Though there are several forms of the card game called bridge, contract bridge is the most common form. In contract bridge, four players, two on each team, bid to name the number of tricks they will win during the playing of a hand. (A trick consists of the four cards put down, one from each player around the table). The origin of contract bridge is unknown, yet some people believe that railroad heir and yachtsman Harold S. Vanderbilt (1884–1970) invented the game while on a Caribbean cruise in 1926. Contract bridge did not become widely popular until four years later, after a highly publicized challenge match at the Almack's Club in London, England.
Further Information: Frey, Richard L. According to Hoyle. New York: Fawcett, 1970.