by the Iceland’s Gunnerlind Kardsdottir) but has since been superceded by synthesised swimming, Greco-Roman rustling and pochard weaving.

Competition bridge has long been dogged by accusations of cheating and in the 2011 British championships, the initial winner was disqualified after it was discovered that he was communicating with outside experts via a ham radio. In his defence, Victor Golan-Heitz, claimed that he had thought the equipment was a teasmaid.