Ultimate Guide to Bridge Bidding Boxes
How Do The Bidding Boxes Differ? Our Guide to Bridge Bidding Boxes is Here to Help
WELCOME to our Ultimate Guide to Bridge Bidding Boxes. As the UK’s number one Bridge Supplies retailer we offer a number of different styles and qualities of boxes for bidding. One of the questions we are asked most frequently is: What’s the difference? So, today we’re putting bidding boxes into the spotlight, and doing a little ‘compare and contrast’
First up in Our Guide to Bridge Bidding Boxes we have to mention Eric Jannersten. He was the first to invent the bidding box as we know it today, and the Jannersten bidding boxes are known worldwide. Made in Sweden, the Jannersten Neo is the tallest box in our range.
Branded with the Jannersten 4-leaf clover on the top, genuine Neo boxes are also imprinted with ‘Jannersten Bridgeakademin Sweden’ on the reverse side. Favoured by many bridge clubs, the Neo box is easy to use and has a simple, straightforward design: The bidding cards are stored inside the box and removed through the hinged base. You then pop them in the 2 slots on the top of the box, and you’re ready to play!
The Neo box is supplied with standard size cardboard bidding cards except the Stop and Alert cards, which are taller than in other styles of box.
The Neo is a nice stable box. It’s simple to use and the bidding cards are all easy to see and very accessible. Removing the Pass, X, XX, Stop and Alert cards when bidding is a breeze with this box because there’s a nice big tab to get hold of. The only drawback of the Neo is its size (it’s twice the height of the smaller boxes). So, if you want a box that’s the easiest to use, choose the Neo. If storage space is an issue for you, choose a folding box instead.
The Jannersten Bidding Buddy (or ‘Bid Buddy’) is a compact box, also made in Sweden. When not in use it has the same footprint as the Neo but only takes up half the storage space.
The bidding cards are stored inside the Bidding Buddy and you have to ‘unfold’ the box to get them ready for play (there’s a thumb hole in the top, you pull that flap to open the box, then swivel the cards upwards, closing the flap again afterwards). The flap has a slot at the back of the box and some players use this for the Double and Redouble cards, so that the row of 7s is easy to see. All of the bidding cards are the same as in the Neo except the Stop and Alert, which are the smallest cards in the box and sit at the front.
The Bidding Buddy is a pleasing design and takes up a bit less space on the table when it’s ready for use. Some people find it a bit tricky to open at first when they’re not used to this style of box, but soon get the hang of it. As the Pass, Stop and Alert cards are much closer to the bidding cards, it’s not as easy to pull out a card from the row of 6s or 7s as the Neo. However, this is a small compromise when you consider that they have the same size bidding cards as the Neo but they take up half the storage space. We also find they’re a convenient size to carry in a handbag!
The DBF Bridge Partner
The Danish Bridge Federation have recently introduced two of their own designs of boxes for bidding. The Bridge Partner is the larger of their two boxes and you could be mistaken for thinking it’s the Jannersten Bidding Buddy as, at a glance, they look quite similar.
Made from a slightly harder plastic, the Bridge Partner boxes are a more economical choice. It’s the same width as the Jannersten boxes but is about 2cm longer. Each box comes with a detachable bracket on the side, which can be screwed to the edge of a wooden card table which is handy if you don’t want any boxes taking up room on the playing surface. When it’s time to tidy away, you just lift the boxes out their brackets and store them separately.
The Bridge Partner boxes are complete with cards that are a standard size. As it’s the card that gets worn the most quickly, you get an extra 1 Club card, and the Stop/Alert cards are tall like the Neo cards. Like the Bidding Buddy, you pull the box open and swivel the cards upwards to get the box ready for play. There’s also a slot for the Stop and Alert cards.
What makes the Bridge Partner box different to the Jannersten boxes is the angle of the cards. They tilt backwards further than the other boxes, and it makes them easier to read.
The Bridge Partner box isn’t as easy to open as the Bidding Buddy, and the plastic isn’t as bright in colour and doesn’t quite have that top-of-the-range feel. The Pass, Double and Redouble cards are closer to the number cards, so it’s fiddly to get to the 7s, but no more difficult than in the Bidding Buddy. If storage space is tight, that extra 2cm could be an issue for you. However, on the plus side, the number cards are raised up in this box so it’s easier to see them, and the angle of the cards seems to be just about right. Also, being able to attach the boxes to the outer edge of the card table is a bonus as is having the extra 1 club card. The cards are good quality and a standard size, so easy to buy replacements. Our overall feeling is that the quality is not quite up to the same high standard as the Jannersten boxes but it’s that it’s excellent value for money and is very user friendly during play.
The Pocket Bridge Partner boxes, also made by the Danish Bridge Federation, are the most compact boxes in our range. The length of the box is the same as the Jannersten boxes but it’s about 1cm narrower than the Bidding Buddy.
As with the 2 other folding boxes, you open this one by lifting the top, rotating the cards then snapping the top back into place. There’s a notch in the top that makes the cards lie back at a good angle for viewing, and the Stop/Alert cards can be put in the slot at the back to give you more room to get to the 7s. There’s the same detachable bracket on the side of these boxes as their larger cousin, the Bridge Partner, and also the spare 1 club card, which is handy.
The main difference with this little box is the size of the cards inside, which are uniquely small (about 1cm narrower and shorter). So if you want replacement cards, you need to make sure you’re buying the right size! Like the other DBF box, it’s made from the same plastic and it’s a good choice for the price conscious.
This is probably why it’s our best-selling style of box for bidding!
There’s a good gap between the number cards and the Pass, Double and Redouble cards so we find all of the number cards are quite easily accessible in the Pocket Bridge Partner box; the only box that’s easier is the Neo. The small size is ideal if storage space is an issue, and for carrying in your handbag. The detachable bracket is a nice option.
On the down side, the box is a bit stiff to open and close and needs a firm, confident hand! Also, some people think the bidding cards are just a bit too small for them. However, our overall opinion is it’s great to have a box that is affordable, practical and neatly designed.
To round out our Guide to Bridge Bidding Boxes we need to mention our fantastic own brand British Bidder®. Developed exclusively by us as an alternative to the bidding boxes above. These fantastic bidding boxes not only look and function brilliantly, they’re also manufactured here in the UK out of recyclable materials!
Coming Up Next Week…
If you’re looking for the crème de la crème of boxes for your game, watch this space because next week I’ll be comparing our wooden boxes for bidding.